After yesterday’s ride of only 20 miles that turned out to be so grueling, I think both Jodi and I were feeling all of our years and not really looking forward to today’s ride. And as it turned out, it was a rather pleasant day!
Reed cooked up giant buckwheat pancakes with fresh apple slices in them for breakfast this morning, then we said our goodbyes and got a fairly early start. It was nice and cool outside and while we did have some climbs as we made our way along Lake Willoughby on Rt 5a, we handled them pretty well. Soon we connected with Rt 5 and had only moderate rollers to contend with as e made our way to Lyndonville where we stopped at the Miss Lyndonville Diner for our second breakfast. The food was really good and the freshly baked wheat toast was outstanding.
After breakfast we continued down Rt 5 through Lyndon and on to St. Johnsbury, where we turned east on Rt 2 for a bit until we reached Rt 18 which heads southeast towards the Connecticut River and on into New Hampshire. There was a long climb on 18 and it was all out in the hot sun, but we made it without too much difficulty. Knowing that we would have to drop back down to cross the river and lose all that hard-earned altitude made the descent a bit bitter-sweet, but such is life.
Soon after crossing the river we came to a New Hampshire Welcome Center and stopped there for a break, some fresh cold water, and to get a New Hampshire road map. The gentleman manning the center was very friendly and helpful. Finally we continued on to Littleton, which is a neat little town and has a great diner– the Littleton Diner — situated on its Main Street. We stopped here for a big lunch. We both had a salad, then Jodi had the full turkey dinner and I had a large bowl of Shepherd’s Pie. As we were eating two women approached us and told us they had sen us at lunch in Newport the day before. They were astounded that we had bicycled so far, and I remarked on how slowly they must drive.
From Littleton we had only a few uphill miles left to get to Dave & Pam’s house in Bethlehem. I met Dave & Pam during my thru-hike of the AT in 2009 when the scooped me off the trail in Franconia Notch, brought me home and treated me like a king for two days before dropping me off back on the trail to continue my hike. Dave thru-hiked in 2010 and I was looking forward to being able to discuss our respective hikes. As I knew they would, Dave & Pam are treating Jodi and wonderfully and we are enjoying our visit.