June 11, 2007
Salem, NH – Manchaug, MA
A homecoming of sorts.
We had a slightly larger breakfast at Jason’s before we left which was a good thing, as really never found a place for a real second breakfast. We did stop at a place but it was more of a coffee and bagel shop. Denny and I each got a blueberry muffin there. OK, I guess that qualifies as second breakfast. We traversed New Hampshire and then entered Massachusetts. The weather was clear and a bit warmer. Winds were a favorable cross to tail. We got back on the ACA route (Adventure Cycling Association) which goes within three miles of Denny’s home, after riding in MA for about fifteen miles and followed it for most of the day.
The old and the temporary.
We came across one bridge that is a temporary bridge. The old bridge must have some issues and is shut down even to pedestrian or bicycle traffic. My guess is that sometime in the future the old bridge will be torn down and a new structure will be built to replace it. In the meantime the temporary bridge handles the traffic.
Green dragon on the pond.
We began to hit more hills the more we got inland. Denny rode this route last year and advised me that there was one hill that he didn’t forget. While going up another hill two riders reached us just as we reached the crest. We chatted a bit on the downhill and all stopped at the stop sign to talk. There we met John and Adrian. They were out on a training ride for a triathlon. John has ridden coast to coast with an organized touring company some years ago. We had a nice talk, got a pic to record the occasion, and bid each other a farewell and the usual: “Have a good ride.” They told us that the nasty hill was a couple of miles ahead which it was, on both accounts.
Picture with John and Adrien
The ACA did a particularly good job on picking the route through this area. It was mostly the little lines on the map and mostly country roads with little traffic. They are just the kind of roads that the group that I ride with prefer to ride. Many times Denny and I could ride side by side and have our little chats. The only drawback is that there are few services. No restaurants or cafés or convenience stores to get food or snacks or refill your water bottles. I guess there are some trade offs in having a nice road to ride on.
Riding the country roads.
About ten to twelve miles from Denny’s house, after completing a particularly long down hill, we came upon three riders coming from the other direction. Here we met Rich, Tony and Peter who were riding from Philadelphia, PA to Bar Harbor, ME to celebrate Rich’s graduation from college. Rich and Tony were pulling trailers with their gear and Tony had rear panniers and a rack with his gear. They had one night where they had to stealth camp (finding a quite camouflaged area off the side of the road to camp when there are services in the area). Rich’s plans are to attend law school in the fall. They are posting a log at www.crazyguyonabike.com with the log name of “Maine or bust.” http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/Foltz2Maine
We chatted for about fifteen minutes and said our good byes. The three of them looked a bit beleaguered. Remember we had favorable winds which at this time of day were primarily tail winds, which means that they were having head winds most of the afternoon. We never mentioned the hills ahead as sometimes it is better not to know. Besides they didn’t ask. Sorry guys. We didn’t ask either but Denny was near home and was familiar with the roads ahead.
Rich, Tony, Jim, Denny (he's there somewhere) and Peter
We reached Denny’s farm where he prepared a cheese tortellini dinner for us that really hit the spot. The reason that the theme for the day is “Homecoming of sorts.” is because Denny decided to ride with me through Rhode Island and Connecticut with me to my home. That way the route for both of us will include all the New England states and the Provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick in Canada. I got a chance to meet Denny’s wife Jane who arrived home later and we had some interesting conversation. Denny did some of the chores on the farm and then it was time to bed down for the evening.
Where Jane and Denny's goats romp.