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bitterjoe 06-18-2006 08:01 PM

Green Mountain State
I love Vermont. Period. This weekend I went on a small ride to scout trails and roads for riding later this season. This report is pretty brief, but as I scout more areas to ride I plan to add to it. Any VT riders out there feel free to add your photos, routes, attractions and anything else you can think of to this report.

Saturday's ride was primarily in Orange County, VT. Near my home base with a mixture of paved and dirt roads including some unmaintained town roads and logging roads. And a couple places I probably shouldn't have been, but hey there weren't any signs...

I'll begin with a picture of my trusty steed, the 2005 Suzuki DR650 with a beautiful farm in the background. My photo really doesn't do the scene justice, as the view from this corner is always spectacular.

I thought I would start off by zigzagging around the area and bag a few shots of local landmarks and then hit some trails.

Just down the street from the above photo is the Flint Bridge, the oldest remaining covered bridge in Tunbridge, VT, built in 1847.

From here I doubled back up over the hill to head up to a trail I wanted to check out. Unfortunately, about halfway down the dirt road leading to the trail I wanted to explore was a rather aggressive Pit Bull-type beast that came out of nowhere and was very interested in motorcycles. Needless to say I had to do some flat-tracking back down the hill in order to escape harms way. Guess I'll check that trail next trip...

One, two, six, and I'm back heading down the other side of the hill to come to the Larkin Bridge, built in 1902 for the sum of $473.23. I'd say they got their moneys worth so far...

As a kid, when we were at camp for the summer we would come down to bathe underneath this bridge. Bring the Ivory soap... it floats.

I next hopped on the slab and headed down to the village to snap a shot of the Mill Bridge. The current Mill Bridge is, I believe, the third or even fourth one in its place. The previous bridges had been taken out by ice jams and floods.

One of my favorite things about the Mill Bridge is this sign.

Right down the street from this bridge I figured I better stop and take a picture of this sign.

Now, those of you who already know what the World's Fair is all about are ok in my book. The rest of you don't know what you're missing. Needless to say, I'll be there, as I am every year. And I won't be on the bike. :1drink If you are looking for me I'll be in the beer hall or shooting dice with Jim.

One more bridge crossing and it was time to head for the hills. Below is the Howe bridge, built in 1879.

I wandered my way back on the dirt roads towards the unmaintained roads and trails I originally set out to scout.


The first section I needed to check was exactly as I had remembered it. About 10 miles of the above from start to finish. No hero sections taken today, as I never know where I'll end up... alone.

Stopped a few times and saw some moose tracks. And deer and just about everything else...

Hooked up with the main dirt roads again for a mile or so to connect with my next section. Passed the old water barrel on the way.

Whenever my well runs dry I end up coming here with my umpteen gallon jugs to load up every day or so. And in the summer when it is so damn hot you can scream I've been know to drive down just to stick my head in it.

And up the trail we go...

Stopped off here to pay my respects. Some really old dead folks in here. The oldest headstones were so covered in moss, etc. you couldn't even read them.

Fast forward about ten miles of roads/trails like the one above and there are some crossroads. The local snowmobile clubs are kind enough to keep a privy out there. Fortunately, I didn't have to go. I got enough snakes and shit to deal with at my cabin. Plus, with my luck there would be some skeleton with a snowsuit down around his ankles in there...

Anyways, few pics from here on. I know, I should have taken more. I had the camera in the pack, so I only got it out when I was stopped or really wanted to take a pic. Miles and miles of great back roads... which brought me back to my place.

Dinner was rice and beans and tofu dogs over the fire with a couple Long Trails to chase 'em down. No pics though... ate 'em before I remembered to get the camera out.

Anyways, thanks for coming along for the ride. Was only about 75 miles total, 1/3 slab, 1/3 dirt roads, and 1/3 trails. A perfect day for riding in Vermont.

Again, feel free to add to this thread on riding in Vermont. I will be as my travels continue.

Beez 06-19-2006 01:30 PM

Looks great Joe! Is it much cooler in your part of VT? Cuz it's hot as a muthafucker here in MA! Whew! :knary

bitterjoe 06-19-2006 01:48 PM

Cool is a relative term. It is cool in the shade. My cabin has no electricity, so no fancy a/c or fans. Plenty of running water. And running libations. :1drink Plus I can always run down to the river if needed. Good enough for me.

GB 06-19-2006 02:01 PM


coldspring 06-19-2006 02:13 PM

I've been going to Rutland County and enjoying the roads for 22 years. Soon I'll go native...bought a farm.

JMartin 06-19-2006 05:09 PM

Hey BitterJoe,

Nice report w/ pics. I had a very pleasant ride in Vermont too, but no pics, so I left it in East. I suspect between the bunch of us we could put together two+ days of DS riding up there some weekend.


bitterjoe 07-03-2006 01:24 PM

July 1, 2006
I spent another weekend at my cabin doing some riding and much needed relaxing. I went for a ride Saturday and have some new photos to share.

I left my place at around 10:00 a.m. I thought I would start the day by riding down to Woodstock to visit some friends, then do some quiet back roads riding, and finish the day on some old town "roads". I use the term "road" loosely, as they barely qualified as roads.

The road heading out from my place.

I hit the paved roads and headed for Woodstock. On the way I stopped in Quechee to take a picture of the covered bridge.

I zipped down the street to take a peek at The Quechee Gorge. I went out on the bridge a snapped a couple pics.

Looked likes a pretty far drop to me. 165 ft I think.

My next stop was to run up to the "Floating Bridge" in Brookfield. It is a bridge that, well... floats. It is pretty cool. I usually try to get over once a year to see it.

On my way up from Woodstock to Brookfield I took Rt. 12. This brought me on the backside of the bridge. I now have to ride across to get back home. I had my suspicions that the bridge (made of wood) was going to be slicker than shit to go across on a bike. Note all the folks on the bridge. On the right, halfway down there were a group of Harley guys that really got a kick out of my "water crossing". I walked out on the bridge to check out the surface.

About halfway across here. See that slime on the tracks? Yup, very slippery. So I take a couple of pictures and hop back on the bike for a hopefully smooth crossing. As soon as I approach, everyone on the bridge turns to watch me cross. Great. Public humiliation. I need this.

I am crossing... not too bad... pretty good wake... Whoa! A little sideways there... okay, better keep the feet ready to paddle... Whoa! A little sideways there again...

...and he makes it across upright. :clap

Even the Harley dudes took out their cameras to take my picture. I saw some dude on a yellow DR650 (kindred spirit) in Woodstock. And I saw two folks on KLRs in Bethel. Actually, I saw quite a few dualsports out this weekend.

From Brookfield, I headed back over to my neck of the woods and stopped at the North Tunbridge Store to get a drink. My trusty steed parked across from the store.

It was time to hit the woods. The first road I went on was a small dirt road that turned into this for a few miles. Just as my map indicated. Awesome.

I ran into a few bridges like this one here.

to be continued...

Pantah 07-03-2006 02:22 PM

Keep 'em coming. I love VT too. In fact I love NH and ME just as much. I grew up around San Francisco and they have some awsome motorcycling for sure. But its a long ride to get there. We've been in New England for the past 15 years and I am learning we have some of the best motorcycling anywhere. Not only that but you get there less then an hour from home.

Have you tried the Bayley Hazen Military Road? It starts just north of Hanover along the CT River and traverses the state northwest almost to the Canadian border at a town called Mongomery.

It starts here:
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past stuff like this:
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And thru this:
<IMG class=imgBorder id=mainImage onmouseover=smugPopular(,42248514); title="pantah > Bayley Hazen Military Road photo" height=450 alt="pantah > Bayley Hazen Military Road photo" hspace=0 src="" width=600 border=0 name=mainImage>

Very scenic thru little burgs with dirt roads thru them:
<IMG class=imgBorder id=mainImage onmouseover=smugPopular(,42235032); title="pantah > Bayley Hazen Military Road photo" height=450 alt="pantah > Bayley Hazen Military Road photo" hspace=0 src="" width=600 border=0 name=mainImage>

<IMG class=imgBorder id=mainImage onmouseover=smugPopular(,42248508); title="pantah > Bayley Hazen Military Road photo" height=450 alt="pantah > Bayley Hazen Military Road photo" hspace=0 src="" width=600 border=0 name=mainImage>

and so on. Its a nice day ride. I didn't get to the notch near Montgomery, but I hear it would be fun on your DR.

I look forward to your next set of pics.

bitterjoe 07-03-2006 03:17 PM


Originally Posted by Pantah
Have you tried the Bayley Hazen Military Road?

No, but it is now officially on my list. Thanks for the tip. :thumb

bitterjoe 07-03-2006 04:29 PM

So the new roads I had mapped prior to leaving were really paying off.

From logging road to rutted and worse.

Until I came to this...

This picture of slop is taken from the other side after I crossed through it. You can kind of see my line on the right. I was a bit hesitant, as it would be a long walk out, but figured I could make it through... until I found out it was clay. As soon as I went in the mud went right up to the forks and over the swingarm. Uh oh. So quick, off I hop and I am standing in the clay up to my shins. Gas, push. Gas, push. Finally through. Close one. This probably the worst thing I encountered, aside from a lot of rocks.

So after a few more miles I ended up coming out on some nice trails like this here. A good way to round out the trip.

Below are some additional pics I took during some hikes from the weekend.

These photos are from nearby old coppermine.

We used to go swimming in this portion of the quarry when I was younger. Sit on the side all day. Jumping off the ledges...:1drink Not anymore. I'm too old for that shit. Plus the area is listed as a Superfund cleanup location now.

And lastly a couple pictures of this weird beehive chamber in South Royalton.

The interior.

This thing was really weird. I read about it once in the book Curious New England. Its origins are unclear, but it was thought to have been Viking or Celtic. When excavated in the 1980's Native American artifacts were found, but it is still unclear who actually constructed the chamber.

Anyways, this concludes my latest installment. I hope you enjoyed the ride.

PackMule 07-06-2006 05:56 PM

Good shit, Joe! :thumb

You ought to have a nice DS weekend mapped out by the fall. :D :freaky

bitterjoe 07-06-2006 06:55 PM


Originally Posted by PackMule
You ought to have a nice DS weekend mapped out by the fall. :D :freaky

That's the plan, man.

and basically all the back roads are like mine shown below.

A few more recon trips and I should be able to string together halfway decent ride with some sights thrown in too. :freaky Stay tuned...

Deano955 07-06-2006 07:10 PM


Looks like a great place for riding. What kind of tank is that on yer DR?

bitterjoe 07-06-2006 07:18 PM


Originally Posted by Deano955
What kind of tank is that on yer DR?

That's your standard IMS 4.9 gallon tank, natural colored. I dig the transparent look...

captain crunch 07-07-2006 05:19 AM

Great report of a great ride Joe.

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