Friday, August 14, 2009

Day One Hundred Fifty-six, 090803 - Gorham, NH

Day One Hundred Fifty-six, Date Monday, August 3, 2009
Time in Saddle: 7:53
Distance for the Day: 63.68 miles From North Turner, ME To Gorham, NH
Accumulated Trip Distance: 7396.13
Altitudes: Starting/Ending 510’/1403’, Highest: 1417’ Accumulated: 3458’
Speeds: Avg: 8.2 mph, Max: 40.3 mph
Weather: 63° clear, foggy in AM clearing to mostly sunny, low 80s
Expenditures: $16

I awoke and got up at 5:25am. I got a good sleep, despite the rain during the night. This morning, though, it was totally clear, but fog started to come in by about 6:25am. I spent extra time getting stuff as dry as possible before packing it away, which wasn’t much, so I still had to dry it all out during today’s lunch break. I stopped for a hot cocoa and Danish breakfast at a mini mart ($5), and took a 1.5 hour lunch in Bethel, ME from 1pm – 2:30pm to eat a hot dog, sweet potato fries, and soda ($6), dry my tent, and charge my notebook. I also stopped to re-supply drinks ($4) and continued west through the last bit of the state of Maine. I stopped in Gilead for more liquids ($4), and crossed into New Hampshire, at 4:36pm, continuing west on Hwy 2 toward Lancaster. The terrain was very hilly, but I evaded most of it, as the road stayed mostly in the valleys between the hills (whew!) Still, it wasn’t exactly Florida, either. I stopped for a knee break at a visitor center a bit past the Maine/New Hampshire border, and chatted a bit with the info counter guy about why birch trees bark should not be peeled (there was a sign saying not to - it leaves them prone to bugs, and can kill it). I also stopped for a bit in Gorham to talk with three young boys on bikes who pulled up along beside me and asked all the usual questions, and who were suitably impressed by my story. I stopped again at a mini mart for another soda ($2), and then got back to it. I hit a *long* straight uphill grade that climbed more than 200’ in one shot (oof!) Near the top of the grade, at about 7:08pm, I found a neat, contemporary, religious learning institute campus that was totally empty of people, and found a clean bit of pavement in back to set up (N44 23.064’ W71 14.485’). I also found an outside power outlet, so hooked-in and even found a weak wi-fi signal. (I love that!) I was able to handle my email, and sent more details of my gearing problems to my trike dealer. He called and left a message the same evening that we should talk, so I would call him tomorrow. I finished up at 9pm – it was dark, getting cool and a little moist, and the mosquitoes were starting to get used(?) to my Avon Skin So Soft bug repellent, so I set up my tent, munched on snacks for a bit, and got to sleep at 10pm. The weather was still clear, and the near-full Moon shone brightly. Curiously, at about 12:20am, a car drove by, stopped right by me for a few moments, and then continued on. I wasn’t bothered afterwards, so whoever it was, must not have minded my being there.
Comment: generally speaking, Maine’s roads, what I saw of them, ran the gamut: from excellent to totally rotten, but mostly, “okay.” New Hampshire’s roads are so far very nice, though I believe I’m on a cycling route, and am, of course, only getting a very small sampling of what is actually out there.

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