Originally posted October 13, 2004 by Chad
CONWAY, NEW HAMPSHIRE. We had just started riding again after our lunch break yesterday when we saw the large missile in the center of Warren, NH. We had to stop and see why it was there. It turned out to be an Atlas Redstone Rocket, the kind they used to launch Alan Shepard [a New Hampshire native] into orbit. Back in the seventies some guy in the army found the abandoned rocket at a base in Alabama and decided to take it to his hometown in New Hampshire as a way of inspiring kids to study science and dream of space travel. It reminds me more of the cold war, but there it stands, right next to the church and the Warren Historical Society.
While we were admiring the redstone, another cyclist rode by. He stopped and told us about a hiker/biker lodge just up the road for Appalachian Trail hikers. We talked for half an hour and then went on our way. We didn’t camp at his suggested spot, but went on a few more miles until we were just west of Lincoln.
This morning as we were passing through Lincoln, Dave, the cyclist we’d met yesterday, drove by in a car and pulled over to talk again. He wanted to know how our night went and suggested we stop somewhere for coffee. We found a deli and had muffins and hot chocolate and listened to his stories of bicycle trips and of Viet Nam. He rode with us for a few miles up Kancamagus pass, “just until it gets steep” he said.
It never really did get steep, but the pass was significant because it is the boundary of the Saco River Watershed, which drains into the Atlantic Ocean in southeast Maine. We’re really close now. We should cross the state line near Fryeburg in about an hour, and then it’s a short ride to the coast. I’m chomping at the bit to get there. It’s like I have this inner hunger to see the Atlantic that is more voracious than my hunger for food. It overpowers the achy legs, sore behind, and cold winds. I want to get there today. But the days are getting so short that we can’t ride as far as we used to. Instead we’ve bought a copy of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving to read to each other when we’re holed-up in the tent.