David Johnson's Travel Blog
Bicycle Trip 1999
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Texas 2003
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Hiking Florida 2005
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Nomadic 2010
Little Bicycle Trip 2011
Wisconsin Bicycle Trip 2011
Bicycle Trip 2011
08/07  Oh No! Casey's is Leaking!
08/08  Yo dawg I heard you like creeks
08/09  Low bridge, everybody down
08/11  Camping in Suburbia
08/12  Camping on a bunker
08/13  Amish on Bicycles
08/14  Ohayo Ohio!
08/18  Saddle Sores and Boredom
08/19  Houses houses houses
08/20  Neither see nor be seen. Now bike!
08/21  Down and Up in Pennsylvania
08/22  I don't want to scare you
08/23  Yard elk in the mist
08/25  Pine Creek Trail
08/26  Welcome to New York
08/27  Oswego
09/03  Erie Canal
09/04  Road Closed
09/05  Vermont
09/08  Old Stage Trail
09/09  New Hampshire
09/10  Hapless Trails
09/11  Mainely tourists
09/13  Mainely Traffic
09/14  The Hills!
09/16  Arcadia National Park
09/17  Mainely ATVs
09/18  I am farther east than you
09/21  North into Real Maine
09/22  Mainely Trees
09/23  Annoying Noises
09/24  Baxter State Park
09/25  Mainely Bear Hunters
09/27  Mainely Sick
09/29  Mainely Trespassing
09/30  All Done
10/01  (pictures)
Nomadic 2011
Kayak Trip 2012
Nomadic 2012
Liverworks Productions
Nomadic 2013
Liverworks Productions
Texas Pig Hunting
Bicycle Trip 2014
Bicycle Trip 2015
Biking West 2015
Chickens and Pheasants 2016
Biking About 2016
New Zealand 2016
Kayak Trip 2017

Old Stage Trail

2011-09-08

tl;dr: I took a route based on Google Maps. You'd think I'd learn. But I got to see some Vermont scenery.

It started raining here in earnest about thirty minutes before I checked into my motel on Monday. Except for a couple of hours here and there it has pretty much rained non-stop ever since. I stayed an extra day in the motel because it was so miserable out.

Maybe I should just go to Texas? It seems every trip I make sees an over-abundance of precipitation. I could single-handedly save the Texas economy just by bicycling through and being rained on.

Technically, this motel promises to have coffee and breakfast at 8AM, which is late in and of itself. Because I'm basically the only guest the owners don't get up even that early. So I decided to walk to a gas station a half-mile away to get some coffee. Turns out I was wrong. The owner of the motel does get up early, and then he goes to work at the gas station. Indians! They are hard-working folks, and they are generally very nice. But it's been my experience that most of them make the most retched coffee, even by my standards.

It seems I had other options, but when I discovered that a bridge was out on my route I picked a new route through the mountains using Google Maps. This wasn't the most mislead I've ever been by Google Maps, but it was the most...interesting.

I left Bennington on Burgess road, which promptly ended and turned into a rocky Old Stage Trail with Trail being the operative word. And by rocky, I don't mean gravel. I mean rocks. And it was steep. On a smooth surface that would have been a challenging climb, raising 1600 feet over only a couple of miles. As it was it turned into a nice hike through the mountains. I suspect I (literally) pushed that bicycle at least three miles.

With a trail like that you can only see so far. So every time I looked up and saw the top of a rise I thought, I'm finally at the top! Of course I wasn't. So I pushed on a little further. The trail started off bad and got worse. Soon I was basically pushing the bicycle up a small rocky stream. I consoled myself that it couldn't get worse. Of course it did. The rocks got bigger and the trail grew steeper. Still, it couldn't get worse yet. And for a while it didn't, but not worse than really bad is still really bad. When the trail narrowed I started running into spider webs one after another. Of course, eventually it did get worse yet. After a painstaking downhill I ended up at a river. Normally I'm sure I could have pushed the bike across a gently flowing creek. Thanks to two weeks of rain that was no longer the case. I pulled my bike apart and carried it through that cold, fast torrent. I had to cross that thing five times. The water only tripped me up three times. I was never swept away, but I was thoroughly soaked. I never thought I'd describe a good day of bicycling as one in which I didn't slice my tires on sharp rocks and wasn't swept away by a river.

Soon after that I intersected an actual gravel road and life was sweet.

There are signs warning to watch for moose. I'd sure like to see one.

I saw a lot more storm damage today. Some houses and businesses had been flooded, but mostly just lots of roads have been washed out. It is impressive how quickly they are being repaired, though.

About an hour before dark I started looking for a place to camp. All day long I've been biking through remote areas. As soon as I want to camp, there's one house after another. Every single time! Everybody wants to live in the woods, so everybody moves to the woods; then there are no more woods.

I have no cell signal here, and I just finished the second book in a trilogy on my phone, but I can't download the third. Life is hard sometimes.

we shall see


rocky road


really rocky road


extremely rocky road


how was this ever a road?


now it's a stream


now it's a swamp


now it crosses a river


wet again


gravel never looked so good








more storm damage


Wilmington, Vermont




understatement



contact me at le@liverworks.com
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