- Stowe, VT to Littleton, NH
- 75.4 miles
- Top speed 50
- 4,200′ of climbing
The weather people got it right last night. However, that was bad for us since they predicted heavy rain. And we got heavy rain beginning at 1 AM until at least 3:30. Fortunately our little tent kept us cozy and dry, though the noise on the roof kept us awake quite awhile. It didn’t do much for the cases we had to leave outside the tent because there was no room inside, but they, too, were waterproof. All we had to do was put away a wet tent and fly this morning before breakfast.
Breakfast was in downtown Stowe at the Green Mountain Inn. It was unremarkable, but it’s interesting to look at all the sculptures in front of the businesses in Stowe. The sculptures came in all kinds of shapes, styles, and sizes. What an artsy little village. And of course there was one of the classic New England white steeple churches too.
I have no picture to show yet of Vermont’s straight, flat roads. We didn’t see any today. We were all ready for a day of rain (which the prognosticators were wrong about), so we had 2 panniers full of rain gear when we began taking on the hillclimbs. Again, most of them were well above 10% if they got steep. Some were well over a mile long if they got long. Some got long and steep. Those were challenging. But like all good climbing (as opposed to bad climbing) there were dandy downs much of the day. We clocked 50 more than once as we rolled along.
We teamed up with Roland and Judy again for a good part of the day. We stopped to admire an old covered railroad bridge. The structure was neat, but why would you bother covering a rail bridge? If it was to keep snow off, why wouldn’t the rest of the tracks be covered? It is one of those questions which will long puzzle me.
R&J left us behind on the big hills leading to picnic. We just weren’t climbing as fast as they were so that was fine. We ended up beating them to picnic because they had a flat on a long downhill. By the time we saw them on the side of the road, they were a blur in our rear view mirrors. Picnic was at a place called Joe’s Pond. As is often the case, it was a lovely place to sit and eat and chit chat about the morning.
We did a good bit of chatting along the route later at a country store when we came upon a larger group of cyclists from our tour recharging batteries. This same group made a stop for pictures as we crossed the Connecticut River into New Hampshire. There was no big sign saying “Welcome to New Hampshire” but if you look closely you can see the indicator of the New Hampshire state line in the middle of this bridge.
In the hills that followed, we lost touch with Roland and Judy again. It allowed us to continue at our own pace through the White Mountains. The scenery is much the same as Vermont. The land is lush green, the hills are forested, the farms are small, the villages have a colonial feel to them. This area is in a time apart. It was trying to rain for quite a while. But somehow we stayed ahead of the storms and arrived at Littleton dry at 2:30. There was just one more climb. Once again the townsfolk put their school at the top of the hill. This hill was a full 18% grade. What a way to end a ride. But the sun was shining and we got our gear dried out, so all’s well in the end.