Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Lost weekend

Mt Washington weekend

 I couldn’t race this weekend due to the unknown ankle injury (still waiting for the MRI results), but I headed up to Mt Washington anyway.  On Friday I made the best of my time bagging four towers.  Although I’d been to three of them before, I hadn’t been in a while and a couple could be accessed via the ElliptiGo.

I drove to Whitefield and parked at the lot for the Presidential Rail Trail.  This put me about 9 miles and 1,800’ of climb away from the summit of Prospect Mountain (2067’) in Weeks State Park (Lancaster, NH).  I got my ElliptiGo ready and off I went.  The weather was amazing for the last day of spring with a temperature of about 50, bright sun, and a strong wind.  The ride was pretty hilly, which I expected, and the side road I chose ended up being dirt (which I didn’t expect).  The last 2 miles were very tough, especially the last mile in Weeks which was a killer climb.  I got encouragement from the few hikers out on the road.  The last mile took me 10 minutes to ride; I probably could have run it faster.  I took a short break on the summit to climb the stone fire tower and check out the view. The ride down only took a couple of minutes and I had to ride the brakes most of the way to avoid the many frost heaves.  For the return trip I stayed on route 3 which had a nice breakdown lane and smooth pavement.  The 19 mile round trip took me 1:32 and I hit a maximum speed of 31 mph on route 3 which was fun!

 Next up, I made a quick stop in Jefferson NH to check out the “Carter Tower”.  I’d been to this one before but it is right along the highway and I wanted to get a good picture of it.  I had to drive that way anyway so it was just a chance to stretch my legs.  I parked along route 2 and just had to scurry up the embankment to approach the tower.  It appears to be well maintained (and has a very substantial lock); the grounds around it had a path mowed in the grass.  I took a couple of pictures and then was back in the car and on my way to Milan NH.
I arrive in Milan and parked at the junction of Milan hill road and Jodrie lane.  My first goal was a very short bushwhack to the top of Jodrie Hill (1660’) a former tower site.  I pushed through some thick growth near the roadside and after that it was open woods to the summit.  I didn’t see any tower remains on top, but spotted a possible old road, which I thought about following out but worried that I’d end up trespassing.  As such, I just headed back down the way I’d come in.  The total round trip was a little under 10 minutes.

I decided on an ascent of Milan hill (1720’) via the Go!  I forgot that the top of Milan hill was a rough dirt road, but it was a short ride.  I rode over to the entrance and was greeted by the park warden who told me there is no charge to visit (they have camping and even yurts on the summit).  I cautiously made my way up the rough road and walked the Go the last 50 meters through the grass.  The tower is in great shape and the view was incredible.  I spent a few minutes taking pictures then even more cautiously rode down the hill and back to the car.

I finished the day with a mountain bike ride from the Eagle mountain house.  I had run the 16B loop in Jackson many years ago but never ridden it.  It is a pretty challenging ride with some good uphill and some really crazy downhill (36 mph).  The last climb from Jackson up to the EMH was tough!  I guess that is good, it makes me feel like I got SOMETHING done.

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