I’ve hypothesized for a while that I could get from my area, just south of the Catskills, over to Yeagerville Rd—and from there, to Peekamoose Rd, by taking a little road called Trails End (no apostrophe, thanks).
On maps, Trails End Rd terminates unceremoniously a few miles from the terminus of Yeagerville Rd. Yet I knew that there was a gravel path that headed over the mountains that was unmarked on maps. I just didn’t know where it ended.
Today, I decided to find out. I won’t bore you with the 10-mile trip to and from, so let’s start at the base of Trails End Rd. I knew that I had a good-sized climb ahead of me, about 1000 feet in just a few miles. Mostly on gravel.
As expected, the road ends and gravel begins…
There’s nothing like 12% to 15% climbs on loose gravel. I had to get off my bike for a moment and walk about 100 feet, pursued by clouds of hungry mosquitos.
About a mile in, you have two choices: There’s a path that is apparently for hikers…
Which really doesn’t work well on a bike, even one with fat 650B tires. Too many large rocks. I suppose someone with really good cyclocross skills could navigate it, but that’s definitely not me.
However, if you turn around, as I eventually did, there’s a snowmobile trail leading up, up, up.
Which leads to some nice, but very loose, gravel roads.
It was pretty clear as I reached the apex of the ride that I was actually going over a mountain. As I entered a brief clearing, I couldn’t see any peaks around me–an unusual occurrence. Thus, I made it to the very top of something, but I know not what.
Unfortunately, I did not make it to the end of the path today. A storm was closing in, and there was thunder and lightning off in the distance. I figured it wouldn’t be a good idea to be caught on top of a mountain in the middle of thunderstorm. So I very cautiously picked my way back down the road and returned home. Indeed, within about a mile of my place, the skies opened up!
In retrospect, this was fun, albeit extremely strenuous, but kind of dumb. I went out on a road that is not marked on any map, in an area that has no cell phone service, and climbed over a mountain on loose gravel with inclement weather threatening. I also decided to do it on the fly, so I didn’t inform anyone where I was going to be.
Some day, hopefully this year, I’ll find out what lies on the other end of this path. Preferably with a companion next time!