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  1. #1
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    Kingdom Trails Trip Report, Irene Weekend

    Kingdom Trails Trip 8/25/11-8/28/11
    A group of us from the Mountain Top PA Area have been visiting Vermont and Kingdom Trails since 2005. That year we had a trip planned to the Harrisonburg Virginia area to ride the IMBA Classic: Southern Traverse. A hurricane was working its way up the coast so we thought it would be best to head north…..a google search yielded articles about Kingdom Trails VT…the rest is now part of our shared history.
    Plans for our 2011 trip began in August of 2010 when we were at KT and decided to put a date on the map for our 2012 trip. Hotel reservations were made 1 year in advance at the St. Johnsbury Comfort Inn. As we began to talk about the trip more and more riders said they would like to make it out this year. Well 4 turned into 14 so we searched out alternative lodging. This spring while checking out the new Sticky for Kingdom Trails on MTBR.com Vermont board saw a note and link for a home for rent on East Darling Hill Road. We had rode past the house many times over the years and decided to go for it. 12 of us lined up to stay on East Darling Hill Road and 2 additional riders opted to stay at the Comfort Inn. Over all of our trips to KT and Millstone, Perry Hill, Stowe, Sugarbush, Sunny Hollow, and Hinesburg/Carse/Sleepy Hollow we have never had a major injury and/or major mechanicals. Fairly decent weather ….well we did have the major rain in August of 2008. And oh yeah Dave S. had damaged his thumb (soft tissue) on Webs at KT that has dogged him to this day. Oops almost forgot my fall off the bridge at Sunny Hollow in Colchester this July (I guess it did cause some memory loss). But you know what I mean….we have been extremely fortunate.
    This year’s trip started with 11(1 cancelled) of us arriving Thursday (8/25) afternoon to rainy conditions. We moved in to our rental house and decided to head out to get supplies. First stop the White Market to stock up on breakfast and lunch food…next over to Lyndonville Redemption center for some local beer. When we got back it looked like there was not going to be a chance to ride due to the rain so we quickly decided to crack some brews. Sure enough it stopped raining and the sun beamed as we were about half way through our first beers. We quickly got ready to ride and headed out to sample the trails. The group enjoyed about a 2 hour ride on the East side of Darling Hill Trails. We did a few ride and repeats on Kitchel and Herbs. Everyone including a few first timers to KT were stoked. The garage at the house was a perfect set up for bike maintenance and storage. After working on our bikes, having a few beers, and getting cleaned up we headed for one of our favorite stops in Lyndonville, Hoagies. The group enjoyed a late dinner and we got back to the house at 10pm exhausted from our drive, ride, and excitement. Plans were made for riding on Friday and the crew retired.
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    There are two paths you can go by but in the long run........

  2. #2
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    KT Trip Irene Weekend

    Friday started with a group of us getting up at 6am for a ride start of 7am. Why so early???? ….well 4 of us made plans to drive over to Burlington mid day to check out my daughters’ UVM Field Hockey season opener versus Boston College and sample some Brewpubs…..we wanted as much riding time as possible and some of the others also wanted to maximize their first full day. Did I mention that the house was perfectly located? East Darling Hill road is like the center of the KT universe…..we rode until about 8:30am and stopped back at the house to gather the rest of the crew whom had slept in a bit. We were back on the trails in no time…..headed over to the newest trail on Darling Hill, Troll Stroll. We were whopping and hollering all the way down until the bridge crossing. Wyatt and I were riding sweep and came upon Daphne lying in the ravine with her leg at a unnatural angle. We took one look and Wyatt headed down to catch the group to call for emergency help. I checked out Daphne’s leg to see if the bone was sticking out of calf. Thankfully it was not, but Daphne was in big time pain. Her knee looked to be completely out of the socket. Daphne decided to “pop” it back in! She was in shock and the endorphins were flowing because popping the knee back in looked extremely painful yet she took it in stride.. I was relieved to see her leg look more normal. The rest of the crew made it back up the hill to where we were and we decided to move Daphne out of the mud and water below the bridge and carry her up to the bridge. We splinted her leg with left over bridge decking and bike tubes while waiting for the emergency responders. The first to arrive was the guy we had bought our tickets from at the KT trail office. We estimate that Daphne flew off the bridge at approx. 9:15am and outside help arrived at 9:45, not bad considering that Wyatt had to ride down to the rest of the crew to place a call on a cell phone. During the wait Daphne rested best she could give what had just happened. She cracked us up as she told the first responder in his red Kingdom Trail patrol shirt that he was the male version of Baywatch’s CJ(Pamela Anderson). Our resident Borat expert (Dave K.) quickly went into a full blown Borat routine that had us all laughing. More emergency responders arrived including several 4 wheelers that were across the gorge on a logging path. The team carried Daphne down a steep section of the trail and found a place to climb across the gorge and load her on a trailer for a trip up to Darling Hill Road. The whole rescue took about 45minutes. The team that responded were skilled volunteers who did a very nice job. Daphne along with Al and Joan headed to the hospital in St. Johnsbury. The rest of us continued our ride although I admit we were all being a bit more cautious on the bridges.
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    There are two paths you can go by but in the long run........

  3. #3
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    Irene Weekend Trip to KT VT

    So 3 of us finished riding at 11:30 and then headed to Burlington at Noon to join Salli. The rest of the riders minus Daphne continued to ride until 2pm or so (several had been out since 7am!). They joined Daphne at the house to take a break. The last 2 members (Joe & Glenn) of our KT trippers who were staying at the Comfort Inn but had left PA that morning arrived at the house at approx 4pm. They talked the crew into heading back out for a few more hours to show them the trails. That group finished up with a meal and micro brews at the Tamarack at Burke Mountain. All had a great day (except Daphne , who had really enjoyed Thursday and Friday morning until the accident). It looked like Daphne had severe soft tissue injury and possible fractured tibia.
    The Burlington visitors split up with Salli and I watching the game and enjoying the tailgate post game and the other 2(John and Daryl) visiting and sampling the beer and food at the Vermont Pub & Brewery and the Farmstead, both just off Church Street in downtown Burlington. I rejoined John and Daryl while Salli and Audrey stocked up on college supplies. We hung out at the Farmstead enjoying the micro brews and then taking a walk over to the Gear X Change. We all got back together at one of our favorite places that we discovered at the Vermont Mountain Bike festival last year, the Reservoir Tap Room in Waterbury. We capped off our side trip across the state with some fine micro brews and again sampled some more beer and food. We got back to KT at midnight, the rest of the crew was fast asleep.
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    There are two paths you can go by but in the long run........

  4. #4
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    Saturday...

    Saturday was a day to sleep in for all with a target time of starting our ride at 9am. In the kitchen over breakfast the talk turned to Hurricane Irene and should we head home early. A few of us thought Irene would lose power once it made landfall and not affect Vermont. The majority of our riders decided that they would ride but head home Saturday evening. We decided to break into 2 groups: first group decided to ride the Darling Hill area and the second group headed for Burke Mountain to sample some serious climbing to give the new Jester trail a try. All that climbing was worthwhile; Jester was similar to Kitchel on the Darling Hill side only about 10 times the length. We rode most everything on the Mountain side and headed back home via Moose Alley and White School. A quick stop for lunch at the house and we headed out for more riding. The group finished riding at approx 4pm. What a great riding day! Some of our riders were already up at Lake Willouby enjoying the lake with their kayaks. A group of us enjoyed the cold clear water….it was therapeutic! Once we got back to the house everyone decided to leave except for Dave S, Wyatt, and myself. We cleaned up our equipment and the house and headed out to the Trout River Brewery for artisan Pizza and some Micro Brews.
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    There are two paths you can go by but in the long run........

  5. #5
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    Our final night and day......

    Sunday began with massive rains. We packed up everything and headed out at approx 8:30 am. But first we needed to stop at the Kingdom Trails office to deliver a donation that Dave S. had gathered for the volunteers who had responded to help Daphne get off the trails after the accident. Once on the road it was raining pretty hard but still thought it best to head South on I91 and then West across Vermont near Windsor VT. Our route was I 91 to VT 131 to VT100 to VT11 to VT30 to VT7. Near the town of Cavendish we had a landslide come across the road and dump a load of mud and trees into the river below us. That really scared us but we thought it best to move on in case more of the trees above us might landslide down on us. Once we got to Ludlow we could not believe the scene as a full blown river was running down the main street. We pushed through the flood waters and up to the VT 100 entrance. We were headed up and over the mountain……water was pouring out of everywhere as we drove along. We crossed deep water that had come across the road in at least 10 places before we got to VT 11. The same thing happened along VT 11 with numerous deep water crossings. Finally we arrived down mountain to the Manchester area and got on VT 7. This part of the ride was uneventful and we thought we were in the clear. As we headed into New York we were stopped and turned around due to water to deep to cross on NY 7 toward Albany. We tried 3 more places to cross on secondary roads…..not happening as each spot was worse than the first. Roads were starting to be eroded at this point. We continued south and finally made it to the Taconic Parkway. We blasted south again thinking we were going to be fine when we all of a sudden came upon a barricade for landslide damage ahead (the Taconic is a 4 lane highway!). We were detoured east and then curled back west to find our way over the Hudson via the Rip Van Winkle Bridge. Once across we figured the New York Through way would get us to I 84. Along the way we passed a tributary to the Hudson raging past and came upon a commercial strip mall and auto dealership with cars submerged up to the windows! Once we got to the highway we found out the NY Thruway was closed going southbound. We headed north back to Albany and I90. Finally we were able to access I88 southbound and make our way back to PA. The drive lasted 13 hours versus the usual 7 hours. Lucky we pushed on as Vermont was heavily damaged by the storm and is still recovering now.
    This trip will be remembered for a long time…..great riding, great friends, super rental location, Daphne’s accident, and Hurricane Irene.
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    There are two paths you can go by but in the long run........

  6. #6
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    Nice write up Jeff, it was a great weekend.

  7. #7
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    it was indeed a great trip but next time we listen to dennis

  8. #8
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    Wow ! I thought our ride home late Saturday night was bad with heavy rain and winds. Your trip home must have been a nightmare. The good thing is that every made it home safe. Even if it did take 13 hrs. Overall it was a great trip. We had a really good time. Can't wait to do it again.

  9. #9
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    That rain on Sunday was scary. We drove up to Newport to go Kayaking in the morning and planned to ride in the afternoon. Thank god we didn't get out on the kayaks. Drove back to East Burke in the storm. Our rides on Friday and Saturday were awesome.

  10. #10
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    don't forget the sandwiches

  11. #11
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    Brave Trooper

    Hope that Daphne is recovering well, would like to hear her perspective

    I almost went overboard on the swamp boardwalk when I saw riders approaching from the opposite side....Good Times

  12. #12
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    Awesome TR, JSM! I went to Lyndon State College in the '80's and really miss that part of the world. Need to get up to the Kingdom Trails one of these days. I used to XC Ski a bit there and alpine ski at Burke

  13. #13
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    I was there that Saturday with my family, my was who is four did a huge loop with us. We parked at the farm on top of Darling Hill and did the loop trail to Bemis and back to the farm.
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  14. #14
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    Sweet report!

    Interesting note: Several years ago, the high school welding class my dad taught, built the litter carrier that was towed behind the ATV.

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