Monday, July 16, 2012

Maine/New Hampshire (Days 1 & 2)

Well, this summer's long ride is in the books...2700+ km and 6 days of riding later, I am back home in Fredericton.  This summer's ride took my friend Luc and I through five New England states - Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut.  The weather was perfect, albeit a bit warm at times and the scenery was absolutely amazing!  We rode through the Boreal forest regions of New Brunswick & Maine, the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the Green Mountains of Vermont, the country roads of Massachusetts, the scenic back roads of Connecticut and the sea coast of New Hampshire and Maine.

Day 1 - NB, ME & NH

Day 1 was a ride from Fredericton to Gorham, NH.  We started early in the morning and crossed the US border at Vanceboro, ME.  From there it was ME - Route 6, the I-95 and ME - Route 2 to Gorham, NH.

The first part of the ride via Route 6 was mostly through a forested region and a few small towns.  The I-95, well it's straight and boring and Route 2 takes you through small towns and a few farming communities.  With stops for fuel and food, the 509km ride took us about 7.5 hours.  We both started to get excited as we approached the White Mountains and in anticipation of our day 2 ride!

We reached our destination in Gorham, NH, checked into hotel, unloaded the bikes and ventured out for a walk in this quaint New Hampshire town. Along the way, we came across a cool general store and some antique automobiles.

After a quick bite to eat, we ventured back to the hotel for some air conditioned relaxation and rest!  I was really looking forward to Day 2 for two reasons...the White Mountains and the opportunity to meet long time Twitter friend Jeff aka @JoeRocket.  I have been following Jeff pretty much since I started on Twitter and when he saw my Tweets about our trip, he offered to meet us and ride with us for the day.  Jeff and I exchanged several e-mails and set a plan in place for us to meet on day 2 of our ride!

Day 2 (Part A) - White Mountain National Forest (NH Routes 16, 112, I-93, 302 & the Bear Notch Road)

The weather for our day 2 ride was perfect...not a cloud in the sky!  Luc and I were like two kids at Christmas, excited in anticipation for our ride through the White Mountain National Forest with Jeff!  Our first leg of the day 2 ride was to North Conway, NH via route 16 to meet Jeff .  We were only riding for 10 minutes when we made our first stop to view the Mount Washington area...our reaction was the same, "beautiful"!

Here's a short video clip of the Mount Washington region...

We met Jeff at Starbucks in North Conway...although Jeff and I had never met in person, immediately after introductions, it felt like I was meeting with an old friend who I had known for years!  After coffee and a great chat and deciding on a route, it was time to hit the road!  Jeff was very gracious in being our tour guide and said, "this is your ride, I am going to hang back and let you enjoy"!

Route 112 also know as the Kancamagus Highway was the next destination.  This 35 mile stretch of road is a must ride if you have not done so!  It is a twisty road through the, fun, fun!  I am sure that I heard Luc's floorboards scraping the pavement through the Scala on at least one occasion.  I did not get any pics through this area as I was fully engaged and enjoying the ride!  It's one of those rides that just leaves you in awe!

From there it was to the I-93 North...this ride through the valley of the White Mountains was very scenic.  We stopped for a quick break and a few pics.

During the stop, Jeff said, "I am just going to throw something out there...there is a tram that is not too far from here that goes to the top of Cannon Mountain".  Luc & I got as great laugh out of the "just going to throw something out there" statement as we use this all the time when riding.  We thought it was a great idea, so off we were to the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tram.

Here's just a few shots from the 4080ft summit of Cannon Mountain.

The Summit!

After a great time at Cannon Mountain, we continued on I-93 to route 302...another very nice ride.  Jeff had two further suggestions for us, a lunch stop and a ride through Bear Notch Road.  The lunch stop did not disappoint, we had a great meal and conversation at Fayban's Station on route 302.

The Bear Notch Road is another must ride.  This is a summer road and is closed during the winter twists and I mean twists, through a mature forest in the hills.  Here's just one view from the Bear Notch Road!

Day 2 (Part B) - Lake Winnepesaukee

The later part of our day consisted of a ride through the Lake Winnepesaukee region. We stopped in the Town of Wolfeboro for a view of Lake Winnepesaukee.

 Lake Winnepesaukee & Wolfeboro

At this point it was getting late in the day.  Luc and I decided that we would head for Laconia while Jeff made the two hour ride to his home in southern New Hampshire. It was great meeting Jeff and I am sure that our paths will cross again!  Both Luc and I are also grateful that Jeff joined us on the ride and showed us around the region.  We said our good byes and soon parted ways.

Luc and I then rode to Laconia, made a quick ride through Weir's Beach and found a place to stay for the eve.  The motel we stayed at was an older motor inn, but it was extremely clean, had air conditioning and WiFi...all we needed!  I had a great chat with the owner and found out that he owned a Harley Davidson Sportster and a Ducati Sportbike...another friendship was struck!

View from the Barton Motel

What a great day of riding and friendship we had (thanks Jeff!)...after a Pizza, it was lights out for the eve!  Next up, Vermont!

1 comment:

  1. Guys, it was a great ride and I enjoyed myself immensely. Good meeting you both. Yep, I felt right at home. That's the power of a shared avocation, I guess. Still, you two are the most agreeable people I've ever met. If this heat keeps up, I'm moving North.

    Stay well and yes, you will see me again. Soon, I hope!