Day 55 – Crushing the Canc and into Maine

The heat didn’t dissipate much last night. We got up at 6am, ate breakfast, and rode into North Woodstock and Lincoln, both major tourist towns. Still on Hwy 112, we headed east- gaining elevation toward Kancamagus Pass, a 2,100-ft climb. The Canc, as it’s known, has a fearsome reputation on the Northern Tier, mainly due to its reputed steepness. Thanks to some switchbacks, the steady but not too steep climbing didn’t wear us out. We stopped briefly at a Forest Service scenic view near the pass (see photo). Betsy and I reached the pass expecting more climbing; so much for the pass.

Instead, we charged steeply downhill for 5 miles, then more gradually to Conway- along the Swift River. As we neared Conway, hundreds of people waded in the cool river to escape the heat. We encountered a massive traffic jam in town, but we rode around the slowly moving cars, using the highway shoulder. We enjoyed a second breakfast, each getting an omelet, at the Sweet Maple Cafe.

After second breakfast, we biked north on Hwy 123 to Fryeburg, Maine. Continuing north on Hwy 5, we expected to find a cold drink at a C-store in Lovell, but we didn’t find one. Onward we ventured on newly paved Hwy 93, with more climbs to Salem- where we got water from a hose at a church. We headed south for 8 miles to Bridgton, where we found a C-store and cold drinks. After buying food, we rode south for 7 miles to the Colonial Mast Campground. We got a tent site by Long Lake. A dip in the lake, showers, and dinner helped revive us. The torrid weather continues tomorrow.

7/20/19 - North Woodstock, NH to Naples, ME: 74.3 miles


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