Day 52: North Thetford, VT to Woodsville, NH

Today didn’t work out exactly as planned. We knew that some bad weather was forecasted, but we decided to try to cross Kancamagus Pass anyway. We headed out of Paula and Tom’s place early in the morning, stopped at the Whistle Stop Cafe for a delicious muffin while we waited for the post office to open, and then mailed out our postcards. In these first few miles, the sky opened up with a heavy downpour.  We continued onward, crossing the Connecticut River, which divides Vermont and New Hampshire. Just 20 miles later, we were hesitant to continue. The radar picture looked threatening, and the entire day was predicted to have a 70-90% chance of thunderstorms. This would not be a good day for climbing over an exposed mountain pass. The temperatures were quite cold, and despite our rain gear, we were damp and shivering. We ducked into a convenience store in North Haverhill, where we decided to spend the night. The campground in the area only took RV’s — not tents — and the employee at the convenience store advised us to stay at a relatively inexpensive motel up the road in Woodsville. We were not thrilled to spend the money on a motel again this week, but we felt unsafe continuing to the next area with a campground.

grumpy about the rain, not about New Hampshire

Of course, shortly after we had showered and warmed up in the motel, the weather cleared up, and the chance of thunderstorms greatly diminished. At this point, however, it was too late to start up again, and we had already paid for the room. This short day of cycling means that we have some long days ahead of us this week to reach Maine in time . . .

Stats:
today’s ride: 25 miles
time in saddle: 2 hrs, 32 min
total distance: 3,892 miles

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Day 51: Leicester, VT to North Thetford, VT

Jim and Lesley had gone to the lake house that they share with their family for the night, so we woke up and helped ourselves to granola, yogurt, coffee, and leftover frittata. We took our time leaving, but we didn’t have too long of a day of cycling, so we weren’t concerned.

not much compared to the Rockies, but challenging nonetheless


The weather was absolutely perfect, and the route was gorgeous. We climbed up and over the Green Mountains, using a different pass than officially recommended in the Adventure Cycling route due to our location on the farm. The mountains on this side of the country are much smaller than the ones we climbed out west — but since the roads are older, the grades are steeper. They were challenging but rewarding, and still a nice change of pace after the relatively flat middle of the continent. We followed winding rivers through pastures and forests, and enjoyed our packed lunch at a church’s picnic table.

maple cremees!


Just after lunch, we stumbled upon a roadside diner with fantastic maple cremees! We were very happy to enjoy this treat again on the trip. 

 

By the end of the day, we were almost to the border with New Hampshire. We crossed a covered bridge, just like in the Vermont postcards, and climbed up to North Thetford, where we had a Warm Showers host: Paula and Tom. Paula teaches bread-baking to kids, and she made us amazing pizzas, along with roasted vegetables and a huge salad. We enjoyed getting to know them over dinner. As usual, the generosity and and warmth of Warm Showers hosts was overwhelming to us. To be taken in off the road and offered a clean, comfortable bed, a hot shower, and a delicious meal — it feels so meaningful on a trip like this.

taken just before we left the next morning


Stats:
today’s ride: 66.1 miles
time in the saddle: 6 hrs 35 min
total distance: 3,867 miles