Day 4 on my East Coast Trip 2017 – The Groton Forest to Mount Washington – a day filled with absolutely incredible downhills. Along highway 2 connecting Vermont to New Hampshire, through the White Mountain National Forest. This was a day filled with a handful of truly memorable moments.
East Coast Trip 2017
What: Day 4 of a 5,000km Grand Bike Tour
When: August 1, 2017
Day 4 Stats: 162.6km and 1,644m of elevation
Total Trip Stats: 578.2km and 5,014m of elevation
Day 4 – The Groton Forest to Mount Washington
Holy Moly. Seriously, somewhere around St.Johnsbury, heading down highway 2, passing from Vermont to New Hampshire, and dropping down the mountain passes on highway 302 through the White Mountain National Forest, you’ll find an extraordinary, cathartic experience by bike. Day 4 was a day filled with absolutely incredible downhills with spectacular scenery.
If you’ve been following along with my previous posts, you’ll know that I was fortunate to meet some very friendly strangers just outside of the Groton Forest on day 3. I was camped out on their front lawn, in fact! Day 4 meant that I woke up to some fresh home-made coffee before I set off into the misty morning. Everything was slick with the rain from the previous night, and the air was chilly and foggy.
Due to all the trouble I had with rail trails and forested lanes, I decided not to push my luck and decided to go North along highway 2 instead of my original plan, which was go take the various back roads eventually leading me East along the 302. This meant I had a chance to pass through Danville, and make it into St.Johnsbury for a late breakfast.
It was another sweltering day with temperatures in the mid 30’s (Celsius of course), high humidity, and once again, no wind. I took a quick jump in a lake which was… lukewarm! It was nice, but not nearly as refreshing as the other day’s dip in the Winooski River.
After st.Johnsbury, I headed South via the 93, and crossed into New Hampshire via the 302.
Passing through New Hampshire and the White Mountain National Forest was one of the most memorable parts of my entire trip. Nicely paved roads, combined with some absolutely insane, and long, winding downhills, and a magnificent, awe-inspiring mountainous backdrop really, really, REALLY made for an incredible experience. I can’t say much more – you’ve just got to get out there to experience it, by bike preferably, but I’m sure even by car it would be an incredible place to experience. I’ll just have to let the pictures do the talking.
At the end of my video above I mention that I was going to attempt to run all the way through New Hampshire throughout the night and make it to my AirBnB in Portland. Unfortunately, my lights were really not sufficient for riding at night and I quickly found myself scrambling for a camp site in the middle of the night, worrying about my safety. (Thankfully drivers could see me – all of my flashers were charged and working well – I just did not have enough forward illumination to bike safely)
I pulled over at the Saco River Motor Lodge and unfortunately there were no accommodations available! I setup my tent quietly behind the River Church and got up at the crack of dawn before anyone noticed. Unbeknownst to me – I was only several hundred meters from the state of Maine – I was so close! You’ll see in my next video that it was a good thing I setup camp, because biking in Maine is totally different than New York and Vermont.
Day 4 was so incredible – it seems like it was almost all downhill, and the sights – lakes and mountains and forests, were all so incredibly awe-inspiring. I can’t gush enough about how cool the White Mountain National Forest is. I would love to go back someday and spend some time hiking the trails, and scaling Mount Washington.