Short Solo Camping Trip to Vermont

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by edgeoftheworld, Jul 28, 2018.

  1. edgeoftheworld

    edgeoftheworld Been here awhile

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    Last month I went on an impromptu week-long motorcycle trip through New England. The artificial goal was to get to every state in New England. The real goal was to try my hand at this motorcycle travel thing. You can read about that by following the link in my signature.

    I didn't make it to Vermont during that trip. But it did make me realize that I like this motorcycle adventure thing and a couple of weeks later I did a fly and ride to buy a 2009 R1200GS. Last weekend I decided it was a good time to take the GS on a trip and check Vermont off my list. This would also be my first solo camping trip. And outside of the one night camping during my New England trip, really my first camping trip since I was a kid.

    I was looking for some alone time and a peaceful experience so I didn't go the traditional campground route but instead found a place off of the site Hipcamp which would be a private campsite and true primitive camping...no facilities or electricity or anything.

    The plan was to ride up Friday and get home Sunday.

    The bike loaded and ready to go.
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    As I got into Massachusetts, I saw a sign that said scenic view. I figured I might as well stop and take a look.

    It was not very scenic. Maybe if you were 9 feet tall and could see over the large row of bushes that blocked any real view. I felt duped. This picture was taken with me holding my phone way above my head.
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    I hit some construction traffic in a few places but after about 2 and a half hours I crossed into VT
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  2. edgeoftheworld

    edgeoftheworld Been here awhile

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    I was camping in a small town called Putney VT. A little north of Brattleboro. I stopped in Brattleboro to pick up some food and beverages for the weekend. I thought I could find a nice farm stand and get some fresh vegetables on my way to the site. I didn't find one...but I did stop at a lemonade stand. Something I have never done in a car. The nice young ladies didn't know of a place I could buy vegetables either...but the lemonade was quite good. I was also their only customer of the day so far...and it was close to 4pm:-)
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    As I headed to the campsite, I passed Santa's Land. I have no idea what it is since it appeared closed but the sign was cool so I had stop for a picture.
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    Eventually I got to the site and had to ride the bike down a hill and into the woods. I have next to no off-road experience so I took it slow and was proud that I didn't drop the bike! I unpacked and set up camp.
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    The cool thing about this location was that it had an abandoned quarry on the property which made a great swimming hole.
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  3. edgeoftheworld

    edgeoftheworld Been here awhile

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    The quarry was about a half mile/20 minute hike from my campsite. I got a little lost at first but once I realized which trail markers to follow it was fine. I got to the quarry and had it all to myself. It was awesome. The weather was hot and the water was perfect. There was a beach volley ball court and floats for the water. It was a great way to end the day after the ride up.
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    After floating around and swimming in the water for a while, I hiked back to camp to build a fire and make myself some food.
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  4. edgeoftheworld

    edgeoftheworld Been here awhile

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    I am new to the camping thing but made a tasty meal of bratwurst, bread and ramen noodles using a sharpened stick and my little camping pot. The cold beers were nice at this point too.
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    Feeling relaxed and full, it was time for bed. I still need to find a more comfortable solution for sleeping on the ground in a tent. My self-inflating sleeping pad didn't make for a great night's sleep.

    In the morning I wanted to go ride a bit in Vermont. But first I used my newly found campsite cooking skills to boil water and make some coffee and oatmeal. It takes a while to build a fire in the morning for the sole purpose of boiling water.
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    I got stuck riding back up the hill from the campsite. There was some ledge and my back wheel just kept digging a hole. Luckily I have recently just watched Long Way Round and Long Way Down so I got off the bike, put it in gear and managed to get it unstuck :D. Again, I didn't drop the bike! But I was rewarded with a warning light saying my headlight was out. Ok, well now time to deal with that.

    I got some gas, google motorcycle shops and found the closest one which was also very highly rated on google so off I went to Vintage Steele.
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  5. edgeoftheworld

    edgeoftheworld Been here awhile

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    I spoke with Josh as soon as I rode up and he had me bring the bike right in. He didn't have bulbs on hand but they were scheduled to be delivered within 20-30 minutes so I hung out talking with him for a while. I also had him check my rear tire which was really starting to feel sketchy. He looked at it and said it was safe to ride.
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    Josh and his guys do some cool work. They do maintenance but also build custom bikes. I can't believe I forgot to take pictures of the cool bikes they had there. But I did get one of the R Nine T they are customizing to look like an old school BMW bike.
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    With the bulb changed, I headed out to ride Route 30 which a few people including Josh recommended. First interesting thing I encountered was this covered bridge IMG_20180721_123257.jpg
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  6. edgeoftheworld

    edgeoftheworld Been here awhile

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    From here on out, the riding portion of the trip wasn't so good. Although reassured that it was safe, my rear tire felt like it was sliding all over the place. It made for a less than pleasant experience. Nevertheless, I figured I would trust the bike and enjoy some of the sites
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    I headed back to the campsite and this time I did find a farm stand! I went down the the quarry again for a bit to swim and then back to the site to make dinner. At this point I was getting concerned about the weather. It was supposed to start raining late at night and most of the day Sunday. My mom was also texting me saying the weather in Massachusetts was going to be awful...rain and a lot of wind. Now I was starting to get concerned since my rear tire felt shitty on regular pavement. I was debating whether I should leave at night on dry pavement or in the morning and ride 3 hours in the rain on a questionable rear tire.

    Ultimately I decided to pack up and head out. I didn't see the benefit of breaking down camp in the rain just to pack up and go. After another good campfire meal, I broke down camp in the dark and loaded up the bike and hit the road at 10:30pm. It was really dark and the first 15 minutes was riding on dirt roads. I got to I-91 and of course the first 30 minutes is on ripped up road so the slippery back tire felt even worse. Once I hit Connecticut, the rain and wind started. Great. But ultimately I made it home safe and sound at about 1:30am. Of course as I opened my door to my place, the wind kept it open and the cat ran out which led me to chase him around for 15 minutes and then drag him out from under a car...just what I needed at that point.

    All in all it was a good trip and I got some new experiences riding 150 miles at night on the highway and getting used to a somewhat slippery rear tire. Plus the whole primitive solo camping thing. Vermont is checked off the list and brings my total to 9 states ridden in. 8 of them in the last month and a half :-)
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  7. Firenailer

    Firenailer Still Ridin'

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    Sounds like a good trip!
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  8. Kodanja

    Kodanja Been here awhile

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    Good to get that first camping experience behind you. Now you need to invest in a small burner to boil your water in a couple minutes. I'd love to see Vermont, nice bike!
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  9. Snapper33

    Snapper33 Globetrotter Supporter

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    Good report. I love that part of the world.
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  10. edgeoftheworld

    edgeoftheworld Been here awhile

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    Yeah, a burner is definitely needed. I need to evaluate what I brought and see if anything was unnecessary. My goal is to pack pretty much the same for a weekend as for a 2 week trip. With slightly more clothes being the main difference

    Vermont is a nice place from the little I saw.
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  11. sledrydr

    sledrydr Been here awhile

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  12. Oilhed

    Oilhed MarkF Supporter

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    I need to find this place. It might just be my new summer get away!
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  13. edgeoftheworld

    edgeoftheworld Been here awhile

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  14. Oilhed

    Oilhed MarkF Supporter

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    Thanks, perfect, so close by
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  15. Oilhed

    Oilhed MarkF Supporter

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    That HipCamp is so cool. The glamping section with yurts & cottages, especially. I might never pitch a tent again. Cheaper than a motel and I can stay off the grid on a mountaintop or next to a pond!
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  16. edgeoftheworld

    edgeoftheworld Been here awhile

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    I've used it a couple of times now. I like it. Its the Airbnb of camping :) Usually they are fairly private and remote. I prefer that over crowded campgrounds
    #16
  17. RJ44

    RJ44 Been here awhile

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    Some nice pics....beautiful part of the country to ride. The bike shop looked pretty cool as well.

    Rob
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