Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Day 150, 10/5/10 - Lyme to North Haverhill, NH

Just the Basics: 26 miles with about 500 feet of climbing. We didn't start until noon - we spent the morning on the Internet and using our satellite phone - we were working on lodging for the next few days. It is the last week or so of the fall color season and there is a 3-day weekend coming up so we are really struggling with planning. We are already having trouble finding lodging - and places are typically charging seasonal rates (but not the great B & B where we're staying tonight), and we have some concerns about safety if we bike on a three day weekend - so lots of time, thought and effort are going into plans for what will be our last few days on the road!!!

Today's ride was fantastic. Much of the time we were in or above the Connecticut River Valley and the views have been nothing but gorgeous. The sky was blue with fluffy white clouds, and much of the time we rode on a high ridge looking way down into the valley on one side, with the hills of Vermont rising on the other side of the river.

We cycled through lovely villages and past farm after farm of the sort you see in children's books - large gardens, fields of corn and pumpkins, cows and horses in pastures, a produce or cider stand out front - almost a farm Disneyland! Farms sell organic eggs, fruit, vegetables and cider, free range chickens, "naturally raised" beef, pork and lamb - and pumpkins!

Meals: Breakfast this morning was at the Dowd's Inn B & B in Lyme - our hostess Tammy served up wonderful cinnamon apple pancakes, bacon, and fruit and coffee. She also helped us work on the search for lodging.

We lunched at a gas station deli on Bulkies (see below) - pastrami for Riley and roast turkey for Becky, plus coffee. We had a picnic dinner at our B & B: Individual bottles of Barefoot Merlot and some Low-Fat Chex Mix, purchased at the gas station where we had lunch; Wheat Thins from the store here in North Haverhill; and Vermont cheddar with sage, and a lovely, big Macoun apple - sweet and crisp. The apple was a gift from the Indian Corn Mill farm stand where we stopped for fresh cider and donuts late in the afternoon. They sold apples in bags of 1/2 peck and a peck, but had no way to sell just a couple of apples - so they just gave them to us! We also bought the cheese from them.

Tonight we're at a lovely B & B, the Hayloft Inn, about 1 1/2 miles outside North Haverhill (and up quite a hill). Our hosts Ann and Joyce are retired teachers from Concord, NH - but both of them grew up in this area. The setting couldn't be lovelier nor the welcome warmer. There's no restaurant in town so they warned us to bring our own dinner and then invited us to join them at the dining table with our picnic while they had their dinner. We chatted about our trip and their experiences planning, building, and operating a B & B.

Today's Photos: (1) A covered bridge on River Road along the Connecticut River between Lyme and Orford; (2) Art shot; (3) Example of a frequent sight in this area of small, diverse farms; (4) Enjoying fresh cider and donuts at the Indian Corn Mill apple stand outside North Haverhill.

Tomorrow: We bike about 25 miles to North Woodstock, NH, with a total expected climb of 1800 feet. It is also likely to rain part of the day. Yikes! We will stay at the Woodstock Inn and expect to take a layover day there on Thursday, before tackling the dreaded, steep 2000 foot climb over Kancamagus Pass - 34+ miles, with NO places to stop for restrooms, snacks or meals. DOUBLE YIKES!

For Those Who Want More:

Vocabulary Development: We have been eating quite a few "Bulkies" - sandwiches made on a round roll and typically costing $1 less than the same sandwich made as a sub or grinder. Bulky rolls are usually white or wheat, but at one memorable stop they also had rye and oatmeal Bulkies.

The young man who made our roast beef Bulkies at that store also said "Ayup," in response to a query from Becky, to her delight! You read that people in VT say that, but that's the first time we realized we actually heard someone do so!

Milkweed Report: Almost since we began this 5 month ride we have been watching milkweed grow - and the Monarch butterflies that depend on it as the place to lay their eggs. In the last couple of weeks we have seen a milkweed pod here and there releasing its seeds with their gossamer parachutes, but starting today we see whole patches of them opening up with the seeds spilling out. = ) = )


  1. Wow, you will have less than 100 miles to go from Woodstock! It is amazing how quickly this is drawing to an end. Looking forward to seeing you sometime on or just after Columbus day!

  2. The fall colors in New England sound spectacular. We're enjoying the fall here immensely. Don't hesitate to mail us surplus gear that's weighing you down on those hills! Keep up the good work!

  3. Wow. Love the covered bridges and the pictures of the fall foliage.
    Did you decide to go ahead with Bar Harbor,or is Portland the destination (you probably mentioned this somewhere already)??

  4. I feel as if I am journeying with you (without any of the stress, of course!) Thank you for your beautiful photographs and descriptive language! I am longing to be back east right now for this spectacular fall season! If you stay on-schedule you will be cycling through one of my favorite regions of New Hampshire on Friday! Blessings and God-speed! Barb

  5. We love our support team - thanks so much foryour words of encouragement!