"Let it rain."
Ė Eric Clapton

TODAYíS ROUTE:
Gorham, NH to Plattsburgh, NY: SR-16 South to Conway, West on Kancamagus Highway to Lincoln, West on SR-112 to Woodsville, South on SR-10 to Hanover, South on SR-12A to Cornish, North on US-5 to SR-12 to Woodstock, VT to US-4 West, North on SR-100 to Waterbury, North on I-89 to US-2 North to Grand Isle to Rouses Point, NY, South on I-87 to Plattsburgh. (
MAP)

THE DETAILS:
The Weather Channel calls for rain all day, the first of my trip. Many of you have asked what I do on the motorcycle when it rains. The answer is the same thing I do when it isnít raining, except I go a little slower and take fewer pictures. Unless it is really coming down hard, I just keep going.

My clothing keeps me dry and the luggage keeps my gear dry. I wear a BMW Marrakesh jacket and BMW Kalahari pants, both with removable gortex liners. If you want to see what they look like, go to http://www.bmwonline.com/riderswear/rider_s_wear.html. Theyíre expensive but worth it. Because you can remove the gortex, you donít need to bring an extra rain suit, and you can wear the same jacket and pants all the time without sweating to death when it is warm. Protective clothing isnít any good if it is so hot that you donít wear it. The down side of all this is that I look like a geek. Iíd look way cooler in jeans and a leather jacket, but they donít offer a fraction of the protection from the weather and the road I get from the BMW clothing.

While the weather left something to be desired today, the roads and scenery did not. The beauty of New Hampshire simply knocks you over. White birches surround the roadside and the peaks of the White Mountains bathe in wisps of fog. I pass Mt. Washington, the highest point in New England at 6,288 feet. I had thoughts of driving up the mountain but today it is hosting a bicycle race. Just as well, because it is in the 50's at the base and that only means it will be in the 30's at the peak. I press south through the rain and turn west on to the Kancamagus. The views are breathtaking and the road is excellent, providing swooping curves and smooth blacktop. After the poor roads of Maine, Iím grooving on this!

Near Cornish Mills, NH, I stop at The Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site for a stamp and some rest. Augustus Saint-Gaudens, one of Americaís most popular and talented sculptors, spent many productive years at his estate here called "Aspet". The site contains much of his work and is beautifully maintained by the National Park Service. A nice walk around the grounds offers a relaxing break from riding.

I cross the Connecticut River and enter Vermont for another stamp at the Marsh-Billing National Historic Park. Route 100 takes me north through Vermontís lush Green Mountains. Trees crowd the road and the fall foliage must be spectacular, although Iím sure the leaf peepers in their cages (thatís code for tourists in cars) fill the road. But today Route 100 is all mine.

By late afternoon Iím at the Champlain Islands connected together by rambling US Route 2. The rain has let up and visions of a sunset creep through the clouds as I cross into New York State at Rouses Point. Stopping for the night in Plattsburgh I realize I wonít be this close to New York City, and home, for another 95 days.

Thanks to everyone for the encouraging e-mails. Itís nice to have you all along for the ride.

THE DAILY TAKE:
Miles Today: 352.9
Total Miles: 1722
Time on Motorcycle: 7 hours 12 Minutes
Average Speed: 48.9 MPH
States Visited today: 3 (NH, VT, NY)
Total States Visited: 7
National Park Service Passport Stamps: 3
NPS Stamp totals: 29 Stamps, 7 States
Weather: Light to Moderate Rain All Day Long
Number of "Moose Crossing" sign spottings: 237


RANDOM PASSINGS:
If youíre ever near Route 3 and I-87 in Plattsburgh, NY and you're looking for somewhere to eat, check out Anthonyís Restaurant & Bistro. The make a great French Onion Soup and a terrific Jamaican Chicken. And if you're lucky there might be some live piano music near the bar.

 


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