Grant Creek, Hilltop, and Crystal Creek
Well the fellow I talked to was right. Just past his place the road is very overgrown. Doesn't look like a vehicle has gobe up there in years. Not so much nettles though but everything else. I was able to dodge most of it going from right to left, and sometimes riding the middle which was soft weeds. There were deep water bars cut in the road as well, which I guess they do when they decommission a road. And it was wet in a lot of places. It crosses the creek on an old, but sturdy bridge and then starts clibming. I couldn't make much progress as it got steeper. Knobbies would have helped. After a couple of miles I gave up and headed back.
Since I had turned back when the going got tough the last two rides I decided I should go up Hilltop, which has always seemed like a mega climb. What a difference smooth pavement makes. It was not hard at all and so plesant in the cool shady woods. I went up to almost the highest point, around the bend from the photo op of Mary's Peak, and then left on the spur road that goes above that clear cut, to try and get a better view. None was to be had so I headed back down. Super fun downhill.
Went back to camp, which I had already backed up before the ride, and had lunch. I wanted to get some more, easier, miles so I drove to Eddyville and did the Crystal Creek Loop. Very enjoyable to ride the old highway with no traffic.