Parenting and Physics Lessons in the Great Pond Mountain Wildlands

"We should have went to UMaine."  Those were the words my son said to me as we hiked back up to retrieve our car.

Admittedly, the ride down was fun.  Our speed helped us handle the 85 degree temperatures and lack of shade, and prevented attacks from the swarming flies we encountered on the trip back up.

Valley Road runs through the center of the Great Pond Mountain Wildlands.  It is a flat and wide dirt road that runs downhill as it heads north from Route One in Orland.  I've hiked here a few times this year and when my son and I were discussing places to bike, I recommended this over his recommendation of the flat paved trails at UMaine.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.  I didn't remember any significant elevation changes on the road itself.

The trail descends around 300 feet over a two mile stretch, which doesn't feel that overwhelming as you are traveling down it.  It provides nice views of the surrounding mountains when you aren't looking for washouts and oncoming cars traveling in the other direction.

Here is a trail map if you are motivated to replicate our journey after reading my description.  We rode halfway back up and then decided to lock our bikes to a tree and hike the remainder back to the car. 

Note that Valley Road is open to traffic and has a few blind spots around bends in the road.

The first half went really well for some reason....
The ride down.  It was the best of times....

The road provides nice views of the surrounding mountains.


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