A fine adventure with Walter, a chance to explore a woods road in the Montague hills that I'd never been on, and he seemed game. On the map
, it's shown a a straightforward connect between the upper end of Dry Hill Road and the Ruggles Pond area of Wendell State Forest and East Chestnut Hill Road.
So we pedaled up the paved part at a conversational pace, and then kept going. I expected it to be about a mile and a half to two miles until we hit pavement again. Turned out it was between two and a half and three, no big deal, except it took us the better part of an hour.
The first couple hundred yards were fine. Then it headed uphill steadily and got real muddy. Then also rocky. Then also bad erosion, really bad, like the "road" was a gully 3 or 4 feet deep. So we'd alternate little sections we could ride with lots of hike-a-bike.
Got to an intersection. Seemed like straight ahead was probably the way to go, but it was more unappealing stuff, rocky and wet erosion gully. To the right it looked much nicer, and there were fresh yellow blazes. To the right we went.
It was better, but not great, though we certainly were making better time. The problem was, we seemed to be going in the wrong direction, like south instead of east. But before long that resolved itself, the trail turned left. It also headed seriously uphill. It also pretty much disappeared.
There were still yellow blazes. Some work had been done to clear a trail, now very narrow. But a lot still needed to be done. So it was a long hike-a-bike up a long hill. And when it was flat enough to ride again, it seemed like every 50 yards there was another log across the trail, off the bike, over the log, on again, keep repeating.
But morale was good. It was a beautiful day. We busted neither ourselves nor our bikes, though there was ample opportunity. And eventually we got to the top of Dry Hill. Took a left on the Robert Frost trail there, down it (rather jarring, lots of little rocks, no suspension on the bike), and pretty soon we were back on the woods road we were supposed to be on. And the rest of the ride was easy.
While writing the last paragraph, it occurred to me that Phil had recently done an assault on Dry Hill
as part of his series of climbing the major peaks in the local area. Though it seems he tends to prefer easier approaches.... :-)