|06-10-2012, 08:23 PM||#1|
Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Northern NY
Circles in the ADK area on an XL600R
First, a map tells many things, and I know how much inmates like pictures, so I'll include a few.
Riding my 1985 Honda XL600R solo, some familiar roads, some not. Left around 11:00 without any real schedule.
A few firsts, here: first longer-than-commute-to-work trip on the XL, first overnighter on a motorcycle, etc. Otherwise not my first rodeo. Another first: good weather for the whole ride
I started from a local gas station, took a very winding way toward where I work, and then onto a familiar route. Some of the same roads my wife and I took driving my old jeep on our honeymoon to VT: St Regis Falls out through Loon Lake, Union Falls on the Red Tavern Rd, and Silver Lake Rd.
Along the Red Tavern Rd:
Start of the excellent (Old Rt 99):
Was keeping a pretty slow pace, enjoying the fact that my ass didn't hurt.. yet. Stopped every now and again for a view and a picture. This one I actually turned around to get:
A ways down 99, there's a white-sided bridge on a corner. I'm sure some of you have seen it. There's also a mysterious little dirt road off the side right there, and the gate happened to be unlocked. What was I to do? (take it). It was a pretty decent dirt road, standard hump-in-the-middle two track, with a nice view from one spot, and an interesting sign that I didn't investigate further, being alone.
The road Y'd here, and I turned around. Too bad. I think the TW200 is destined to answer some questions later.
EDIT: too bad indeed, but it looks like the sign underneath says "MOTOR VEHICLES PROHIBITED". Thanks, DEC. Guess I won't bother going back on the TW200 to try that one.
Met a nice fellow at this Y in a red ford ranger, who told me the trails should lead all the way to Meacham Lake. Interesting.. He also said he probably wouldn't take "that bike" down the one trail, but that I could probably walk it. Almost sounds like a dare, doesn't it?
Anyway, swing the bike around, and back down the 2-track:
Much further down the line, past Loon Lake, we happen upon the quaint area of Union Falls. IMO, one of the most beautiful man-mangled views in the world. Go there if you haven't.
Even the bridge looks nice:
Didn't have much of a chance after that to take pictures, as I was too busy dodging bicycle racers through Wilmington into Lake Placid. Man its hard to catch and pass those dudes downhill in a 45mph zone without speeding.
Coming through Ray Brook, I pondered stopping and staying at the Meadow Brook campground so I could have a bite to eat with some beers and not have to ride afterward, but it was only 16:15 or so when I came through, so I kept going. Made it through the Paul Smiths intersection and onto the back roads when I decided there wasn't going to be anywhere to camp, and certainly not any BBQ waiting for me if I continued, so I turned around and went back by Paul Smiths (2nd time through). Back to Ray Brook, where I waited a while for the ranger/desk-clerk/whathaveyou to return from "Lunch" (at 17:15?).
While I was waiting, I met a nice couple from CT on their matching pair of Triumph Tigers who were out on a multi-day trip. They too decided to stay at Meadow Brook, and get some BBQ and beers at Tail of the Pup. I chatted with them a bit, but we stayed a bit apart in the grounds and I only saw them a few more times in passing. Nice folks, but I didn't see any ADV stickers on those bikes. I snapped a quick pic on my way back from dinner of their bikes at their site, hope they didn't mind:
Now, for what really matters, here:
Some ribs, chicken, a few Labatt Blue drafts later, and I was in good shape
Slept soundly except for some crazy beer dreams and some dueling squirrels (yeah, ok, maybe they weren't dueling, but they were sure interested in each other..) at 04:00.
"To be continued..." (that is to say, its bedtime again)
jontow screwed with this post 06-14-2012 at 03:47 AM
|06-11-2012, 05:55 AM||#2|
Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Northern NY
I woke up to yet more squirrels, except this time its light enough to see them: I leaned over to look out the mesh screen to watch them, and realize its really quite f'n cold, but looks like a nice day is shaping up. Pulled my cellphone out of the overhead pocket, glanced at the time; 05:21. Pulled up wunderground and looked up saranac lake. Current temp: 48F.
I went back to sleep.
Woke up again a while later, 07:20 or so. Refreshed wunderground: 53F. Close enough!
Indeed, shaping up to be a nice day. View from my accomodations (Hennessy Hammock):
After tearing down camp and repacking everything on the bike (and damnit, I finally got it "right"), I was able to be fairly comfortable, and headed out. The wrong way. Ended up at the "Welcome to Lake Placid" sign... damnit. Turn around and head back for Ray Brook, and ultimately Saranac, Tupper, and the familiar northern woods.
Weather was indeed gorgeous, just getting a little bit warm, and the bike was running well. As I cruised through Saranac, it became apparent that the road ends at the Sunoco on this particular day and time. Big town-square type bicycle race: neat. Well, partially neat, partially irritating because I didn't know how to route around it; so I pulled into the Sunoco, gassed up, bought a cold drink and hung out for a while to watch the race.
Spotted this in the parking lot, without any ADV sticker (what's up with that?):
I eventually decided to just wander and find a way around it all, and did. Ended up in Lake Clear Junction, but not without significant awkwardness. I went by Paul Smiths again (Time #3) and turned on the same side road, having route-planned my way through the back roads to Tupper Lake. However, when I got to the Bay Pond Rd turnoff, I found a gate next to someone's house, and a sign that read something like "Bay Pond Park: Gate keeper off duty, phone for more info". I didn't phone, but I was pretty irritated, and carried on down the way the road wasn't gated, now labelled Blue Mountain Rd. I had no idea where it went, but also wasn't too concerned.
As I found out, that road turns up at Deer Valley Trails back near St Regis Falls, which is *way* off the track I was aiming to hit! Nice dirt road, though. I kept going, turned right on 458 and headed back for Tupper on the slab, a bit disappointed but happy to feel the wind through my jacket. Somewhere down the line, a short row of touring bikes came up behind me, and I moved over to let them pass: I'm pretty sure one of them was the BMW from the Sunoco
Still no ADV stickers spotted.
Well, guess what: I went by Paul Smiths again (time #4, and the last time for this ride) and found Lake Clear, where I stopped at the train station under a big shady pine I knew was there from a previous ride to let the BRP cool and add a bit of oil for the first time on the trip. I regret to say I didn't take too many pictures on this section of the ride, it was too hot.
In Tupper, it was clearly lunchtime, so I stopped at an old haunt: the Lumberjack, and had an absolutely massive delicious lunch, then headed for South Colton, and the Long Pond Easement. I'd never rode in that easement before, but an inmate that I've met before on the trail told me you could take it clear into Clare, but didn't give directions.
When I got down the easement trail a ways, it opened up into a parking lot of sorts with a handicapped accessible bathroom (outhouse)
While I was standing there (taking pictures), a deer was just inside the brush line across the lot eating and grunting. The deer flies were miserable.. and the riding was great.
Neat old transit bus converted into a camp along the road:
Neat old jalopy someone used at camp:
Hidden in the brush, some notable features of said jalopy. Someone knew what was up
I didn't take anymore pictures after this, but things continued much the same way: getting hotter and later. I was quite a lot of rough miles back in the woods, and it was around 17:30 or so. I didn't find the Clare (Dean Rd) exit from this tract, in fact, it was going to take me well into darkness to backtrack, and I ended up stuck *behind* gates. Pretty unhelpful: they weren't keeping me out, they were keeping me *in*! I ended up doing some things I wasn't proud of and went around/etc the gates to get back to civilization. I'll head back that way sometime and explore, trying to find the correct and legal way out.
Some lessons learned from the trip (if you didn't learn anything, you did it wrong...):
* The XL600R is a good bike for this sort of trip, but it can't keep up with BMW GS' on the slab.
* Dunlop D606s probably aren't going to last me 3000 miles...
* Dunlop D606s *DO* get louder the more they wear.
And here's a somewhat irritating philosophical bit of understanding I obtained:
I discovered the Adirondacks' most abundant renewable natural resource. It isn't rocks or trees or water or whatever. Gates. The steel ones, the wood ones, the cable ones, the rope ones. Gates. Think about it for a second:
There are more gates in the adirondacks than open roads. How long does it take a tree to grow back after you cut it down? A rock to get replaced? Now, if you cut one of these gates down and throw it in the back of your pickup truck and drive away, I bet it'll grow back to *at least* the same size in less than 2 years. Now *THATS* a fast renewing resource, right there.
Enjoy, folks, I had fun riding and writing.
|06-11-2012, 07:39 AM||#3|
Joined: Jul 2011
Location: "upper upstate" NY
Nice ride, thanks for sharing
Paging EMTI for a way out of the long pond easement -- He said there was a map, I guess you didn't find it?
|06-11-2012, 07:50 AM||#4|
Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Northern NY
Oh, I found the map.. that map was terrible:
jontow screwed with this post 06-11-2012 at 07:51 AM Reason: add map image
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