Gear down and buck up.

Easter Sunday is a special day for many people. There are bunnies, dresses, chocolate, and family. This year I went to church with my mom on Saturday night to make sure that I had time to ride Sunday morning before the rest of the days activities needed to be attended to.
I had my eyes focused on Climbing to the top of Campbell’s Ledge. This foreboding escarpment of earth juts into the sky and has been a permanent fixture of the vista from my parents front porch since way before there were porches.
From my folks place, it is a quick road ride of all of about 3-5 minutes until you hit dirt.


I generally take the water company access road up to the top of the mountain. Although it is rocky and exposed to the sun, it is the best way up. You could just set it in your granny gear and churn along up up and away. There is about a 700 foot vertical gain with a 14-17% grade for a good portion of the hill.


There are switch back portions of the trail that allow you to get some speed up again, and changes the stairway to heaven view that most of the ride provides.
At about three quarters of the way up the hill is a reservoir that as kids, we would hike to for some swim time. We were chased off by the water department, but what is being a teenager if there is not some quality time swimming in reservoirs and getting chased by the law?
This time I was up there alone, save for a few folks cruising around on ATVs, and that water was way too cold to jump in no matter how nice it was to sit and look at.


I circled the reservoir and somewhere along the path, I noticed a ribcage and some vertebra. This location is somewhat remote, and any sign of a pile of bones will catch your attention.


I guess I stumbled upon the local coyotes home. I took off not wanting to wake any sleeping carnivores and made my way around the rest of the reservoir.
At the spillway of the reservoir, the climbing picks back up, but this is the final push for the summit and what a summit it is.


This is not all that high, and I have to admit the mountains in Arizona, Italy and Colorado are prettier, but this is home and it just means more here.
The dirty slow moving river in the background is the Susquehanna and the town is Exeter and West Pittston which are part of the Wyoming Valley. The area on the river shore is a rail yard where my father, grandfather and I am sure many other family members spent their hard working days.
I spent sometime up at the top of the ledge. It is a great place to be and there is not much quiet in my life these days.
The trip back down the mountain is a quick fall down some old miners trails past abandoned mine openings and air vents.


There are some gnarly rocky descents and some paths worn deep into the mountain by men heading to work deep underground.


With the right bike, you could make a pretty sweet DH or enduro ride down that thing. My teenage mountain bike brain and my up to date bike helped me get down the trails of my youth.
There are miles and miles of trails up there that will take you deep into far away places, but Easter dinner with the family was calling and I hit the road home.


I think I need a few fine recruits to come up to the valley of coal and do a two day trip into those woods with me. Summer is coming!

One Response to “Gear down and buck up.”
  1. Jordan says:

    there is no way “escarpment” is a real word!

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