Apr 19, 2009

Howard Lake and Not Riding the Luce Line

Roof Rack
Originally uploaded by Snak Shak
We got out of town to spend some quality time before another business trip that I have coming up. This time, we headed out west on Highway 12 to Howard Lake.

We took the bikes along with the good intention of riding the Luce Line Trail. Unfortunately for the bikes, we were distracted by the migrants on Saturday (saw our first Yellow-headed blackbird and what we are 90% sure was a Wilson's snipe as well as the Yellow-rumped warblers, field sparrows and American white pelicans, plus other more mundane sightings). We also had our first ticks of the season - luckily these were the large-easy-to-find kind and not the small- hard-to-find-and-then-you-get-Lyme's-disease kind.

The Luce Line trail starts (or ends, depending on your perspective) in Winsted, about 6 miles south of Lake Howard. The trail is crushed rock but turns to grass(!) on the west side of Winsted. We found the headwaters of the trail, but there were really no markers or parking. This may be coming in a later stage of development, but for know it seems Winsted is keeping quiet about the Luce Line. We planned to ride it this morning, but woke to 42 degree rain, so we bagged that idea and just came home.

I think a "Length of t he Luce Line" ride would be interesting. I have mixed feelings about the rails to trails experience, but to do one start to finish might spice it up a bit. It would be a 68 miler with just the trail portion.

We stayed at a nice (brand new) bed and breakfast called the Dutch Lake Farm Guest House. The place is right on the eponymous Dutch Lake, and has a canoe and walking trail, and a stand-alone guest house that is very comfortable (good places to read, which is a common oversight in many B&B's).

We only took one lousy photo on the trip, and it's not even a good one - Molly's Breezer and my Rawland on the roof of the car at a coffee shop.

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