Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Greylock again and the Taconic Crest trail

I headed back out to North Adams this weekend to complete my goal of ascending Mt Greylock via the auto road.  I’ve gone up by foot, in snowshoes, and via the Elliptigo.  This would be my first time up on a bike.

I hit the road at 3:30 am and arrived at the reservoir at 6:15 am.  That gave me an hour to reach the summit in time for sunrise.  It was a bit chilly but not too cold (40’s) at the start.  The first few miles are pretty tough so I worked up a good sweat.  The last 2 miles include some flatter stretches and I found that my feet and ears were getting very cold.  The last mile had some slick stretches as the overnight fog had turned the road a little icy.  It wasn’t bad on the climb but I was worried about the descent.  I reached the summit in 59:22 (8 mph average).

The clouds covered any sunrise so I just took a couple of pictures and then sat for a moment trying to massage some feeling back into my feet.

I got on the bike and was very tentative over the first mile.  After that I just wanted to get down and be done.  I was freezing.  It wasn’t too bad as it only took me 20:39 to get back down to the car (23 MPH).  My hands were pretty beat from holding the brake lever for most of the bottom part of the park.  The tight hairpin turns at the bottom must be negotiated with care.  I cranked the heat in the car but it took a while to get feeling back in my feet.

Up – 59:22
Down – 20:39
On top – 6:38

After the ride I headed west on route 2 to the Petersburg pass.  The Taconic Crest trail crosses the highway at the pass and there is an old ski area parking lot for trail access.  I met up with TiVO and we headed out for a very scenic run.  Our first goal was the “snowhole” which was about 3.5 miles out on the trail.  We had an enjoyable leisurely run out to the interesting geological feature. 

After exploring the cave a bit we headed back with the intent to find the tri-state point.  MA, VT, and NY all meet somewhere off the slope from the trail.  We followed a couple of logging roads but couldn’t find the location.  Just before bailing, TiVO found the border markings.  We followed them bushwhacking down some very steep terrain.  Eventually we found the tri-state point and a cool Adirondack style shelter.  

The ascent (1,000’) back up to the pass was tough but we found some logging trails and some great open woods to run in.  All in all we were out there for nearly three hours including 2 hours of actual running.  It was another fun adventure!

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