As you may recall, a guiding principle of the Tramper Voyage is fun. Bike, hike, paddle, ski, gawk, shop?, listen and learn. See a few sights, walk a few walks, visit a few museums and junk stores (good places to grab or drop off a book or get kitchen tools).
Spontaneity is our technique. Ask, “where should we go today?” See something on the map. Check out the best small-road diagonals. Or, better yet, just see it on the side of the road. Can’t tell you how many times our 8000 lb rig rolls by as I brake safely to search for a good place to turn around. (the lobs-tah guys place, the Second Chance junk store where I found a BSA/Scoutmaster hat, many campgrounds, gas stations, bathrooms, and on and on…)
Another tool of course is the internet via our Macbook. We have a subscription to Singletracks.com . Jane scored an excellent find in the mountain bike trails at Franklin Falls in New Hampshire. We easily found the parking lot and trailhead, which is not always so easy. 100 feet into the woods I agonized over whether to go back and grab another electronic gadget. (not always guaranteed to enhance your enjoyment of your life or endeavor) John (traveler PT) had loaned me his Garmin GPS and I rode out knowing I’ll never learn anything by leaving it in the cupboard.
Serendipity. We met Josh and Jamie at their parked cars just finished “blowing off” the trails.
Their Husqvarna backpack blower had taken a toll on their backs, but left the trails buffed-clean for our enjoyment.
Their insider’s hint on riding their trails led us in through Rogue, Whaleback, Mighty Chicken, Bee Trail, Old Ledge, Salmon Brook (harrowing-tight-rocky-rooty-switchbacks), then back up Pine Snake. The trails are managed and maintained by NEMBA (local clubs do a LOT of work for access and environmental cooperation in the Mountain Bike world).
These trails were sinuous, weaving through pines, sometimes bench cut, using the terrain artfully, undulating up and down curves and plummeting
down a corkscrew (the Mighty Chicken is crafted as well or better than Tap-and-Die at the Kingdom trails, VT where they charge money for trail access). We had a great ride. Rode slower, looked around more than usual and tracked the trails by GPS trying to learn about the “little electronic device”. We bore our tired legs to the next place to dock the Tramper, Manah-Manah! (think Sesame street)
We parked up in Monadnock State Park, NH but couldn’t keep from calling it Manah-Manah! Even first thing in the morning before coffee: Manah-Manah!