After a false start last year, John, Gary, Andrey and I reunited for a day in the confluence of thee states. The scenery was worth the trip. We convened in Millerton NY, where there’s a nice parking lot for the Harlem Valley Rail Trail.
John found a route on a social networking site. A three state ride, rolling with a couple of long climbs. It looped through some of the prettiest country in the northeast, past two ski areas, and crossed the Appalachian Trail twice. What more could you ask for?
From Millerton, we headed north through farm country. We actually rode seven miles or thereabouts on the rail trail before turning on to a hard-packed dirt road. Although John had printed out cue sheets and maps for everyone, I was content to be a tourist. In Columbia and Dutchess counties, I enjoyed the long views across farmland and looking up to the ridge where the Appalachian Trail passed.
In Hillsdale, we had the biggest climb of the day heading into Egremont MA. The grade wasn’t terrible, but it was long. We went by the Catamount Ski area, closed for the season.
Then we turned towards Jug End, crossing the Appalachian Trail on a leafy, hard-packed dirt road. As we rolled towards Connecticut, I began to worry about my dwindling water supply. It was great to see everyone, and we’d managed to pick the hottest day to that point in summer to ride.
While the route was scenic and all, it passed nary a convenience store or grocery for 40-some miles. By the time we reached North Canaan CT, I was in dire straits. We fortunately passed by a drugstore where we bought drinks. I ended up with a half-gallon of Gatorade, quaffing half of it and loading my water bottles with the remainder.
From there, we spun to Salisbury, with a detour to see the Salisbury Winter Sports Association ski jumps. Viewed head-on, the main jump is quite imposing. Then it was an easy five miles back to Millerton. It was great to see everyone, as John lives in points north and Andrey is preparing to take a new job overseas. Gotta do this again.