Saturday, September 15, 2012

Texas Gap, Vermont S360

breakfast at the Red Hen
back trail through waterbury
back roads from moretown to waitsfield
Mike going up
neat old water works for moretown
old supports for viaduct for moretown
didn't see it
falls in granville gulf
at the bottom of the gulf

gratuitous bike shot #1
gratuitous bike shot #2
Mike on the road to dinner
we'll be in hancock soon for dinner
Texas Falls
gratuitous bike shot #3
my new hennessey hammock, it was great
Mike's tarptent contrail
also breakfast
packing up
hey, this road stops here! guess we'll go back
let's walk a bit

this was interesting on the pacer with 28's
it was
no bridge
but we walked the excavator trail
Also, Mike took a million pictures (98) that you can check out here...

On Friday I took care of a few last minute work details and then I left home around 9:30 am and rode from Plainfield to Montpelier on rt.2. and then along some gravel on the River Road to the Red Hen in Middlesex. It was sunny and cool with a fair amount of traffic since it was a Friday. I had a breakfast of ham and cheese croissant and oatmeal raisin cookie with coffee. My wife observed that it is really all about the food since every time I contacted her I told her where we were and what we were eating but nothing else. She might be a little bit correct on that one.

Then I rode on to Waterbury and met Mike at the green/park and we had a hot dog/chips snack and rode on. We took a nifty little back road/trail to some more gravel as we headed back to Middlesex. From there we took rt 100 to Moretown, opting to skip the hefty climb on the gravel with our camping gear. After a hydro stop in Moretown we jumped onto a nice gravel run down to Waitsfield on Pony Farm Road. From there we headed to Warren on rt. 100. It was getting hot and we both felt foggy so we stopped at the gas station near Warren for water etc. Then we rode straight on to Granville Gulf and up and over.

The ride through the Gulf is beautiful. It is a long gradual climb up and down. There are rocky, clear and cold little streams alongside with numerous pools and waterfalls. After that we rolled on to Hancock and the sun was getting lower. We stopped at the Hotel/Restaurant there (which has amazing brunch) and had a great dinner. We learned from the guy there that we lucked out in that we missed the Rainbow gathering by 1 week. They were up in the gap the week before. Nothing against peace and love and drumming and such but not exactly what we had in mind when we planned a quiet bike camping trip into the National Forest.

Leaving Hancock we rolled west on rt. 125 for a bit and then turned north onto Texas Falls road. Along the way we collected trash for kindling to make a fire. We got a 6 pack holder, some Halloween Peeps cardboard and about 100' of toilet paper. We got to camp and set up our gear. I had a quick second time setup of my new Hennessey hammock. What they say is true. They are comfy, dry and easy. We made a fire and hung out until around 10 and then went to bed. It was a windy night with rain. The hammock barely swayed and was completely dry.

In the morning we ate, drank VIA and then headed out. My Jetboil had a few starting issues which I am attributing to the wind and the free can of demo fuel I got when I bought it which was probably 5 years old. It certainly boiled quickly though. We headed back through the forest on some roads, snowmobile trails and single track. The federal forest land are great. Tons of gravel and nice camping spots. Moose. Pheasant. It was quite an adventure on the Pacer. I couldn't climb the single track but descending was no problem.

I felt great. Mike was riding strong, pushing fat mini knobbies and about 20 lbs more than me and hammering along at 13-14 MPH on the hilly tough roads. Definitely more bike camping in my future.


bmike said...

twas a good 2 days. i met the fam in richmond for pickup and then dinner. lovely.

moose was cool. too bad he / she was in such a hurry.

Pondero said...

Perfect timing. Our first cool air blows in last week, and now your awesome report. It's almost time to camp in Texas!

If the photos are a reasonable representation, I don't see how you guys don't do this more often. You've got a beautiful state up there.

bmike said...

Being self employed (unemployable, for me) and each raising kids (Greg 1 and me 2) is the big reason we can't get out every 2 weeks. I also consume 4 weekends + planning with the brevets I run.

Next year I'd like to try for once a month... With at least one 4-5 day loop trip worked in. But I need to change some priorities (brevet organizer) if I want to pull that off.

It is an excellent state for cycling.

greg said...

Hi Chris.

Glad to hear it's cooling down there. Do you have a Vermont Hill in Texas to match our Texas Gap? :) I often think the same thing...I sometimes look around and realize I live in a postcard but often forget to notice. Maybe it goes to show that it's appreciating what we have that matters because no matter what we have we often forget to be thankful for it. (at least I do)

Hi Mike. So true, the rush of kids and family and running a business add up. Lets be sure our people get in touch about this October idea though!

Dave said...

Hi Greg,

Fun to see your adventures as always. A tip should you be headed down towards Rochester again is to take North Hollow Road once you've passed through the gap. It essentially is the high road parallel to rt 100 and it totally lovely.

greg said...

Thanks for the tip Dave. See you for the Fall Classic.