|06-25-2012, 11:46 AM||#1|
Joined: Feb 2008
Frogive me motorcycle gods... (Mt. Washington Ride Report)
(I have been lurking ADV for a while. This is a ride report I've copied and pasted from the site I use mostly, bandofriders.net, figured I should bring SOMETHING to the table here and peak my head out to say, "Hello." Definitely looking forward to making more weekenders and possible week long rides.)
...it has been several years since my last moto-camping ride.
The past month has been hell on my psyche. Grandiose line therapy was in store to make amends.
After pondering a trip South last Thursday a fleeting idea of riding up Mount Washington arose. The last time I sat upon the summit was around the time my parents were splitting up. One weekened my father took me on a 2-day motorcycle ride on his Harley to visit an aunt in Conway, NH. I didn't know it then but the trip would leave a lasting impression, eventually leading to my own motorcycle(s) and adventures. So, a destination was decided on Friday evening. After visiting the Auto Road website, I discovered this weekend was also one of three times of the year where the Auto Road is opened before sunrise. SWEET! Driving home from work I mentally prepared a packing list and was finished by 0200 (night shift work sucks), complete with an "idea" for a route.
I got a late start, leaving around 1330. Checked the weather and noticed A TON of thunderstorms North along my intended route. Seeing how this was the twistiest and most scenic part of my trip (202N-89N-4E-118N-112E-16S), I opted for a drier and somewhat direct route to meander about the patchy storms. Taking 91N to 2E, I made a stop in Salisbury Beach, MA.
Unfortunately, the storms caught up to me here. Having run out of easterly road, I tossed on my one piece rain suit and saddled up into the wet. Taking 95N from Salisbury, MA, I connected with 16N which would eventually lead me to Pine Knolls Campground.
Most of the rain had stopped by the time I pulled into the campgrounds at 2030. Luckily, there was still enough light left to snap a photo of my lakefront campsite and setup camp. The tent site was desolate, I had mostly peace and quiet except for the giant frogs, which kept me stirring and unable to sleep...Lakeside isn't great after-all.
A whopping 3 hours of sleep was all I could manage before my alarm went off at 0230, symbolizing it was time to witness a sunrise of epic proportions. Having ridden up Greylock to watch the sunrise after a rain storm, I knew I was in for a real treat of watching all of the moisture become sucked up from the ground and into the sky to create new clouds from 6288ft. Throwing on my one-piece, rain gear, hoodie, and balaclava, I ventured up 16N to the Auto Road entrance. Pitch black, 52 degrees, and wet roads. AWESOME! No really, I like challenges like this!
Unfortunately, once I reached the Auto Road entrance around 0330, I was told the Auto Road is closed to motorcycles, due to the clay sections being too slippery from the overnight rains. To say I was angry doesn't even scratch the surface. So, tired, wet, and furious, I slowly made my way back to camp. Rolling back into my tent and catching a few more hours of sleep before packing up and heading out.
Woke up around 1030, packed and rolled into Conway to snag some breakfast at Bea's Cafe. It was definitely one of those Sunday morning cafe places where everyone knows everybody, making the decor second only to the atmosphere of it's people. I did sit under this poster, however.
After my late breakfast, I mulled over the thought of heading up the mountain. Decided I came this far, I might as well make the stop. I was certainly glad I did. Half-way up I wanted to take a photo at a stop where my father took one of me next to his Harley, 12 years ago (The original photo is in storage somewhere, gotta find it!). As I was setting up for a timed shot on a rock across the road. Some guys girlfriend leapt from their car to take this for me.
A few more photographs on the way up. This one looking back.
Left 30, Right Long, Jiggy-jiggy!
And, we eventually reached the top. What a gorgeous day!
The clouds were just barely brushing the top of your head while standing on the tippy-top!
I can relate to the love of Mountains with these men. There is something serene and reviving which encapsulates your entire being making your soul feel at home.
After this photo my cell was just about dead. Will have to modify the battery tender lead as a charger like Desmolitionman did. Sweet idea! Anyway, grabbed a ride patch souvenir and rolled down the mountain, where I picked up the Kancamagus Highway. MAN! What a blast that road is! After some traffic filtering , I managed to walk up behind a guy in full leathers on an SV1000s, whom was taking the same, err, path, I was. Shredded some corners with him, stopped at a gas station a few miles ahead, chatted for a while and off we went on our own accord. My return route was supposed to be my arrival route so my directions I scribbled down, simply route names, got me lost. Without a map, or GPS, I just winged it! It's better that way! Picked up 118S, which, may just be the most terrible road I've ever ridden. Massive frost heaves, chunks of pavement missing, and it was all downhill, 118N would be easier I bet, but riding down was a workout! Still fun in it's own maniacal sense... I must've missed a turn to stay on 118S to pickup 4W to 89S to 202S and home. So I actually picked up 93S at some point, saw a sign for 4W thinking it would lead me back to 89S to 202. Little did I know, the two run parallel and ended up back tracking quite a ways. Route 4 was a blast though! Very smooth and semi-scenic in parts. It was becoming late by the time I realized I had gone in a huge circle. My wrist and legs were telling me it was time to slab it home.
The final weekend tally was 740 miles. Minus the 22, when I reset the trip meter while on 91 at the beginning of the trip.
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