Goffstown, NH to Wells, ME
After my flat and the slow going (if beautiful) ride on the Goffstown Rail Trail I decided to stick to the roads to get to the coast. 72 miles back through Manchester, Epping, Madbury, Dover. Route 125 has lots of trucks, I road on the berm. But Route 4 was blissfully quiet with just a few passenger cars giving me plenty of room.
I've been listening to a book on the history of debt by David Graeber which has been a fascinating rewriting of the erroneous history I taught my economics students about the history of currency and barter. It's also an examination of power structure, communism and capitalism and the (historically awful) treatment of women as tradable commodities for much of history. What a time to be alive! Even a few generations ago it would have been more or less unheard of and impermissible for a woman to cycle solo.
At 93 degrees it's hot. So hot. Almost too hot, but I have to remind myself that it's better than rain. Slow and steady. I guzzled down my new water bottle. I love it, it's squeezable, had a pop top and I can manage it one handed while still riding. After debating filling it up at someone's hose, I find a park and filled it up at a town hall. Stacy, who works for the town and was painting the park pavilion said the water in the park toilets might not be the best to drink.
I filled up again at a library and asked for a lunch recommendation. Unfortunately the cafe the librarian recommended is now closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays until the proprietor, Tracy, can train new staff. She doesn't want to work 7 days a week and burn out. I understand, though I was a bit disappointed. I went to Wendy's instead.
I parked my bike by the bathrooms and ordered a 4 for $4 combo meal with chicken nuggets, a chicken wrap, fries and a coke. Charged my phone and witnessed overweight kids, elderly couples, and an immigrant family eating Dave Thomas' fast food. Ohio's contribution to obesity! The manager was an incredibly hardworking, friendly woman whose son failed the GED twice. He works nights at the local homeless shelter. I told her to encourage him to take it again, that it's a hard test. A CVS employee came in for lunch. This is middle America. I get back on my bike.
I somehow miss the state line. Maybe there wasn't a sign or maybe I just didn't see it. In Maine I see alpacas and am reminded of my 9th grade English teacher Mr. Reszek who retired to an alpaca farm in southern Ohio. I pass wineries and signs for no tress passing and so many stone walls. I cross a bridge and see the sign for Ogunquit. I'm getting close to the ocean and I nearly tear up when I see it. It's been a long, hot day.
The town is bustling with cars and pedestrians. It's filled with hotels with No Vacancy signs out front and ice cream parlors. I look up the camp site a local Warm Showers host recommend. 5 miles. Kelsey answers the phone when I call to enquire about my unique situation. Yes they have trees I can hang my hammock from. The bike is no problem. The cost will be $5. Amazing! Since the rate for arriving by car is $30.
An older gentleman named Les shows me a few sites in a golf cart. The camp ground has been in the family for 3 generations and the current owners took it over from the wife's sister after her husband retired from the air force. The mosquitos are relentless, worse than any I experienced in Asia. I must have been bitten a hundred times setting up the tent. I shower, an incredible luxury after a sticky sweaty day and eat a packs of peanut M&Ms for dinner before turning in at 9.