Our Trip Reports for 2002

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Bike Hike & Campout - Trip Report

Bike Hike & Campout - Trip Report

You can see photos from this trip by vieiwng our photo album web page or by clicking HERE On Saturday, November 9, 2002, our Boy Scout Troop took a 14 mile Bike Hike from the Congregational Church in Littleton, MA to the J. Harry Rich State Forest in Groton, MA.

Our group consisted of six Boy Scouts, three Troop leaders and several Webelos Cub Scout guest. We left our troop sponsor's, (The Congregational Church), parking lot at 10:00 AM. The plan was for the Scouts to camp out in the forest along the banks of the Nashua River in Groton that Saturday night, and for the Webelos to join us for a fun day of bike riding.

We had an exceptionally warm day for mid-November, which made for a most pleasant bike ride. Before we started our Trek all the riders were given bicycle safety road tips. We biked up Foster Street to Harwood Ave. in Littleton, where the Scouts enjoyed a nice long downhill ride. After taking a short break at the Littleton Depot, we proceeded up Harvard Road. This is where the Scouts discovered that for every fun downhill coast there exists an even more challenging uphill struggle, especially if you are riding a short, "Peg-Bike", with no gears!

We turned off on Bruce Street, which is badly in need of repair and we bounced merrily down to the road to the junction of the Citgo gas station and Route 2A, where a couple of the adults decided that Dunkin Donuts coffee was what just what they needed to continue their ride. It's rather doubtful that coffee is what you'd find in Lance Armstrong’s bicycle water bottle.

The riders followed Sandy Pond Road to Central Street in Ayer, and wound their way to the beginning of the Ayer-Dunstable Bike Trail. At last they were off the mean streets. The bike trail ride was very pleasant, although very crowded with many other bike riders. We took a break at a beaver pond in Groton, Mass. where we observed the local wildlife. There were birds, other riders, and a group that looked like they had just walked out of the 1960s. Very interesting indeed.

After this break, some of the adults were getting tired, but the kids were still having a blast. We pedaled the last few miles to our camping destination in the state forest, where everyone enjoyed our bag lunches. This was 13 miles of fun riding, and the end of the road for our Webelos Cub Scout guest. This was just the beginning for our older Boy Scouts though. They had to drag all their gear into the woods, where they set up camp under the watchful eyes of our adult leader chaperons. Our Scouts picked a beautiful spot, although it was a little bit of a walk into the woods. They set up three baker tents, a dug a fire pi and circled it with rocks, and built a latrine with a port-a-pottie and tarp walls. In short order a nice little campsite was completed.

Around 3:00 p.m. one of the adults and 5 of the Scouts took off to ride the rest of the bike trail. This ride ended by crossing into New Hampshire. Now we had successfully ridden from Littleton all the way to another state!

On the ride back, the group was fortunate to witness some skydivers on their way down from Dunstable. It was very cool and colorful! The riders got back to the campsite at around 4:30 p.m., and it was already getting dark. We had ridden 26 miles in one day, a very impressive feat, for people that don't bike everyday!

That evening our Scouts feasted on Chili that was cooked over our fire, and the adults enjoyed a delicious Shepherd’s Pie cooked in a Dutch Oven. After our long, busy, day, everyone retired to their bed much earlier than expected. Everyone was exhausted, from all the exercise, being out in the fresh air and with a stomach full of food. Today, we had truly earned this much-needed good night’s rest.

The next morning came all too early, but it was worth getting up. The weather was still very mild, the water on the Nashua River was still, and it reflected the beauty of the yellow leaves on the trees. Just in front of our tents, we saw a fisherman who was also enjoying this beautiful calm morning.

Sadly, all fun things come to an end, and this bike ride had to also. After breaking camp and doing our best to restore our campsite to its original state, we faced a thirteen-mile ride back to Littleton. We reversed our route of the day before, but rode a bit more slowly than previously, sore muscles may have been the reason why. We arrived back at our Church at around 12:30 p.m., where we unpacked our camping gear and drove home for well deserved HOT showers. All in all, this was a super campout.

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