Life is full of surprises. A couple of weeks ago, we had plans to pedal from our home in Moretown to the world-class network of mountain-bike trails that surround us. Then we received news that an old friend had died after taking a fall in the Rocky Mountains. A memorial service was planned at the home of some mutual friends nearly 15 miles north of our home. So, we hopped on our bikes and pedaled over dirt roads, farm paths and even a bit of asphalt to get there.
Along the way — in the spirit of our late friend, who loved to ride his bike in the woods and to camp — we determined that a spontaneous bicycle-camping adventure was in order. The nice stretch of warm, sunny weather that arrived in Vermont last week got us motivated.
By 3 p.m. last Tuesday, we were stuffing our small tent, sleeping pads, a blanket, a little stove, and food and clothing into our backpacks. With nearly five hours of daylight to spare, we dropped our packs into our one-wheeled bike trailers and started rolling past our garden and parked cars.
It was a pleasant afternoon by Vermont standards, one of the warmest of the season thus far. We worked up a good sweat navigating dirt roads, logging roads and single-track trail en route to a quiet mountain getaway fewer than 10 miles from home. It took us just more than an hour.
We rinsed off in a cool mountain stream, stashed our bikes in the woods and set off on foot in hopes of catching the sunset from an open perch higher on the mountain. Walking away from our bikes, we anticipated the following morning, when we would coast downhill on the winding, wooded mix of trail and logging road we had just pedaled up.
Birds sang and a breeze stirred as we hiked into the mountains. A few pesky flies tried to distract us, to no avail. We filled our water bottles at what we thought might be the last good spring before we arrived at our camping spot.
As the sun set over the Green Mountains, we pitched our tent and shared memories of our good friend Joel. He was always up for an adventure, especially one that relied on legs, lungs and gravity.
Rolling out past the farm. Got eggs?
We worked up a good sweat navigating dirt roads, logging roads and single-track trail en route to a quiet mountain getaway fewer than 10 miles from home.
Enjoying a hazy summer sunset on the mountain
Hiking out among yellow birch, spruce and fir
Brian Mohr and Emily Johnson can be contacted through EmberPhoto.com.