Solstice Campout

On Saturday, Steve, Jason, Darrin and I, ventured out on a bikepacking trip. June 23rd was the worldwide solstice bikepacking event and what better place to camp then the Delaware State Forest.

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We met up at the Rt. 739 parking area at 5pm and pedaled up Five Mile Meadow Road. A right on Ben Bush Trail to Standing Stone Trail brought us through the logging area and over to Silver Lake Road. A short climb and we hammered the 4 miles down Flat Ridge Road.

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We hooked up on the Burnt Mills snowmobile trail system over to Rt. 402 and dropped down to Pine Flats Road. About 2 miles in, there is a water source. This is convenient, because we were camping only about 2 miles further. We filled our bottles and headed to our campsite.

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I reserved the campsite from the PA DCNR. The Delaware State Forest has 29 designated campsites. Ours was perfect. With a stream running nearby, the campsite sat just off the gravel road.

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After setting up sleeping quarters and making a fire, it was time to prepare dinner. I opted for a quick dehydrated meal of Louisiana Red Beans and Rice, cooked expertly on a Jetboil stove.

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We relaxed with a few beers and enjoyed the incredible night afforded us by Mother Nature. The forecast called for a humid day followed by thunderstorms. What we got was a nice breezy day with perhaps a slight drizzle. Perfect weather for a loaded S24hour adventure.

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The next morning brought more beautiful weather. After breakfast, we packed up and retraced our route back to Silver Lake Road, where we turned right to take Five Mile Meadow all the way back.

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Sub 24hour adventures get you out in the woods without a big commitment. Give it try. Until then, check out more pics of our adventure.

 

 

 

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Orange County Green

It looks like summer is here. You could not ask for better weather. Well, yesterday presented itself with a chance to take a cruise through some of western Orange Counties most beautiful roads.

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Bill mapped out a hilly course, as Eric and I sat on for what turned out to be a treat. We departed the shop at 7:30am and headed across the Milford bridge and into NJ. We stopped to chat with a gentleman that was pedaling his penny farthing from Maine to Key West. Slipping  down River Road into Port Jervis, NY, we crossed to Neversink Drive. Neversink climbs to Rt. 209. Making a right, we rode 3/4 of a mile and turned left on Peenpack Trail. This is where the real climbing started.

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Peenpack starts out at about 1% for a couple of miles then gradually gets steeper. Winding up and up, we capped the hill just as it dumped sharply for a fun descent to Rt. 42.

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We hung a left and cruised downhill, making a right on Wilson Road. The grade went skyward immediately as the road twisted through old world farm land, revealing views that were second to none. This time the road dumped down to Rt. 97, where a left hand turn took us to the base of the Hawk’s Nest. This incredible portion of roadway provides views of the Delaware River from high above as well as greenery as far as the eye can see.

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After a rip through the West End of Port Jervis, over the bridge and around Mountain Road, we finished up with a strong head wind all the way up Rt. 209 to the shop.

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After a short respite, Bill and I pedaled over to Skyline Drive for one more climb to cap the day. My legs were rubber at this point, so I slowly made my way up and around Milford Hills before descending back to town.

What’s Playing (what am I listening to while writing or what’s dancing around in my head while riding) today – Billy Joel – Summer in Highland Falls

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Sunshine and Gravel

As spring comes to an end in a couple of weeks, we welcome summer with open arms. After riding through rain and cold for most of the spring, we were treated to a beautiful day.

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To test the early season legs, I hooked up with Eric, Andrew, Joe and Dave for a 50 mile gravel ride through the Delaware State Forest. At 61 degrees, it was just warm enough for short sleeves.

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We departed the Rt. 739 parking area and headed up Five Mile Meadow Road, over a recently resurfaced dirt and gravel roadway. After the Silver Lake climb, we dropped into Little Mud Pond and into the Burnt Mills snowmobile trails. We crossed over to Flat Ridge Road to Lake Minisink and back to Burnt Mills where we hit some rough Jeep Trail and rip rap.

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We regrouped in the Burnt Mills parking area and crossed over Rt. 402 to Pine Flats Road for an easy 2.5 mile descent.

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At the bottom, we hung a sharp right on Highline Road and began the 6 mile climb up to the base of the High Knob. Highline rolls gradually up to Hobaday Road, creating just enough fatigue to make you pull back a little before the big hill.

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We regrouped again at the gate and started up the High Knob Road. For about 1.5 miles, the road circles around the hill as it get steeper and steeper as you get closer to the top. The views were spectacular today. With no fog and plenty of sunshine, you could see forever.

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We had lunch, took a few photos and enjoyed the descent down High Knob and all the way down High Line to Pine Flats. It was just enough to recuperate before climbing back to Rt. 402. Through the rough section and up Flat Ridge to Silver Lake. We took Standing Stone Trail through the deer management area, back to Five Mile Meadow, over a few more hills and down to the parking lot.

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“Eric’s catch of the day”

This is one of my favorite rides. 50 Miles, 4000 feet of elevation, 95% on gravel. Joe and Dave are heading to Canada next week for a ride up the Novia Scotia coast. I hope we helped prepare them.

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I leave you with a few more shots of this fantastic ride.