02 May 26 THU – Ride the bike without the rucksack

May 26 THU – 04:44AM – start from Boston, visit Price Chopper in Lincoln, NH (06:55AM) for a bag of clementines and San Pellegrino. Drive 4.5 mi on treacherous Hogan Rd. in Gorham, NH (9AM).  If you are not careful, your car will bump into sticking out stones and deep puddles. Drop 35 lb. backpack at the beginning of Mahoosuc Trail. An early indication that bugs and mosquitoes will remain a problem.  It will be a problem that still carries over from last year. It was a terrible problem last year, and now their descendants are buzzing in full force.

Drive very carefully on the bums and trances of unloved Hogan Road and still hit the bottom of the car two times.  Drive to the end of the hike – to Grafton Notch State Park in ME (10:31AM).

Then, start to ride my bike (10:58AM) on dirt roads – mostly on Success Pond Rd. Pass the highest road point with worst road conditions (12:33). The road here is not maintained, deep puddles are blocking the way almost completely. And you can’t stop even for a second as per attacking bugs.

At 12:45 the forest roads ends, and bike is now rolling down fast towards NH. 

13:19 – uneventful crossing back to NH where roads and bridges newly refinished – 8.6 mi done; 17 mi remains.  Road traffic is minimal, so dust in the air is going down quickly after rare pickup sighting. That is why a little rain is always a welcome event for a bike rider on a dirt road.

14:19 – a six-mile marker to Berlin, NH appears on the road. I am about halfway through.

15:19 – I am in Berlin, NH. Relatively unexpected and welcome change of pace. Entering Hutchins St. Next should be my last leg of the bike ride.

After a brief ride on the streets of Berlin, I am entering a very unpleasant ATV road that is covered in black crushed gravel, and narrow bike tires constantly get stuck in the mess.  Plus, every passage of ATV is loud, dangerous, and dusty. 

16:18 – I am back to my backpack after 5H 26 min or 26.2 mi. I am exhausted and I do not want to hike a lot today.  I am so ready to dive into the woods and find a good place to camp.

16:38 – I almost forgot to get car keys from the bike travel bag.  Can you imagine hike 30 mile only to find out that you do not have your car keys?

17:03 – Another turn around. Only 0.2 miles into the hike, I remembered that forgot the replacement notebook by the bike.  Current notebook will end soon and would need a new one to continue.  I am dropping the backpack and spending next 18 minutes to do a round trip to bike and back.  Lucky again.

After 0.8 mil hike find a nice camp near the brook on a very cozy spot. Hang a hammock between trees at a perfect distance. No need to cook food today – I would just eat kasha (porridge) from home.

18:22 I jumped inside the hammock with a jar and a spoon to hide from mosquitos. Such a nice a tranquil spot. And there is even a descent cell signal here.

For better back support I found to sit across the hammock. Night promising to be warm, but anyway this will be the first test for a new sleeping bag.  Sum will disappear from 8PM till 5AM.

19:38 – that is it for today. Only sounds of water, birds, and creaking tree nearby. I was a long day today.

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Navigate through the List

  1. 01 A brief overview of May 2022 AT trip (2023/05/18)
  2. 02 May 26 THU - Ride the bike without the rucksack (2023/05/19)
  3. 03 May 27, FRI - hiking from Gorham, NH to Gentian Pond Shelter - again (2023/05/20)
  4. 04 May 28, SAT - hiking from Gentian Pond to Full Goose Shelter (2023/05/21)
  5. 05 May 29, SUN - Mahoosuc Gorge - miracle of traveling pants (2023/05/22)
  6. 06 May 30, MON - hike over Mahoosuc Arm and Spec to car (2023/05/23)
  7. 07 May 31, TUE - drying out and resting up (2023/05/31)

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