Saturday, August 25, 2018

Annual Pilgrimage to Northern Vermont

Every August, I take an Annual Pilgrimage to northern Vermont.

-Saturday August 25th-


I always like to stop in Brattleboro for lunch. Right past the train statin, by the edge of the river is a wonderful brew pub converted from an old mill. A double IPA and grub while chowing down by the edge of the river was wonderful!
An Amtrak passenger train came cruising thru as well.
The view back up the hill to town reveals a waterfall.

Trapp Trails

That evening I rode the Trapp Family trails below the Resort.  They are easy but always a blast.

-Sunday August 26th-

Perry Hill / Rasta Mtn

My personal nirvana is Rasta Mountain in Waterbury. Joe's and Campfire are my all time favorite trail(s).
The initial climb up is always the biggest challenge. It has been redesigned and there's now a series of sculpted berms/switchbacks that make the climb almost manageable.
Once past the new section, these mini berms make this section of the climb much more interesting and sustainable.
I veered off the main doubletrack and continued climbing up a much more fun single track.
I ended up somewhere on Joe's or Campfire at this slick rock section. As I looked down I noticed the trail was much more sculpted than I remembered - there was obviously a lot of TLC and work put in to "refining this descent" in the last couple of years...
The descent is one non-stop orgy of amazing flow and breath-taking scenery.  I had to force myself to stop and snap this photo!
3/4s of the way down you start to ride along the edges of ravines. The next two photos illustrate right and left of a typical gully/ravine.
Before the final descent, I wandered over to an area on a trail aptly named Disneyland. The fern undercover and the sun shining thru the thin canopy is magic...
Curiosity made me notice the railroad was doubletracked here.
Before leaving the park - I zoomed around the mini mogul area at the entrance,. It was hotter than hell but I was still charged up from the descent (despite the fact that someone's stupid dog walked in front of me on those nice berms near the bottom!!!!)

Tunnel Flute Playing

Finally, I put the bike back on the car rack and returned to the tunnel with my mini Native American flute and noodled around a bit . At 1:04, a couple of mountain bikers ride by and voiced their approval...

Links / Further Info

Some great helmetcams:

Saturday, July 14, 2018

An Endo, Dog-faced trees and a little Native American flute...

It was hot today but not unbearable like it was mid last week.

Old Mine Park

I started out at Old Mine Park parking in the back and riding all the trails up top. Embarrassingly, while riding pretty fast on a fairly easy trail - I hit a rock and did an endo!! I was too busy looking all around me except for what in front of me on the trail!! OOPs!

 Pequonnock River

I next ventured over to Whitney Ave and rode along the river. I stopped--for a change--at a spot I hadn't visited in some time. This is the first ford - good memories here. My son and I use to bomb down the hill from the rail trail side and try to make it across the water ages ago...
I decided to take the less used White Trail thru the Serengeti - its usually wet but I figured in the heat of the summer it would be bone dry. Man... it was dry but more like a jungle  - the Serengeti should be renamed the Congo these days!!!
I ventured up to the yellow and was rewarded with seeing a new super well-built bridge over the Copper Creek. Bill, Brian and crew rock!!

 Mianus Park

Finally after heading home, I decided to "meander" over to Mianus and just hike and find a semi-secluded spot to play a little Native American Flute.
The first spot was right on the river,,,
...and had a tree burr that looked just like a dog!
I then wandered a bit north and veered of by the river to a trail I don't ride and found a great spot - a rock with a bed of moss.

I propped the cell phone up against my Camelbak on the rock made this mini video...

All in all, a nice day to be outdoors.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

North Bethlehem Quick Ride

 Saturday's weather upstate was so amazingly nice I ended up riding three parks (Luther Forest, Colonie AND Schenectady Central Park)! On Sunday, I was in the area (returning from a visit to my Mom and an extensive RR history trek in Ravena - LINK) so I  decided to check out the trails in North Bethlehem.

It's a small place but jam-packed with trails as the official map below indicates...
There is very little elevation change and trails are super smooth but... its easy to get disoriented as to where you are as there are no blazes and the extensive looping soon erases all sense of north and south!

Nevertheless it was a fun place to ride. There are no rocks and very little roots because the trails are built to be super smooth. There are extensive log up and overs thru out and quite an array of man-made stunts as well (log rides, etc. on the sides of the main trail).

I rode (I believe!) the red, yellow and part of the orange loop. It was a bit hot, without a breeze and being minus my Camelbak (which I had stupidly left in Connecticut!), I headed home after only about 45 minutes . I will need to return sometime to ride the rest of the park...

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Trailwork at northern Hemlock Hills (White Trail)

Trail session at northern Hemlock Hills.

Photos of trail work in progress and the White Trail. We built a B line (lots of benching) and pieced together some really serious rock work up top and at the bottom. Photos below wee taken about healf way thru our sesseon.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Return to the Native American Museum

Lunch hour today was a return visit to the Smithsonian Native American Museum located in the historic Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House. What an amazing building! In addition to the Native American Museum, I discovered the National Archives as well an interactive exhibit on the lower level called imagiNATIONS Activity Center.  See earlier visit >

Native American Museum

1890 Map - Six Nations
One of  many displays in the rotunda detailing Native American participation in the Armed Forces


Visiting the National Archives - marble magnificence!
The National Archives were up the stairs
Looking toward the Great Rotunda
Its a small exhibit but there's separate fully-equipped room for doing research.
Close Up

imagiNATIONS Activity Center

Amazing hands-on educational stuff focused on what various Native American cultures contributed to the world....
The importance of corn
Plants and Natural Medicines
Rope Bridges

Further Info

  • Great video about the building
    The Custom House was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1972 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976. In 1979, New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission made the exterior and public interior spaces a city landmark.
  • imagiNATIONS Activity Center

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Lunch Hours - Lower Manhattan

Battery Park

It's always a pleasure... lunch hour walks in Lower Manhattan :-)

Friendly Critters!


Great Statues



Along the Waterfront...

Along the East River

Jazz Music on the Street!