We slept really well last night in Dave & Pam’s guestroom, then enjoyed a huge breakfast. All this gave us a slightly late start to the day. Dave joined us for the first ten miles of the ride, which included the step climb up to Franconia Notch and the start of the bike path through the Notch.
Years ago cyclists could simply ride the shoulder of Rt 3 through the notch, but when I-93 was pushed through the notch bicycle access was prohibited. Since federal law requires that road development not remove pedestrian or bicycle access (well, it’s not really that cut and dried, but it’s basically so) the bicycle path was built. It was a fun ride, but I wouldn’t want to have to commute along the path every day. It has some ridiculously steep slopes, plenty of blind curves, and very short sight distances. In several places the 20 MPH speed limit is posted. I don’t recall any section where it would be safe to travel at that speed, especially with families and young kids cycling parts of the path. All that said, the scenery is great and we enjoyed the ride.
After reaching the end of the path at The Flume parking area, we took advantage of their facilities and filled up all out water bottles, then continued south on the shoulder of Rt 3. North Woodstock was crawling with tourists, we noted that the famous Clark’s Trading Post still advertises their trained bear shows. How disgusting! We kept on truckin’. We finally stopped for lunch in West Campton, then continued on through Plymouth and on to Ashland. From here Rt 3 swings northeast the southeast to Meredith, on the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee, so we followed it. We were pretty beat after 63 hot miles, and got a really nice room at the Inn at Mill Falls for less that I suspected it would cost at a summer resort area. After a hearty dinner, a good night’s sleep is in order.