North Pine Hill Road

On April 8 Matt and I took our mountain bikes out for (what seems to me in my out-of-shape state as) a good long ride.

Back in the winter Joel and I had started out to get a fire door for the cellar on a very foggy evening. The map showed what looked like a dirt road, North Pine Hill Road, leading from Heath Road down to route 11. I started down it. A couple of hundred yards down it, if that far, it became obvious that it wasn’t much of a road, more of a four-wheel-drive vehicle trail maybe, probably blocked by fallen trees, certainly not where we wanted to drive on a foggy night when we didn’t know the road. Ever since then I’ve wanted to check it out by mountain bicycle.

The other name for mountain bike is “all-terrain bike”. What North Pine Hill Road is is terrain. It’s mostly a snowmobile trail, judging from the signs from the snowmobile club that we saw along it. It’s big rocks, steep hills (fortunately mostly downhill from where we were!), and mud puddles. I was huffing and puffing and calling for Matt to stop and wait every few minutes.

Halfway along the road there was a flooded area to the right. Logs and brush were piled up along the edge of the road. It was a beaver dam, right there along the road! We didn’t see a beaver lodge, but in the woods just past the dam was a six-inch-diameter stump that looked freshly gnawed.

I didn’t bring a camera, and I’m not sorry; it would have been too easy to fall and destroy it. Pictures would have been nice, though.

The trail came out first at someone’s driveway, then at a paved road that led down to downtown Webb’s Mills.

As you drive through Webb’s Mills on route 11 it looks like a wide place in the road. There are actually a couple of businesses, a community center, and a little park with a gazebo there.

We left our bikes outside the Webb’s Mills Variety Store and went in to look for a snack. The previous owners of our house had said that store made good pizza. We each had a slice, discussed the road we had come down with the people behind the counter, and felt much refreshed.

The store had a sign that looked like a serious threat to careless parents:

“Unattended children will be given an espresso and a puppy.”

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