A New England Weekend – Day 3

Posted: July 30, 2012 in Destinations, Food, General Musings, Photos, Travel

Is it really time to go home already?!?

Nothing sucks more than knowing your vacation is coming to an end. Especially when it’s coming to an end really, really soon. And even worse than knowing your vacation is coming to an end, is knowing you lost a day on your vacation because of breakdowns and weather, and the day you’re going home is a gorgeous July day. But life goes on, and on to Connecticut we had to head.

After a nice hotel breakfast bacon plate, and after packing up our gear, and after checking our pressures (safety first!), and after we mount our trusted steeds (the bikes, I swear!) and head out… we stop at White Mountain Harley-Davidson no more than a mile down the road. OK, maybe it was two miles, but nonetheless, you get the idea. White Mountain is essentially a tourist trap; it’s motor-clothes and basic parts only; no bikes, no service department. So, we do it all again, minus the bacon, and minus the pressure checks – I think it was safe to assume we didn’t lose much air in a mile or two. And off we went… this time no more than a half mile down the road to a scenic overlook for some pics. No pressure checks, no bacon, and off we went. This time for a few miles, as I needed to stop and fill up on petrol! It takes a long time to make it nowhere.

About 6 hours later we made our way to the Kancamagus Highway (New Hampshire Rt. 112). Ok, it wasn’t really 6 hours, but it sure felt it. The weather was tremendous… in the high 70’s, low 80’s; traffic was minimal at most… an added advantage to hitting the road during the week rather than on a weekend. I ran the Kanc two summers earlier, but it wasn’t nearly as nice as this trip. I realize the roads have not changed over the years, but I think I expected so much more when I ran it the first time. Knowing what to expect, I was able to sit back, relax, and take it all in. In a funny moment, Melisa commented, “This is it?” “Yeah,” I replied. “Oh. I figured it would be more like a highway…”

At the bottom of the Kanc is Lincoln, NH., our last extended stop before we head home. And let me tell you, it was a well-needed break! I think we road those bikes for an entire 45 minutes without stopping! The plan was lunch; the destination, The Common Man; The problem, it was closed. Instead we chose Gordi’s. Lunch proved quite tasty (I ordered the same thing I ordered last night at Moat, and Gordi’s was much, much better!), but no one wanted to go home.

Todd and Kim wanted to keep riding. Melisa and I joked (albeit seriously) that we didn’t have to go home if we didn’t want to.  Why let weather and breakdowns ruin our ability to have some fun?  After all, we were planning this trip for over a year; why cut it short? And our gas tanks were full! And there were fine foods and craft beers to be had if we could make it to our intended Waterbury, VT destination. A few phone calls and 45 minutes later, the trip was extended.

We continued down Route 112. As a rider, I enjoyed the Kancamagus. But as a rider, I enjoyed the rest of 112 more. The entire 112, including the Kanc, has it all: sweeps, straights, twisties, mountains, valleys… starting in Conway and ending in Bath, or vice versa, it is an awesome 56 mile stretch of road.

At the end of 112, we took a right onto 302 to head into Vermont. Of course, it was the wrong way and we figured it out 15 minutes later. So we did what seemed to be the norm for the day… we took an hour break in the parking lot of a gas station. We turned around, headed in the right direction, and followed 302 in Vermont until we reached the Junction of RT 2 in Montpelier. We followed 2 to 100, sauntered (although we weren’t walking, it is a great word huh?) through Waterbury, stopped at The Alchemist Cannery for a 4-pack of Heady, and then hit up the Best Western pool and jacuzzi – but don’t worry, we were registered guests at the hotel!

If we only learned two things on this trip, it’s that a pool and jacuzzi are very relaxing after a long day of riding (or in today’s case, a long day of taking breaks with short rides in between), and nothing tastes better than good food and great beer after relaxing in a pool and jacuzzi after a long day of riding (or in today’s case…).

Unlike Conway, there were no cabs into Waterbury, and there was no way we were walking the entire 1 very long mile to the bar!!!  So we did what any lazy people would do, we hitched. But before you condemn us, we didn’t hitch a ride from a stranger using our thumbs on the side of the road; we hitched a ride from a stranger that works at the hotel. Sounds so much better right???  But there is a back story here… a few days earlier when booking the hotel, I jokingly asked the woman on the phone if we can borrow her car to get into town and she said yes, or she would give us a ride. So when asked for a ride, Cora said yes. She drove us the mile to Main Street Waterbury, and she met us at the pub for a beer and to bring us home when her shift let out. Not only did we hitch with a stranger, we got in a car with her after she had a beer. Clearly, this blog is not intended for the eyes of children!!!

We ate dinner at Prohibition Pig, the new tenant where The Alchemist Pub and Brewery used to be (click here for the history). Melisa and I have wanted to try this restaurant since it opened on March 15, 2012. As a table, we ordered burgers, brisket, chopped pork, mussels, fries, and hush puppies.  And the pickle? Hands down, the best damn pickle I have ever eaten. But without waxing poetic about all the food, let me just say, the vittles were great, and the brew selection was top notch.  [Update: I have since been back to Prohibition Pig numerous times. Check out my review of Prohibition Pig during a more recent visit.]

After dinner, we made our way across the street (I guess I should have used sauntered at this point!!!) to the Blackback Pub for some after dinner beers. Four, five, or six beers later (the majority of which were Hill Farmstead or Lawson’s Finest Liquids offerings) we were ready to head back to the hotel. Cora brought us back after midnight, and we settled in for a short night’s rest.

Extending the trip was definitely worth it, but getting up and out early is never an easy task after a good night in Waterbury… But damn, those microwavable sausage egg and cheese biscuits sure made getting out of bed worth the while.

Ride hard, ride safe, and enjoy every mile.

  1. […] RT 100, where we followed it all the way to 17. And yes, it’s the same stretch of 17 from my previous weekend trip with Melisa, Todd, and Kim. We were supposed to stay at the Hyde Away Inn, but when we arrived we learned it was hit with an […]

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