With Phil, in the hills, drove up to Goshen to ride some places we hadn't been before.
Absolutely first-class outing. Rode the way Gail would have, keep shifting down on the ups, let it rip on the downs. Quads felt like they were doing some work on the hills, but I was never breathing hard. Pace suited me just right, I think ditto for Phil.
Virtually no traffic. Maybe 4 miles of dirt road. Weather was perfect. Lots of time to chat, heard all about his rogaine in Spain with Ken. Seemed like it worked out as well as could be hoped, excellent result, a good partnership, and he didn't do any damage to himself.
Highlight, of course, was a new summit, The Mount
, #3 in Hampshire County. Actually, it was about as flat a summit as could be. Also, it seemed like it was on private property, and right next to a house. Further research located two reports of successful summit attempts --
"Summit appears to be very close to a home. As you walk up an unposted driveway, there is a grassy track leading south just before you get to the rocks that mark the entrance to their property. As you take this track, you will quickly notice some stone steps leading left. This path leads you to the summit, where there is a small historic home almost adjacent to the property owner's house. I saw no postings and it seemed like this was a permissible place to visit." (from April 2016)
"It is just like the first report says. There's an empty horse barn on the way i and the trail is on the right. Another year over grown so it is not being cared for. Uncomfortably close to the house. The house and 37 acres last sold in 2014 for $675,000." (from May 2017)
So there was little doubt we could handle the climb, even with some hike-a-bike, but there was certainly anxiety that we might be barked at, or yelled at, or even shot at.
We headed up the driveway with some trepidation, Phil happy to let me lead. As we got close to the barn it was clear the barn was now being used, and there was loud music coming from inside. I hopped off the bike and headed over to see who might be there. I got close to the open door, the music very loud, and yelled "Hello" several times. After a bit someone appeared, a young guy (late 60s, early 70s?), said he was hard of hearing, went to turn down the music. Chatted him up, asked for permission to make a summit attempt. Didn't take long before his tone and body language turned very welcoming. He even went to corral the dog until it got used to us.
So we went and did the summit. The first half (maybe 20-30 yards) was easy. But then hike-a-bike the second half, up some steps, over a log, through a bit of foliage, and there we were at the summit house. You could tell, sort of, that the land went down in all directions. A photo, of course, and then back out.
Stopped at the barn again, thanked the fellow again, told him we were trying to get all the high peaks of Hampshire County. I noticed he was wearing a well-worn t-shirt, Huntington Ravine it said. Turned out he had spent many years in and around the White Mountains. We had a nice chat, and then it was time to move on, one more Thank You and we were off.
And just delighted with how it had transpired. Ditto with the rest of the ride. And ditto again with the ice cream stop when we were done.... :-)