Friday, August 14, 2009

Day One Hundred Fifty-seven, 090804 - Concord, VT

Day One Hundred Fifty-seven, Date Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Time in Saddle: 4:33
Distance for the Day: 40.35 miles From Gorham, NH To Concord, VT
Accumulated Trip Distance: 7436.48 miles
Altitudes: Starting/Ending 1403’/1105’, Highest: 1655’ Accumulated: 2159’
Speeds: Avg: 8.8 mph, Max: 38.6 mph
Weather: 50° clear, blue
Expenditures: $21

Woke up at 5:15am, and got up at 5:30am to secure my stuff. I spent an extra 40 minutes sewing up the hole in my tent using regular cotton thread. I gave up trying to use dental floss as thread – that just wasn’t happening. Hopefully, it will stay fixed. I continued up and through the Mt. Washington area at 6:40am – beautiful views, mountains, forests, and the road was really nice, until it finally degraded to merely “passable,” meaning, little shoulder, and cracked pavement, with semis passing every 5 or 10 minutes on narrow, curving mountain roads. I was so hopeful for New Hampshire, but I guess every state has at least *some* bad roads – even Florida had a few (though not many). I stopped several times to take pictures of the views, including a “Santa’s Village,” that was doing a brisk bit of business for a weekday morning. I stopped at a mini mart at 7:54am to pick up some liquids and food items ($7), and to have a breakfast of choco milk and oatmeal cookies. A little later, I pulled into a hotel which advertised “free wi-fi,” but it was only for guests. So, I just ordered up an orange juice, plugged-in and did blog writeups from 10am to 12:18pm, before continuing on. (When I went to pay for the OJ, the waiter said, ”Eghh – fuhgedit.” Thanks!)

This was a blog day: after the hotel, I came almost immediately into the town of Lancaster, and found its library. I also found a Subway, so had lunch ($7) first, and then worked in the library from 1:30pm – 4:30pm. I managed to post four blogs, but ran out of time before I could get to the fifth and final one. I could still access their wi-fi outside, so finished uploading the last blog in the shadow of a gazebo out on the lawn Yikes, though: there were tons of mosquitoes! So many, I had to deploy full anti-bug measures (rain suit, head-net, and ASSS [Avon’s Skin So Soft]). (Hey, I didn’t name the product, so don’t blame the acronym on me.) On a mildly warm day, I sure got some strange looks from passers-by. I packed up and headed out of the western edge of Lancaster towards St. Johnsbury on Hwy 2 at 5:24pm. I stopped in some shade a little while later to call The Bicycle Man recumbent cycle shop, which my trike dealer Steve recommended to me. I reconfigured my route to include that shop, and had Steve send my replacement gear cluster there. I didn’t know it at the time, but when I crossed the bridge out of Lancaster at 5:45pm, I also passed into the state of Vermont. Just before the crossing, I stopped at a mini mart and got some drink and food items ($7).

Today, things were looking pretty grim for stealth camping; the evening was coming on, I wasn’t seeing anything, and was out in the middle of nowhere. I stopped at a pay-for campground, and seriously considered paying for the privilege of setting out my tent for a few hours, but just couldn’t quite bring myself to do it. I pushed on up the road a few hundred yards, and lo: I found an isolated, totally open self-storage business (N44 27.089’ W71 52.237’). Not the best of accommodations, but workable. I set up my tent behind the last row of storage units on level ground, and was asleep by about 9pm. Zzzzzzz!

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