I had a hankering to see if I could get up East Mountain
in Bernardston and it seemed like today was a good day to try -- perfect weather, some leaves down but not too many, so rocks should be visible, and Sunday so no hunters. I wasn't sure I could make it up. The grades (no more than 12-14%, supposedly) were manageable if the traction was OK, also if there wasn't too much in the way of rocks and roots. But those were a couple of big Ifs.
Strava -- often my source for interesting places to go, and the inspiration for this outing -- showed that only 10 folks had done this segment
(from the gate to the top), so a placing in the top 11 was certainly possible. Though my suspicion was that all 10 had been up there on mountain bikes. The best time on Strava was 10 minutes, the worst 14.
Started in Gill, just across the river from Turners Falls, so as to have a few miles to warm up. Didn't feel terrible, didn't feel good either. Got myself up to Bernardston, then headed up, paved for a while, then pretty good dirt, then the gate where the segment started, though the steep part didn't start for another half mile or so.
And the climb wasn't bad because, other than getting steep, the "road" never got bad. So it was just turning the pedals, always holding something back because I didn't know what might be around the corner.
Around the corner eventually, after about 15 minutes, was the airstrip (a mowed field, might have been an airstrip once upon a time), the summit (very hard to determine exactly where, and I'm not anal enough to worry about it), and a boat.
I shit you not about the last item. I have ridden my bike to quite a few summits by now, and hiked and/or run to a lot more. They have often been topped by man-made structures. But I don't ever remember there being a boat.
Looked around a bit, then headed down, carefully, and then back to my car. Delighted. Only regret was having passed a nice sign for "Satan's Kingdom Wildlife Management Area" and not having stopped to take a photo.