0066 Snowbiking in the Mountains (USA 033—revisit)

Upper Strasburg Travel Blog

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another quick re-visit to my Alternate World… right back up to the hills near Roxbury.  This time I want to revisit a little village that holds some cool memories for me. Back on December of 2001, on a lark I headed out from work at my all night cashier job and bicycled up towards the mountain… The entire countryside was covered with a thick blanket of snow, giving the landscape a peaceful, surreal feel. 

It had been a very difficult year—probably the most difficult in my life.  And now it was almost over and next year looked like it was going to be much better.  So I needed to do something crazy to vent out some of the pent up frustration I felt.

So I cycled through Green Village and past Letterkenney Army Depot… past rolling hills of white and through the little village of Upper Strausburg.  The village is basically just houses lined along the winding country road—but it felt like a cool discovery nonetheless… Then the road got steeper and steeper as I climbed up the hill.  Suddenly, there was a clearing, giving me a magnificent panoramic view of the whole valley…

After soaking in the view a bit I continued on.  At the top of the ridge I decided to turn off onto a gravel road that follows the ridge.   The road hadn’t been cleared of snow, making the uphills impossible to ride and the downhills a lot of fun… It seems like I’d discovered a new sport—“Snowbiking”…


After exploring the trail a while, I figured I should start heading back down the hill.  But instead of retracing my steps, I decided to just carry my bike up on my shoulder, and hike straight down the mountain—just because it was a crazy thing to do… As I struggled my way down the hill through the snow, I felt the frustrations of the last year start to fade and an excitement for the year start to build…

When I finally made it down and found another dirt road leading to the bottom, I felt like a new man…

 I headed on home, taking highway 30 this time and stopping at an all you can eat buffet in St Thomas to reward myself…

 Back to the Present

 Today my revisit won’t be nearly as challenging.  I’m just here to remember that critical period in my life… and play a bit of music.

I drive up to the top of the ridge—but it’s too hazy to get much of a view of the valley, so I head back down into town.  I feel quite uncomfortable as I walk up and down the only road of Upper Strausburg, knowing that if anybody is watching me, they’re probably very suspicious of this outsider walking around with a strangely shaped bag slung over his shoulder.  It’s a bit odd—but I actually feel more uncomfortable in a village like Upper Strausburg than I do in a village in, say Laos.

See, in another country, people see an outsider wandering around their village, and their curious—they may scratch their heads wondering what he’s doing there and that’s it… Here in a redneck American village, I know people see an outsider and automatically assume the worse—he must be up to something bad…

 All the same, I’m determined to take my clip.  I finally work up the courage to perch my camera on top of someone’s clothesline pole, so I can get a clip with an American flag in the background—creating a cool little video of Redneck America…


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Upper Strasburg
photo by: nathanphil