Aug 15

New Hampshire – 11th state

by in Week 9

  • 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.

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2 Responses to “New Hampshire – 11th state”

  1. From Marianne Borowski:

    Hi Sheila and Spencer,

    Welcome to New Hampshire! My partner Tom and I did the Cycle America Coast to Coast ride 10 years ago, and we have both been enjoying your blog. We have been reading it daily for your entire trip! We can re-live the trip through your photos and comments!

    We live in Bartlett, NH, which is probably your lunch stop on your route tomorrow, after you have a glorious downhill cruise from Crawford Notch. I run a local bike group, “ThursdayBike”, and every time Cycle America rides down from Crawford Notch, I route the bike group up to Crawford Notch to wave to and cheer on the coast to coasters.

    I will be out there waving, cheering and looking for two riders who were with us on the ride 10 years ago, and joined in with you for the last few weeks – Brian and Andy. (When we were on the ride, folks who joined in for a week or 2 were called “weaklies”…!!!). I hope to see you and thank you, in person, for your blog.

    I am glad you have had good riding in VT and NH so far and hopefully you have avoided the various rainstorms that have been dotting New England this week. I hope that you would have clear weather so that you can see the White Mountains and Mt Washington.

    So close to finishing your adventure!! I remember feeling excited to complete the journey but so sad that the journey was over. I missed the life on the road and the 44 of us coast to coasters who became a close family over the 9 weeks.

    I hope to meet you both tomorrow!!

    Happy Riding!

    Posted on Aug 15, 2012 at 3:52 pm #
  2. From Spencer:

    August 2013 – At breakfast in Stowe Tim was whining about his lack of a sex life when we decided it was time for a big, wet kiss. That got appropriate groans from the poor Brit.

    On an entirely different subject, that last hill was humongous. And there was an alternate route which was lovely and gentle, albeit a quarter mile longer. Why didn’t we go that way?

    I also recall drying out our tent on the sidewalk in front of the school and bringing people’s drying in just before the rain started up again.

    Plus, Roland and Judy rode 5 miles past the town because they missed the arrows. Ooops.

    Posted on Aug 15, 2013 at 7:06 am #