Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Greylock Revisited

The access road to the summit of Mount Greylock is open after being closed for two years while they repaired the road. Andy and I climbed to its summit in 2006 over a very rough road indeed. With the road recently reopened, we decide on Saturday, it is time to check things out again. We head west on route 101 but as is Andy’s habit, I see we are not going by the route he described to me on Friday.

Just before we get to route 12 in Keene, Andy takes a left onto a road I have not traveled before. We connect with route 32 and head in a southerly direction. We are not long on our way when the road narrows and potholes appear. Yet Andy presses on. This road deteriorates so badly that kicking into second gear is taking your life in your hands. I remark to Andy over the radio that this is exactly the type of road on which his tire finds sharp pointy objects.

We travel at a snail’s pace never exceeding 25 miles per hour when finally the road improves and we find ourselves on the back side of Tully Lake. From there it is a short ride to route 2A in Athol Massachusetts, then to route 2; the Mohawk Trail. I love this section of route 2 that takes us through Pioneer Valley. There is a Powwow taking place along our route that lends to the whole atmosphere of the Mohawk Trail. It is now past noon so we start looking for someplace to eat.

We spot several bikes in the lot of the Mohawk Park Campground and Pub and decide to stop here. While the food isn’t too bad, this place is more of a bar hangout. I enjoy checking out how establishments choose to decorate. The most impressive feature is the well preserved oxbow hanging over the bar. I’m not impressed with the slow service or the flies.

After lunch it isn’t long before we reach the hairpin turn and drop into North Adams. We begin watching for Notch Road and the signs for Greylock. We find it easily, and begin our assent. There are several hair pin turns on this road and we meet quiet a bit of traffic. While the going is slow, I don’t mind at all. The weather is clear and crisp and the views are fantastic. We reach the summit and I’m surprised at the crowd.

We park in the designated motorcycle area and begin our tour of the peak. There is a wedding taking place which explains the crowd. I’m not too happy that they have set up right in front of the best views. In addition they are occupying the granite wall on which are depicted the peaks in the distance along with identification. Since last time we got fogged in, I’m getting more annoyed that I can’t get a good look at the views. Andy tells me I’m too harsh. Maybe so.

Instead we climb the Veterans War Memorial Tower. The inside of the tower is packed as well, now I worry about H1N1. Who needs that? We watch the wedding from the window above and when things break up, we head for the granite wall and the views. I sit and commune with nature. With views all the way to the White Mountains in New Hampshire and full expanse of the valley below our smallness in the world is never more evident than here.

We spend about 90 minutes at the summit then make our way back to the bikes. I take out the hand sanitizer and make Andy use it as well. There were a lot of hands on those handrails in the tower. We descend the mountain via Rockwell Road into Lanesborough.

Our ride home takes us up route 100 in Vermont then to route 9 and over Hogback Mountain. With the exception of route 32, the roads on this day’s trip have been excellent. If you are looking for great motorcycling, there is none better than Pioneer Valley, the Mohawk Trail, Mount Greylock, Vermont’s route 100 and Hogback Mountain. The best part is; it’s all in a day’s ride.

1 comment:

mq01 said...

it really does sound like a fantastic days ride, even if it was crowded. great post pat.