Saturday, August 17, 2013

Bike Overnight: D.A.R. State Forest

The fam and I did a lightning overnight at the D.A.R. State Forest in Goshen, MA last night. I could go on and on about the delights, but will sum it up with Junior Velosopher's concise review: "Today was the best day I ever had with you guys."

I made it a psuedo bike overnight by riding up there from our place, once I finished helping Mrs. V pack the car. They passed me in the car on the way up (and up, and up...). We threw camp together, had dinner, and went for a walk in time to see the last of the sunset at the camper's beach, glimmers of light ochre reflected in the smooth black surface of the water. Ducks waddled about making soft trills and looking for treats.

Is there anything better than camp breakfast? Hot eggs and sausage, coffee made on the fire, the tang of woodsmoke thick in the chill air. The weather was utterly perfect, dry and sunny, so I motivated Jr.to accompany me on a ride to the famous fire tower -- a brute of a climb, including a steep mile of loose gravel, but unbelievably worth it. Unspoiled forest as far as the eye could see, with mountains in the distance. I'm guessing you can see at least three states from up there.


We threw a few extra climbs in, headed back, and packed up. Before we left the park, we lunched by the beautiful swimming lake, toasted our tootsies in the sun, and took a dip in the clear, icy water. Ahhh.

Back at home now, it feels as if we were away at least two nights. Beyond food and gas -- barely more than we'd have spent if we'd stayed at home -- we were in for $20 for our reservation and $10 for our firewood. Not bad.

We will be returning for a much longer stay at this sylvan paradise -- a mere 35-minute drive from our door.

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8 comments:

New England Bicyclist said...

I can't tell you how many times I rode to the DAR and camped - I lived and worked there one summer. It is a lovely place. It's great that your son enjoyed it.

My favorite place for an overnight (done from Leverett, back in the day) was Windsor Jambs but the campground is no longer extant.

Velosopher said...

NEB, cool that you second my vote! I'm going to work on a back road approach to DAR... route 9 at 5 pm on a Fri. was too busy for my taste, but I had no time for the Audubon Rd. route through Leeds...

New England Bicyclist said...

I don't know the beginning of the rout but it looks good on paper, or pixels. I use this route from Williamsburg and have done it in the last few years although I admit it is a hilly approach.

D2R2 this year?

Velosopher said...

I was hoping very much to do the 40-miler at D2R2, would've been my first year there (the other rides are beyond my ability). Then a family obligation sprang up and put an end to that...

Velosopher said...

Also, NEB, the route you posted (and thank you for that) is more or less what I was wishing I could have done instead of Rt. 9, but didn't have time. Those are good roads.

New England Bicyclist said...

Sorry to not meet you on the D2R2. I'm doing the Green River ride with several friends. I did the 100K in 2009 with a lot less miles than I have this year but I will enjoy the company on the flatter ride. I'm in decent shape mostly from getting in ready for this ride, which was a birthday present from my wife.

Velosopher said...

Have fun at D2! There's a slim chance I'll be at Green River. I'll let you know so we can at least meet if not ride together.

That birthday ride looks tough. I rode in N. Adams on Tuesday (not Greylock), and those hills are REAL.

New England Bicyclist said...

I'll be on my Surly. I'll be with folks on a tandem, and another persona as well, which could be rare on this ride. Hope you can join in.

There are some steep roads out there, particularly going west from the Deerfield near the East Portal. I've been down East Hawley Road several times but never rode up it. I hear it is epic.