I woke up at 6AM in Boston, and quickly completed last preparations. Just before 7AM, I was on my way to New Hampshire. Weather was getting darker and rainier, so I still entertained a possibility of changing the ambitious plans or to scale them down.
The only new thing on the highway I noticed was a new speed limit – 70 MPH after the Manchester and Concord were behind me. Interestingly, that new speed limit slowed most driver, because everyone thought that police would start strictly enforcing the new limit without any leeway.
At Lincoln, NH, I completed my usual rounds: buy a parking pass ($5), food stop at Price Chopper (trail mix, croissants, oranges, and bananas). I reached Kancamagus Pass (2,855′) at 09:50AM. It was raining and 48°F or 9°C. From there it was a short drive down to explore a bit around Sawyer Pond Road and Church Pond loop, and start testing my new iPhone topo APP.
Rain was strong and steady at this point, but with poncho and umbrella, I was practically unscathed. I did not even wear boots to keep them dry for tomorrow’s big trip.
After lunch at Glen Junction Family Restaurant, I started to implement the PLAN. Around 2PM, I parked at the new gate (post Irene – August 2011) at the Slippery Brook Road, also known as Town Hall Road, in Jackson, NH. I rode my bike 3 miles up until I reached a washed out bridge, where Saco river crosses East Branch Rd. Here I covered seat and provisions bag (water, an orange, and some nuts) with plastic bags and hid the bike in the woods. In 2 days, I will be crossing that river on foot to ride back to return to the car.
At 3:17PM, I started to walk back. To keep my boot dry for tomorrow, I was walking in flip flops. After couple of miles of walking, my feet were painfully scratched by the straps. One creative solution was to put on gloves on my feet to stop the pain.
and around 5PM, I returned to the car. Now I needed to drive around the Wild River wilderness to start my 2-day hike from the other end, from route 113 on the border of New Hampshire and Maine.
I was full of doubts. Should I just get a room for today and wait for a better weather tomorrow? Do I have enough time to start the hike today? While driving, I decided to test if I can take a shortcut at Robin Hill Rd. On the map, it was drawn as a dotted line. After about 1.5 miles, I had to turn back. Tree canopy just closed around the car and deep puddles of water offered no hope of an easy passage. It was a huge challenge to turn around on a narrow forest road, but I did it in a few calculated moves.
Deducting the length of an unwanted detour, I would have to ride 28 miles from Jackson to Chatham on Sunday. It would be a grueling exercise!
Upon arrival to Basin campground at 6:38PM, it was too late to venture into the wild with only hour and a half of daytime left. Therefore, I decided to spend a night here at the campground ($20) and start hiking early in the morning.
The rain temporarily stopped, and I set the tent at site number 4. I spread a giant tarp above the tent to prevent any possibility of getting wet from rain. My meal consisted of one banana, one croissant, water, trail mix, and I was ready to go to sleep at 9PM. No fire, no tea. The day was complete.
Navigate through the List
- 01 Crossing Wild River Wilderness - Planning and preparations (2023/02/01)
- 02 First Day – Friday, May 23, 2014 – Hide the bike and walk away (2023/02/02)
- 03 Second day – 2014-05-24 SAT - Into the wild with a plan (2023/02/03)
- 04 Third day – 2014-05-25 SUN – Back to the car and comfort (I) (2023/02/05)
- 05 Third day – 2014-05-25 SUN – Back to the car and comfort (II) (2023/02/06)