White Mountains and Green Mountains – New Hampshire and Vermont

Twelve years ago I was lucky enough to take a trip to see the fall foliage of New England with my grandmother and my best friend. We drove all over God’s green earth, and his gold earth, and his red earth…..in a week.  One of the roads we drove was the Kancamagus Highway (in the White Mountains of New Hampshire) which was/is listed as a scenic byway.  And I remembered it as being one of the prettiest roads I had ever driven.  I’m headed there to see if it’s as lovely as I remember.
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Oh, well. Not every day can be perfect. I’m loving my new cold weather pants today because it gets downright chilly on the ride up to the top of the pass. I have a nice chat with a couple of bicyclists from Massachusetts who came up for the weekend to ride the road. I tell them I have the ultimate respect for cyclists because it just must be such hard work.
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Onwards and upwards…well, in this case downwards into the town of Lincoln. There’s an enormous craft fair on this weekend and while the Kancamagus has lost some of its pretty colors to the cold and wind, the trees in Lincoln were still bright.
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As you leave Lincoln you can get on Interstate 93 to head north or south. And nearby is a large granite mountain (Cannon Mountain), the top of which used to feature a natural rock formation/outcropping that looked like the profile of an old man. New Hampshire has for decades used The Old Man of the Mountain as its state symbol. You can see his profile on the state quarters, on road signs, license plates, and more. I remember getting to see it in 2001 with my grandmother and friend. We drove along a road slowly until we were in just the right spot to see the profile that everyone told us we should go see. As happens with natural rock formations, millennia of rain, ice and freezing and heat took their toll on him causing cracks and fissures to expand and worsen. Sadly in 2003 The Old Man of the Mountain slipped away during the night that spring, like any self-respecting man who has lived a full life. He left many broken hearts behind and is still remembered and missed. I see his image is still around, and its nice to see him here.
NH road sign
The Appalachian Trail traces long lines through these mountains, running from Maine to Alabama along the spine of the great mountains. I see signs for this as well today and am reminded that after reading Bill Bryson’s “A Walk in the Woods” I put that adventure on my bucket list. Might have to schedule some time for that one of these days.
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Soon I am crossing into Vermont and cross over a bridge that crosses the Quechee Gorge, 168 feet up in the air.
Quechee Gorge, VT
It’s gorgeous today even with only a slow running river of water in it’s bottom. Just ahead is a working covered bridge that I pull over to drive through and turn around and double back to my route. There’s a line of traffic moving in a circle on the other side of the river, so it looks like all the cool kids are doing it.
Near Quechee Gorge
I don’t spend much time in Vermont this trip. Scenic Highway 100 is still as lovely as I remember from that last trip, and I’m hopeful I get to come back another time and enjoy it again, but I’ve traded it in for another day in Maine this week. So on my way out I ride through another covered bridge, this one is the longest in the world’s Cornish-Windsor, and back into New Hampshire. Time to try and get at least a few miles further south.
Bike Trip Boston 001

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1 comment

  1. More great pictures… Any day is a good day to ride. If you ride you are going to ride in some non-ideal conditions. Good gear makes for good rides…

    Ride safe…

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