Bike-n-hike (or, A Really Mediocre Photoessay)

“Enjoy the freedom.” Since I left the CHS, I have found this to be the most popular thing people say to those without full time jobs. However, freedom needs to come with a rather large infusion of cash. So while I really wanted to head to Ikea today, I once again chose to go for a bike ride. Though this did nothing to increase the shelf space in my apartment, it did get me to a state park I’d never been to.

You can’t work for four years in the playroom-turned-ballroom of Curtis Veeder‘s mansion without gaining an appreciation for the guy. And having gone three weeks without my daily fix of Veeder engineering, it seemed like the perfect time to visit his property atop Simsbury Mountain.

Entrance to the trails (click to enlarge)

My plan was to take a slow, leisurely ride to the park, hike the trails, enjoy my sandwich with a view, and eventually head back home. The ride there was in fact slow and leisurely. It seems, though, that the state park donated by the inventor of the cyclometer does not have a bike rack or any decent bicycle parking (I was on my hybrid, which has actually lacked a cyclometer for the past few years). This immediately brought the hiking to a minimum. The road around the property is passable by bike (some of it is closed to cars), so I continued my journey on wheels.

I have to say, I was not impressed. There were no maps available at the entrance, but I knew I could, and did, download one from the DE(E)P‘s website. Thank goodness for smartphones. I still was only marginally sure of where I was, most of the time. I made it to Lake Louise, but decided not to eat my lunch there because while it was pretty, I wanted the view. Especially with a bicycle, the view was a little difficult to attain. There is an easier way and a hard way, and I inadvertently took the hard way. This involved a .3 mile hike on the yellow path. Finally I was there.

View from Cedar Ridge Overlook

So were a couple of 20-somethings, smoking a substance I am too naive to recognize (thin cigars?). Whatever it was, I was regretting passing up the picnic tables down at Lake Louise. I also only got photos from the sides of the ridge, because the two were sitting right in the prime spot.

Another view from Cedar Ridge Overlook

Disappointed and hungry, I found the easier path back down to the road, and ended up eating my sandwich back at the Veeder Rock. On a positive note, I had planned the bike ride rather well, and the journey home was almost entirely downhill. When I got home and re-read my friend Steve’s post about Penwood, I realized I had also managed to miss all the good stuff – building ruins and such. I think I may have to go back someday soon; approaching in vehicle.

Same as the first view from Cedar Ridge, but with the zoom