August 24, 2010

Oh, the Places You'll Go!

For the first few days, across northern Vermont and New Hampshire, the scenery was farms, pastures, and mountains.  Really nice biking, and really nice people. 

I've learned that river folk are good folk.  Two nights in a row, in East Charleston VT and Errol NH I stayed with river guides / kayak and canoe rentals.  Both nights I was able to hang out with the owner or employees and both nights I had an excellent time.  With Chris, the owner of Clyde River Recreation, he fed me pasta and meatballs and we talked about the thrill of adventures, and the beauty of northern Vermont.  Because there are no big manufacturing jobs, a tourist attraction, such as a river adventure, brings money to the community, and at the same time shows off the natural beauty of the area, giving support for conservation. 

After crossing some serious hills near Dixville Notch State Park, I pulled into Errol NH, a town of about 300 people.  That night I stayed at Northern Waters Outfitters, at the edge of town.  These guys had a slightly larger operation, and operated white water kayaking, rafting, and tours of wildlife preserves by boat.  Their Campsite was only $10 per person, which was about 2-3 times cheaper then every RV/Campsite place I've stopped, and I got to hang out by the fire with Doug, a 60-something year old guy, with an impressive beard, long gray hair, and about 5 teeth.  He has been living in beautiful places and working odd jobs at outdoor/adventure places his whole life, and was one of the happiest people I've met.  He's been with Northern Waters Outfitters for a while, and just lives in his tent and on the river.  In the winter he grooms x-country Ski trails, and gets the first tracks.  He told me stories of epic powder days in Utah, when he lived there, and an albino trout which he fed worms one summer in northern Quebec.  We talked about music, the outdoors, and small town life for hours. 

Once I crossed into Maine, heading south east on Rt 26, the scenery changed a bit.  Grafton Notch State Park was beautiful, but I was in such a good biking zone that i just powered right through it to Bethel ME.  30 miles before 11am.  Bethel was a really nice mountain town with a really cool BBQ restaurant which sold craft beers, and local wines, and RAW MILK!   However it was all downhill from there, and not in the good, literal, way, I mean it got shitty.  From Bethel to Portland was all towns which had been overrun with chain stores, and auto-dealerships, and dirty industries.  And after 80 miles of pushing through it I camped out in a nice grassy spot in Poland ME (Home of America's first golf course, and the source for Poland Springs Water). 

From Portland all the way to Boston was beach town, followed by beautiful coastal road, to the next beach town.  Really pretty, but not a lot of places to camp out, and not a lot of really cheap food stops, like in the rural places I passed before.

Now, in Boston, my body is nearly fully recovered, after a couple of nights of getting some great food with some great people.  Napalese food with Noah, and Adam.  Shabu food with Noah, Jake and Steff.  And amazing Italian food with all of Noah's friends and roomates.

I think I've officially "seen" Boston now, and I can't wait to start biking again once the weather clears up.

Good times.


  1. I love your journal notes on the experiences you've had so far. So cool to meet and get to know people like Doug. I am excited for all the adventures yet to come.Please continue to share!!

  2. Ditto to above..hey anonymous--I dig your style so I GOOGLED ya name and man oh man, are you a popular dude or babe! Cool.
    Hey do please continue to share your journal with its sincere and wonderful style. It's an honor to be related to you. I think once people realize that it's actually pretty easy to post comments, they will join in(remember though--I'm the Uncle that still believes in the "tooth fairy"--why else would I store Grandma Kitty's dentures under her pillow? try to take a bite out of time. Please continue with your journal postings in order for us to be in the moment with you but without all that WORK. I do not know how you can do it! "Being There" to armchair share the soul-journey bike ride of all bike rides...."a ride of many lifetimes." You are great.
    Uncle Dicky (aka..Ritchie Rich)