Last night I think I stayed up too late talking to some hikers at the Notch Hostel. There was Dan, from Boston. He was in the mountains Sunday and Monday doing some day hikes. He also has done some bicycle touring in the past. Kaitlyn just recently completed hiking the 48 in a calendar year. The 48 are 48 peaks in New Hampshire that are over 4000 feet. It’s a thing for hikers in the area to complete them. I think it is pretty impressive that she completed them all in one year. Erin was also visiting for some day hiking. She through hiked the Appalachian Trail last year and gave me some good advice about eating and bears. Erin has a Instagram with some really nice photos from her hiking, including the Appalachian Trail (earthtrek80). [I don’t know enough about Instagram to link her account, but if you are on Instagram, you should check out her photos. They will make you want to hike the Appalachian Trail.]

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Dan, Erin (with Star) and Kaitlyn.

The Notch Hostel was very nice. Definitely nicer than the hostel I stayed at in Hartford, CT. From talking to the others, it sounds like it is better than most.

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This morning I climbed through another part of the White Mountains. It was not as long or high as yesterday, though it seemed steeper. But, boy that downhill was fun. I didn’t pedal for 7 1/2 miles. Gliding down the hill, reaching speeds over 40 miles per hour (42.7 maximum speed, my personal fastest on a bicycle), it was incredible. It really made the climb this morning worth it. I have often thought bicycling is a close to flying as humans can get under their own power. That downhill certainly felt like it.

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The section of NH118 through the western White Mountains is known as the Sawyer Highway.
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I had to stop to make a small adjustment to my front derailleur. This seemed like a good spot.

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I had lunch at the top of the morning climb. I hoped there would be a place to pull of the side of the road with benches or at least a ledge like there as crossing the Kancamagus Pass yesterday, but no luck. Today, I tried a peanut butter and raisin burrito. I am certainly not going to put Taco Bell out of business with my creations, peanut butter and banana, peanut butter and pear, peanut butter and apple, and now peanut butter and raisins. Though, I must say, the peanut butter and raisins seemed to be the best so far. Maybe I should just eat the fruit separately.

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The view from the top.

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A trail leading away from the top of Sawyer Highway.

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The tiny white flowers line the sides of the highway all the way through the White Mountains.
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Seven and a half miles later, looking back at the top over a field of dandelions.
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A lumber mill.
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A redbird missile in Warren, NH.
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A small Pentecostal Church in Cheever, NH.

Tonight, I am staying in another hostel at D Acres. D Acres is actually an organic farm. They try to be self-sustaining as much as possible. They also have educational events for children and the community. It kind of makes me think of what communes might have been like back in the 60’s. [I realized several miles down the road that I didn’t get any photos of D Acres. I am little angry with myself because it was such a cool place.]

When I arrived at the hostel, the man who runs it asked where I had come from that morning. I told him I started in Woodstock and came down 118. He said, “Not the Sawyer Highway.”

“Yes, that’s the one.”

“Wow. Well at least it wasn’t the Kancumagus Pass.”

“Oh, I did that yesterday.” He offered me free dinner.

The time has come, like so many other long distance tourers, to go through my gear and figure out what I don’t need. There are some things I carry that I have not used at all. Some of them I still think I might, but for most things, if I haven’t used them in two weeks, I probably won’t. I need to make a list in the next couple of days. It probably won’t be today. I am exhausted after climbing yesterday and today.

I think I may need to take a rest day soon. Tomorrow will be my fifth day on the road. I haven’t made very much progress the past three days as far as miles, but I think tomorrow I will try to find a place that I can stay for an extra day. I may be in Vermont by tomorrow evening, which will be the seventh state I have passed through so far.

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