March 27 came and went. I took me only 62 years to decide to stay away from any kind of paid work on my birthday, a practice that I plan to keep up. Damn, when you are working for your self, it is sometimes hard to say no to work. In my case, I have fond memories of one most special birthday, where I stepped off of the summit in 2007 on Springer Mountain in Georgia and spent the next five and a half month walking back home to Maine.
I try to hike for half or more of the day since 2007 as a personal annual event. This year, it was below freezing when I woke up on the big day, with the temps due to stay below 40 for the day. I decided to go for a longer bicycle ride instead, and explored the newly snow-free trails in Camden Hills State Park.
Here is a map of the ride I took on Tuesday, with an elevation profile below it. [/Camden Hills]
My trip started from the Stevens Corner parking lot, via the Ski Lodge trail. The loop itself is probably known to most local explorers, except for the turnoff from the Muti-use trail onto the now abandoned Spring Brook Trail, which I biked successfully to the back side of the Ski Shelter, after crossing a tributary and the Spring Brook itself. After I hit the Shelter, I rode all the way to the Mt. Battie lot, then turned about and grunted my way back uphill on the same trail all the way to the Cameron Mountain Trail. Here I took the left up to the Mountain, then descended on a snowmobile trail to Youngtown Road, just across the street from the abandoned section of the Thurlow Road, where I took a right back to the car.
The riding conditions were probably the best of the year, as the ground was still frozen, but with was no ice, so even the soft muddy sections that persist though the summer were solid and fast. I rode the fat-tire Surly Pugsley, a great bike that is getting greater, as I learn just how good it rolls, even when there is no snow.
I was really opleased to hear from over 60 people on my birthday, eithe through phone calls, Facebook wishes, or cards in the mail. Thanks so much to all!
Marcia, twin sister V8, Joyce and I ate supper together, when I received a more cards and presents. V8 gave me the new backpacking book “Lost”, by Cheryl Strayed. Here’s a New York Times review of the super-hyped book, which Random House expects will sell 100,000 copies of in the hardbound edition.
I’ll post my review of the book on the blog soon.