Today was a rest day in Bethel. There were several different activities available in the area for Bike Maine participants. Some of the riders actually used the day to relax and did a museum tour and shop around town. However, many of the riders just couldn’t stay put and had to get on their bike or do some other type of physical activity. Some of the available activities included kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, white water rafting, hiking and, of course, more biking.
A group of us decided to do a combination bike and hike. This included biking 8 miles to the South Ridge Lodge at Sunday River with a couple of stops on the way to get breakfast and a sandwich to pack for our lunches. Once at South Ridge, we hiked about 3 miles of ski trails that took us to the base of Spruce Peak, Aurora Peak and Jordan Bowl.
Instead of doing the wise thing and following the Lollapalooza trail to the summit of the 3,100 ft Jordan Bowl, we decided to take the more aggressive route and hike the double black diamond iCaramba! trail, which is right under the chair lift. After several hundred feet, the trail turned to very tall grass, brush and prickly bushes. It certainly wasn’t a groomed trail for easy hiking, but we had no desire to turn back. After about an hour on the iCaramba! trail, we finally arrived at the peak of Jordan Bowl.
It is always interesting to observe the transformation of scenery between seasons, especially to see what the ski trails look like without snow. We had a great view of the Presidential mountain range, which looked just as amazing as it did this past ski season. After a relaxing lunch at the top, we made the smart choice by using the designated Lollapalooza trail to get back down the mountain. We arrived back in town just in time for dinner at the Bethel Inn with the Denny Breau trio providing entertainment.
Tomorrow we’re back on the road to Sweden. It looks like we’ll have some warm weather and plenty of sunshine for the ride!