Kingston to Shickshinny and back
Chriffer and I had a bit of a long ride on Sunday, mixed trail and road. Major endurance keep-the-pedals-turning kind of thing.
The ride was inspired by the Enchilada Buffet ride in Austin (which I have done a couple years running, and Chriffer did last year).
The spirit of the ride is to go until you're done, with "done" being individually defined. In Austin they have the glorious setup that the ride links pretty much all the publicly available trail networks within ten miles of the center of Austin (hmm, five, maybe six, trail networks) and I believe actually has more trail mileage than road mileage connecting them. Considering the EB is basically a 90 mile ride this is a pretty huge undertaking.
We've got some great trail networks over here near the Wyoming valley, and in the long run I want this thing to actually connect most of them on the Wilkes-Barre side of the valley (vs Scranton-side), but it's going to be an undertaking of brobdingnagian proportions to complete that ride - things are just so spread out!
The basics of the loop Chriffer had put together was a clock-wise loop with the start/finish at Kirby Park in Kingston (Edwardsville?). The ride kicks you in the teeth to start with by heading up Giant's Despair (e.g. Northampton going south out of W-B) and then connects to rail/trail/bed and singletrack. Returns down to traverse some road to connect to more public land, as it works the way down towards Shickshinny - where we stopped for lunch. The route intent from there was to rail-trail a bit then connect up some powerline and come into Moon Lake park and wind our way down towards Plymouth (for the CDH trail) and then back into Kirby.
By the time we got to Shickshinny we had been riding for seven hours, so after a lunch of (too much) greasy pizza we declared ourselves too cooked to hit that route and "shortened" the ride by taking the back way up and over mountain road into Edwardsville and back to Kirby.
We finished the ride at about 6pm-ish, with about 9 hrs 15 rolling time and total mileage of about 56 miles. Overall, a really good pace for this ride!
Now, some pixels...
Safely crossed under IH81, but don't do it in a "wet" year. Outflow trail kind-of rough!
Follow The White Blazes, uh, *what* white blazes?
Fall arriving in NE PA, not so bad really.
Ah yes, the pretty sights of NE PA. Meh.
Looking back up the valley towards Nanticoke while Chriffer makes sure we're near the right track. As in, still in PA.
Interesting trail obstacles around here. I'd take it at face value. Seriously.
There will be no ORV's getting past THIS bridge! Are we sure it's the right bridge?
Hard to see, but fall coming to the Penopscot ridge is kind-of pretty (even if I'm not ready for fall yet).
Velociraptor Cages in Mocanaqua? That could explain some things about this valley.
Ugh, let's *not* go straight up the hill behind W.Nanticoke, mmm-kay?
Bike-GPS Nerd Data
Ride length: 9:15 moving time, 11-ish hours overall time, 56-ish miles, over 6600 ft of climbing, max descending grade CRAZY, max ascending grade WTF WERE YOU THINKING CRIFFER.
Cool Google Maps Linky-link that you can explore
GPS tracklog in GPX format
Google Earth KMZ tracklog format
Looking at the gps track of the ride, there's a couple things I'd like to work on to make it "better" for next time - as in more off-road, possibly more-punishing ...
a) work in more singletrack
b) figure out a better way to go along the ridgeline behind Glen Lyon and stay off the road there
c) try to find a way out of Shickshinny to give an alternative off-road ride up towards the Hunlock Creek post office - maybe ride up to the fire-tower, across the ridgeline and down in Game Lands 224?
d) can we go up the hill from Hunlock Creek to work out way over toe W.Nanticoke and then up the forst to Moon Lake Park?
e) get up to Moon Lake Park
f) figure out the powerline connection to sneak into CDH, if Crash had shown up as implied-promise, we would have!
g) possibly not go all the way down CDH but some of it and loop over towards Francis Slocum park.
h) can we get 7 Tubbs into the mix?
No guarantees on any of this, of course.
ps. Crash, you know I'm kidding, right?
Great write-up and photos! One option to include the Tubs would be to turn left on the old railbed at the base of Giant's Despair. That could get you to the very bottom of the old paved road near the reservoir which would get you to the Tubs. Also, once at the Tubs you could jump on the powerline (lots of fun steep climbs but at least they're on dirt/rocks) which could get you to the Mountaintop Hose Co. I'd have to show you on a map because there is a turn there somewhere where the powerline splits. That would also cut out some of the silty railbed that you took from Giant's Despair to Mountaintop.
Fun Fact: Kirby Park is actually part of Wilkes-Barre, even though it's across the river.
I'll really be impressed when Chris does it on the unicycle.
Run With The Wind
a) read the below info
b) You can go down the trail into wanamie and then connect to the rear part of the Moniqua Loop Trail System via Vandermark Road.
c) If you follow the above route north it will parallel the river and bring you out to the bridge that connects Nanticoke to West Nanticoke.
d) From Nanticoke you can go to the knob and then connect to CDH
e) I do not know how to connect to moon lake from CHD or the Knob via trails but Chris may know.
f) Follow the CHD down the power line and across Mt Road, follow most used gravel trail to the rear of the Larksville public works building, go across the parking lot, take a left on state street, a quick right on Nesbitt street ,follow down to the bazaar grounds on the right, go through the bazaar grounds to the trail on the right side rear of the field. The trail will cross W Broadway Street and go back onto the trail, bear left, the trial will cross Nesbitt street, trail will lead to Main Street by the bus barn, turn L on Main street and take the first trail on the right, trail leads to the top of intersection of Hillside Ave and Woodward Ave, turn R Woodward pass Tobin Lane and L onto the trail follow to the rear of lowes.
At this point you can follow the rail bed to Luzerne and connect to the back mountain trail and then to FS. If you wanted to cut the ride short follow the levi to kirby park.
The route that is described above is very rough and Is for informational purposes only (rough meaning if you print out the directions and try to follow them you will have a few choice words for me). I planned on doing the ride but got to wrapped up in work stuff. If anyone would want to ride the area I am describing let me know. I tried to hook the Mocanaqua Loop Trail to the IP Road area in Nanticoke, I hiked the Loop from Moc to Glen Lion and rode the IP from Nanticoke to Glen Lion but could not make the connection because I ran out of time. I am sure that if we put our heads together we can make this a great epic day ride.
.....Bear and Chriff....enjoyed reading this story/adventure....you could have added approx a 22 to 25 mile loop once up in Mtn Top...Snapper 0 and 1 to gas line ...across 476...over to Penn Lake....back to Snap 3 & 4...Whip O Will to LPT to Train Wreck to JailTime to 2 spring to Brush Wolf to Wild Turkey to 380 to Lake Francis Road to Glen Summit to Little Arbutus Peak to Tatto Alley to Mountain Top Hose #1......then across brown street to Upper Earth area.....eventually over to Rice Township Fire Hall....and them make your way via Nuangola area over to Penobscot Ridge........
There are two paths you can go by but in the long run........
Next time, Jeff, you can lead that section. ;^)
he could access this by climbing up giants dispair but continuing to the golf course. then hopping on the game roads to snappers. i was going to suggest that last week.
Originally Posted by JeffSkisMontana
Originally Posted by Mike Aswell
edit: i would continue from mt top to white haven and hit the spin cycle course, some of the stuff in the park, and concentrate on your mileage up there. you could get there from penn lake or other dirt road options. but coming into the wyoming valley is just ugly. esp if you have to do it all the way from shickshinny. being on the road while on knobbies is just a buzz kill.
Originally Posted by Mike Aswell
alternatively, if you just consumed the bread-n-cheese equivalent of Quick-Crete, it's just the right thing.
Originally Posted by ganginwood
I have a theory about that return leg, but it's going to take a while to explore and see if it can be put together.