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Riding the length of the CT river valley

Old 09-26-19, 07:12 PM
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Riding the length of the CT river valley

FYI, this summer I rode up to the source of the Connecticut River at the 4th Connecticut Lake on the USA/Canadian border and then down the length of the river to Old Lyme, CT where it enters Long Island Sound. Here are a few pictures, it's an interesting ride.


Climbing Franconia Notch



Softball in Canaan VT



4th Connecticut Lake



Straddling the border on the trail to the 4th CT lake



Connecticut near Weathersfield VT



Early morning breakfast Bellows Falls VT



Bridge of Flowers, Shelburne Falls MA



Tobacco sheds near Windsor, CT



CT River at Old Lyme, CT
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Old 09-27-19, 03:42 AM
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Did you pass through Deerfield, MA? I went to high school there. Last year was my 35th reunion. Took Amtrak up to St. Albans, VT, and rode home to Philadelphia, stopping at my reunion for a weekend.
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Old 09-27-19, 05:47 AM
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Deerfield was the one bit of the valley I missed. I took a side trip from Greenfield over to Williamstown to see a play at the Williamstown Theater Festival and the Renoir exhibit at Clarke Art Museum and then rode back to Northampton the next day. I lived in Northampton for a couple of years and the Pioneer Valley is one of my favorite places.

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Old 09-28-19, 08:27 PM
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Also visited by bicycle. It's a fairly off-the-beaten-track place to ride a bike, but very beautiful.
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Old 09-29-19, 06:52 AM
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The traffic and amenities certainly thin out after Pittsburg NH. There's the Deer Mountain State Campsite on Rt3 between the 2nd and 3rd CT Lakes, but I chose to make Canaan VT my base and rode the 35 miles to the border in the morning and then hiked up to the 4th CT Lake, it's a steep trail, and rode back in the afternoon. I stopped at the Happy Corner Cafe on the way there and the way back.

To get to the trail to the 4th CT Lake you actually have to walk around the US customs post as it starts in the "no man's land" between the US and Canadian border posts. Here's a pic looking back at the US from the start of the trail.

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Old 09-29-19, 08:11 PM
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In my case, in 2008, as an homage to Thoreau, I started from Walden Pond and rode to the US border with Canada on US 3, the same border station you picture. From there I rode to Coburn Gore and reentered the U.S. Some logging roads and a snowmobile bridge across Spencer Stream took me to West Forks. More logging roads took me to Greenville. Another string of gravel got me to Millinocket and then south to the coast which I followed back toward home. I was able to roughly follow in Thoreau's footsteps from a Week on the Concord & Merrimack Rivers as well as The Maine Woods. I wrote it up here: https://sites.google.com/site/baxter...dbacksummer08/ It was my first visit to the Connecticut Lakes region and I was very taken with it. Did spend the night at a campground in the Happy Corner area. Went back the following summer and hiked the Cohos Trail starting from the 4th Lake. I took the same trail you did, out and back, to get started.
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Old 09-30-19, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by hilltowner View Post
In my case, in 2008, as an homage to Thoreau, I started from Walden Pond and rode to the US border with Canada on US 3, the same border station you picture. From there I rode to Coburn Gore and reentered the U.S. Some logging roads and a snowmobile bridge across Spencer Stream took me to West Forks. More logging roads took me to Greenville. Another string of gravel got me to Millinocket and then south to the coast which I followed back toward home. I was able to roughly follow in Thoreau's footsteps from a Week on the Concord & Merrimack Rivers as well as The Maine Woods. I wrote it up here: https://sites.google.com/site/baxter...dbacksummer08/ It was my first visit to the Connecticut Lakes region and I was very taken with it. Did spend the night at a campground in the Happy Corner area. Went back the following summer and hiked the Cohos Trail starting from the 4th Lake. I took the same trail you did, out and back, to get started.

That sounds like fun. I also took Rt 3 from Boston through Concord, Plymouth, Lancaster, Canaan and finally to the border. The trail to 4th CT Lake was steeper than I had expected and I think a pair of real hiking shoes would have been better than my recessed cleat cycling shoes, but I managed ok in the end.
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Old 10-05-19, 09:13 PM
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Hey there nun, glad to see that you are still riding, haven't seen your name much.
Must have been a lovely ride.
Did you ever look more seriously at a different bike? There certainly are a lot more on the market now.
Cheers from Montreal
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Old 10-05-19, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
Hey there nun, glad to see that you are still riding, haven't seen your name much.
Must have been a lovely ride.
Did you ever look more seriously at a different bike? There certainly are a lot more on the market now.
Cheers from Montreal
Thanks, I think I was in Canada for about 15 mins on my trip up to the 4th Connecticut Lake and never showed my passport once, although
I think there are cameras on the trail.

Yes still riding and the Cervelo RS is still going strong, but I'm always checking the endurance and gravel bikes for something new.

My current favourites are the Warbird

https://salsacycles.com/bikes/warbir...carbon_105_700

or the Diverge

https://www.specialized.com/us/en/me...=239530-154306
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Old 10-06-19, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by nun View Post
Thanks, I think I was in Canada for about 15 mins on my trip up to the 4th Connecticut Lake and never showed my passport once, although
I think there are cameras on the trail.

Yes still riding and the Cervelo RS is still going strong, but I'm always checking the endurance and gravel bikes for something new.

My current favourites are the Warbird

https://salsacycles.com/bikes/warbir...carbon_105_700

or the Diverge

https://www.specialized.com/us/en/me...=239530-154306
there certainly are some fun bikes out there, although I find the cranksets often to be overgeared, but you certainly know what works for you.
Ive never ridden over in the Canaan area, have mostly done day rides more west, but I've stuck this trip of yours into that "maybe look into one day" part of my brain.
Have a good fall.

ps Thanks for another possible trip idea, its always interesting to hear of routes that folks enjoyed.

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Old 10-06-19, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
there certainly are some fun bikes out there, although I find the cranksets often to be overgeared, but you certainly know what works for you.
Ive never ridden over in the Canaan area, have mostly done day rides more west, but I've stuck this trip of yours into that "maybe look into one day" part of my brain.
Have a good fall.

ps Thanks for another possible trip idea, its always interesting to hear of routes that folks enjoyed.

The low gearing on those bikes is around 27" and I like to change out the cassette to get a couple of inches lower.
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Old 10-09-19, 08:23 AM
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I used to ride motorcycle endurance races through the woods and had occasion to be in Connecticut numerous times. I learned then, that was when I was a young man at the close of the bronze age, that tobacco was grown in that area which was a big surprise. I had always thought tobacco was a southern crop. Were those barns still in use for curing tobacco?
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Old 10-10-19, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by berner View Post
I used to ride motorcycle endurance races through the woods and had occasion to be in Connecticut numerous times. I learned then, that was when I was a young man at the close of the bronze age, that tobacco was grown in that area which was a big surprise. I had always thought tobacco was a southern crop. Were those barns still in use for curing tobacco?

I think there's still some tobacco being grown, but it's less and less. There are old tobacco barns around Northampton MA too, but I don't know if they are still in use. I think the CT valley tobacco was of a very high quality and often used as the outsides of cigars.
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Old 10-10-19, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by berner View Post
I used to ride motorcycle endurance races through the woods and had occasion to be in Connecticut numerous times. I learned then, that was when I was a young man at the close of the bronze age, that tobacco was grown in that area which was a big surprise. I had always thought tobacco was a southern crop. Were those barns still in use for curing tobacco?
I did a week long trip down in the Niagara Falls area and we biked past tobacco farms down there in southern Ontario. Before that I had only seen them in Central America back in the 80s, and a few years ago biked through an area of Nicaragua that had lots of tobacco farming, with the drying sheds and that particular smell that comes from tobacco leaves hanging to dry in these sheds, a smell I hadnt smelled closeup since living in Central america in the mid 80s at local farms outside the town I lived in.

ps, my first official bike was a Kawwy 175 enduro, but the street legal ones, so it was kinda tame, but still a fun bike to goof around on and learn how to power slide and all those shinanigans.
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