Thursday, July 20, 2017

July 20--Day 38--Conquering the Kanc, and Making it to Maine

The climb to Kancamagus Pass wasn't too terrible, in large part because they had recently repaved the road, so it was nice and smooth. Funny thing happened when I was near the top. A guy went by me on a motorcycle. He pulls over, gets off his motorcycle, and proceeds to take a picture of me as I'm climbing up the road. Then, without waiting for me to catch up to him, he hops back on his bike, and roars off. However, when I pulled off at the lookout very near the top, lo and behold, he was there. He was walking back to his bike, planning to walk right by me, when I said, "What? You take my picture, and now you're just going to walk right by me without saying hello?" He laughed and said he couldn't believe I was riding a bicycle up that hill (9% grade for the last couple miles). He just had to stop and take a picture. His name was Joel, and he was from Massachusetts.


I rode the last little smidge to the Pass sign.

The Pass

As I was coming down, there was another lookout on the other side. I stopped there too.

Mountains aplenty

There were several road cyclists coming up the Pass. I was glad to be going down. The downslope was 4 miles of 7% grade. That means it was harder coming up from the other side. I think the side I came down was longer though. It leveled off some, but I continued to go down.


I saw a touring cyclist going up. He was Andy, originally from New Zealand, now living in Connecticut, but soon moving to New York. He was taking this time between jobs to ride Northern Tier. He is getting a late start if he hopes to make it over the Rockies. It was Andy who told me we weren't on the route. He was off route on purpose. I was off route because I missed a tiny turn. In hindsight, I know where it was, and it explains why I only went by one campground, instead of two like the map said. However, the new pavement was delightful, and I'm not sorry I missed the turn.


I came into the town of Conway. I stopped for lunch at a nice little cafe called Sweet Maple. They also had wifi, so I was able to upload yesterday's post.


Back on the route out of Conway, I headed to Maine (okay, I know, I've been heading to Maine all along). After Center Conway, I crossed into Maine, state number 11!


Almost immediately I got onto a bike trail called the Mountain Division Trail.

Mountain Division Trail

I rode along for a bit over a mile, and came to where I though I was to get off the trail, but the road wasn't the right name. As I was about to turn around and go back to the trail, thinking I'd gotten off too soon, another cyclist came by (perfect timing). Mike told me I needed to go back to the last street. I told him I needed to get groceries. He said he would just ride me to the grocery store, then show me a less traffic way to get to the campground I was headed for. I thought that was great! 

Mike and the gravel




Mike's route included a bit of gravel which didn't bother me in the least! Just before popping back out onto the road, he took some pictures of Tilmann, and I took a picture of him. Once on the road, I was just a mile from the campground, Canal Bridge Family Campground. It's on the Saco River. There have been many people canoeing and kayaking down the river.

Saco River boaters

The only really bad thing (besides the $30 cost) is the absolute hoard of mosquitoes. I have applied, and reapplied my friend Ben. They are driving me crazy! I think I must go apply more DEET!!!

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