Thursday, July 20, 2017

July 19--Day 37--NH, AT, and the Beginning of the Kanc

I crossed into New Hampshire (state number 10) first thing this morning by crossing the Connecticut River. There was no Welcome to New Hampshire sign. I made my own (I know, the 'S' is missing). It was foggy again, but it burned off pretty quickly. Soon enough, I was riding in increasingly warm temps. I'm not complaining--it's far better than rain.

Welcome to New Hampshire



Another covered bridge

I knew I had a couple of back to back climbs today. The first one wasn't too bad, except when I got to the part where I was supposed to go down, there was a sign that said "Road Closed". It did say "Local Traffic Only". Well, in this case, I consider myself local traffic. There was a detour, but I had no idea where, or how far out of my way it would take me. I proceeded through the closed road. I did all the downhill, and was almost to where my next turn was, when I reached the construction. Hmmmm.....this was going to be tricky. First I asked the guy operating the front loader if I could squeeze through. He said probably not. He said there were two excavators on each side of the road. I asked if I could try. He shrugged his shoulders, and said, "I guess." I moved on ahead. While there were two excavators, only one was working. There was plenty of room to get by. Another guy walked up to me. I asked if I could just squeeze by. He said the road was closed and gave me all kinds of grief for not taking the detour (I explained my reasons). Finally, he asked his boss. The boss said yes, and I was waved through. I have no doubt if I had been a guy, I would have had to turn around. I'm sure the guy thought I was totally stupid, but I didn't care so long as I didn't have to go back.


The next climb was longer, and entirely in the sun which, by now was really hot. It was about 3 or 4 miles to the top. At the top, called Kinsman Ridge, the Appalachian Trail (AT) crossed the highway. Unfortunately, I didn't meet any hikers. I stopped at the trailhead parking and had a snack before heading down down down.

The AT crosses here



The bottom of the descent brought me into North Woodstock, just a few miles north of the Woodstock of 60s music fest. I stopped at a gift shop place to get a postcard for Grayson. As I was leaving, a couple from Montreal stopped to talk to me. They must have been staying in the next town (a mile away) of Lincoln. I followed them to Lincoln, and at a stop light, caught up to them. They asked to take my picture. I said yes, then took theirs too.

Caroline and John



I realized as I came into Lincoln (a good sized touristy sort of town) that I hadn't checked off a New Hampshire Subway. I didn't get a Vermont one, as I didn't go through any sizeable towns. I didn't see one, so I stopped at a market/deli and got a sandwich. Of course, as soon as I got back on my bike, up in the distance I could see the Subway sign. So, I stopped and got cookies. New Hampshire Subway has now been checked off!

NH Subway, CHECK!



My goal for the day was to get partway up the Kancamagus Hwy to the Pass (the locals call it "The Kanc". There were two Forest Service campgrounds. The first was 3 miles from Lincoln, and the second was 6 miles. As you might guess, I stopped at the first one. It was 3:00, and I had done enough climbing in the sun. Ironically, this campground is called Hancock. Why is that ironic you ask? Because yesterday I went from the town of Hancock to East Thetford. Today I went from East Thetford to the campground of Hancock! 



I'll get an early start (or just my usual start, which is pretty early) tomorrow while it's cooler, and less traffic to finish the climb up the Kanc.

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