3-State Bike Tour

Railway Trestle Over
Connecticut River
Satan's Kingdom, Mass.- USA
August 22, 2015

I admit it: I paused here just for the dateline.

I'm taking today to cycle that circuit up and down both banks of the Connecticut River that I attempted but didn't manage to complete last week.

The maps show that where I am now pausing is an unincorporated part of the state of Massachusetts with the unlikely name of "Satan's Kingdom". Though I did stop here just for the unusual name it turns out not to be so bad here in the Forest of Beelzebub. I've hit the end of civilization by riding to the end of "West Street" where the paved road ends and what track continues on is a gravel road running into the woods. Though the road leading here was residential, sitting here just a little ways down that track into the trees it feels like I could be out camping in wilderness far from any city. Nobody else is around nor have any cars been coming down the gravel road.

David and Bicycle in Woods
The unexpectedly tranquil and pleasant setting make Satan's Kingdom the perfect spot for me to pause, to jot out a weblog entry, and to eat something to fuel myself along the rest of the loop. Before setting off I packed a picnic for one. It consisted of whatever happened to be both edible and portable that was lying about the kitchen. That gave me several plums, a couple apples, an entire bag of kimchee-seasoned tortilla chips, and an empty two-liter bottle that I refilled with tap water to keep myself hydrated while out pedalling under the sun.

I also brought along my transistor radio and am listening to it while I down my provisions. The signal from the Brattleboro VPR station reaches here strong and clear though I'm thinking of seeing what else is on the dial: Terry Gross is conducting some uninteresting interview with somebody I've never heard of. I'm simultaneously contemplating a map on the screen of my cellphone trying to determine if the old railroad trestle spanning the Connecticut River will provide a shortcut to the opposite bank or if I'll have to cycle further down into Massachusetts to cross the river further downstream. Either way, after crossing the river I'll loop back north from Massachusetts up to New Hampshire and ultimately back into Vermont where I left mere hours ago.