The Voyage Home

It was mid-morning when I finished my descent, around the same time I’d left home the previous day. I had the whole day to get home. It was time to ponder exactly how.

Unlike my trip to Conway, I’d left Monday’s route wide open, depending on how much time I spent at Mt. Washington. I knew I wanted a different route home, and avoid major cities. I decided to swing past Newfound Lake.

The “avoid highways” route my GPS came up with took me from Mt. Washington out 302, then down Bear Notch Road and the Kank. Though I’d ridden them yesterday I was not complaining about repeating the experience. I had some memory left on my Flip, so I filled it with shots of the Kank and nearly all of Bear Notch Road. I’ll post them once I get them edited together nicely.

At one point I noticed a parked bike with an identical fairing to mine. Another Silverwing? I turned around for another look, but despite the identical face, it was a 1998 Goldwing. They used the same fairing for at least 16 years? Wow. It was obviously bigger than my Silverwing, and the luggage was bigger. It looked cushy, but still a bike, not the flying couch that the modern Goldwing has become. And it was for sale – $2000. I made a conscious choice to NOT take down the information. It would be a great upgrade, especially because I’m liking this bike touring thing, but I have other things I need to spend money on at this point. That, and my Silverwing is proving to be quite adequate for most of my needs, and very reliable. I rode on.

At one point I noticed a bright green Reliant Robin in a parking lot. I had to stop for a look. I had no idea any had even made it into the U.S. This one was in great shape. It looked like hadn’t been rolled over even once.

I’ve spent a bit of time at Newfound Lake participating in and helping to run the Boston Chapter BMW CCA Ice Races. As you might imagine, these take place in the winter. It was a good waypoint to convince my GPS to avoid cities, and I was curious how it looked without snow and ice. My route there was far smoother than yesterday’s roads in western New Hampshire, which was a relief. I left Rt. 3A and looped side roads around the west side of the lake, where our events take place. I could barely recognize the area we normally use, with boats in the water rather than cars on the ice. It was quite scenic, though, and I enjoyed the twisty roads alongside the lake. It was about noon when I hit Bristol, and I knew a good pizza place there. After the Ice Races we go there for food, drink, and awards. (I’ve gotten a few of those myself.) So I stopped into Village Pizza for old time’s sake.

After that I took 104 west, then down some back roads. As I passed Winslow State Park, I was inspired to take a detour up part of Mt. Kearsarge. The road was in horrible shape, so it wasn’t as fun as I’d hoped, but live and learn. I rejoined part of my route from Sunday, 114 to 77, then down Route 13. This brought me back into Townsend, MA, and I didn’t need my GPS to navigate anymore.

After a quick stop to visit a ham radio friend and fellow biker who was right on the way, I made the last leg home through the back roads of Harvard and Bolton. I was tired, and I know these roads so well that it was hard to keep my attention from wandering off the ride. But I managed, and made it home safely.

About 500 miles in two days. I was tired but more from the fun of the trip than from discomfort, and no pain. The bike ran absolutely flawlessly the whole time. Who cares if it’s old enough to be an antique?

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