Roads around here look like the proverbial bowl of spaghetti noodles thrown on a map. Nothing is square, and nothing is straight, but many of these roads have been here hundreds of years and were built in the days when we worked with the land instead of bending it to our will. I passed a sign last night on a two-lane road in Maine that said I was on the 115 West and the 9 East at the same time and I had to giggle. There are sometimes a few different versions of the same road which only serve to confuse drivers who aren’t “from these parts” – like a highway 44 east going both left and right at an intersection. The good thing is, almost any road you choose is at least bound to be a beautiful one. And as long as you aren’t in any hurry, you should be able to get where you want to go, albeit with a few extra miles.
Highway 113 runs north/south along the border between Maine and New Hampshire. Molly has drawn out a map today to get from her place to this road using a few miles of dirt/gravel and some beautiful back roads and lanes. It passes a covered bridge near Cornish, Maine and I stop for a photo before continuing on.
The leaves are turning here, into a hundred shades of green and yellow. There aren’t as many maple trees as there are over in Vermont so the red color here is provided by sumacs and shrubs. After winding through the woods and hills for an hour or more, I come out at Conway, New Hampshire and stop by Whitehorse Gear for a look-see. I’ve heard about this motorcycle gear supplier from a couple of friends who swear these guys are the best.
I’m greeted at the door by a dog, Riley, who has “me at hello”. Any business that allows the team to bring their dogs to work has my support. Jeff (Riley’s owner) greets me a second later and helps me to find a new pair of waterproof, variable-weather, armoured riding pants. Since losing mine to the scissors of an EMT in July, I’ve been wearing some that Tammy gave me in Newfoundland and they have served me well. Murph donated a pair of waterproof liners that I wear over those pants, and have been very grateful to have on a couple of soggy days. But it’s time to get my own big girl pants again, and Whitehorse hooks me up.
Afterward I continue on the 113 headed for Evans Notch (a mountain pass for us westerners). The birch trees are changing colors along the roadside and provide a canopy overhead above the brand new tarmac road. It reminds me of the lace-your-fingers-together finale of the church-and-steeple-see-all-the-people game I was shown as a child.
This road is twisty and smooth, and best of all, empty.
At Evans Notch, there is a small parking area/pullout and a marker for the Notch. I stand on the edge of the road and enjoy the view of the small canyon below. On the left of the parking area is a big elm tree with a grave semi-hidden behind it. It holds a soldier who died in 1963. There are small American flags placed near the marker. What a place to spend eternity and how beautiful it is that this mans memory is still cherished and he is still cared for by someone after 50 years.