Newfoundland/Labrador Day 28: Splashing Toward Home
After having nearly perfect weather for most of the trip, yesterday and especially today were a little wet. The decision yesterday to put on a new rear tire turned out to be a good one because I was on wet roads today more than dry. Light rain fell much of the morning, then cloudy but only sprinkles off and on, then finally rain again this afternoon as I tried to find a place to spend the night.
I headed west from Lewiston, Maine, to New Hampshire because there was a road there I wanted to ride. Not far from Mt. Washington, the highest peak in the northeast U.S. at a little over 6,000 feet, is the Kancamagus Highway, built in 1959 and one of the better motorcycle rides in New England. I had climbed Mt. Washington on a bike several years ago when I was riding in this area, but failed to ride the Kancamagus and wanted to do that this time. Kancamagus, by the way, was an Indian chief or sagamon in the late 17th century who led a failed uprising against the growing stream of English settlers; he was the last to do so in this area.
The ride was not technically challenging, other than the wet pavement, but even with the low clouds and occasional rain, it was a pleasant ride and gave me a chance to stop and take in the mountains and some of the streams. No doubt the ride would have been more exciting on dry pavement when I could have hit the turns a little harder, but sometimes it’s nice just to sit back and take in the scenery.
The Kancamagus was in pretty good shape, but many miles of road in New Hampshire were as bad as any I encountered on this trip, including the potholes in Newfoundland. Gas is relatively cheap in New Hampshire, but I would have been more than willing to kick in a few more cents per gallon to have some new asphalt put down. Some of the roads were marked with a speed limit of 50, but I didn’t dare take them at faster than 30 for fear of shaking something loose on my bike (or me).
Vermont’s roads were a little better, especially when I was off the state roads and on a U.S. highway. Lots of touristy ski towns in Vermont (I went through the Killington area) that have a pretty good tourist season during the summer, too.
I crossed into New York about mid-afternoon and spent the rest of the afternoon heading south along the historic Hudson River (without stopping at historic sites because of the weather), dodging rain, getting off course on an ill-marked detour, and then looking longer for a place to stay than I wanted to. I ended up just south of Albany. Rain is forecast again for tomorrow and I’m going to take a good look at the radar tomorrow morning before I saddle up again so I can try to avoid the worst of it.
One final thing: When I’m on a ride like this one where I make navigational decisions based on whims, strange place names, and even wrong turns, I never know what’s going to turn up. The picture here is proof of that. I’m not sure what message the good folks of Warren, NH, are trying to convey by placing a Redstone rocket next to a church. It was definitely the strangest juxtaposition I encountered on this trip. Maybe on any trip.
I’ll think about a route for tomorrow’s ride tomorrow when I get up and look at the weather radar. I think I’m going to miss one of the stops I had hope to make at Hyde Park, but there will be other rides.
Don’t make any rash decisions regarding war and peace and I’ll do the same.