Kickstand up about 9:30AM Saturday. A blast up 33 to 80 across the gap and on to Old Mine Road.
As usual, my carefully planned GPS points fall apart early into the trip. Still, I managed to get guided across a small bridge on a dirt road. On the other side, I took the road more traveled which quickly devolved into big exposed rocks and standing water/ mud. Fully loaded an hour into the trip is a bad time to biff; extreme caution exercised.
Very soon I came to another little wooden bridge and then a gate. Super adventure requires going around the gate, so I squeezed thru and mooshed the right side case on a post. It popped the case open, but there was no damage evident. Behold the "gateway to adventure":
On the other side, another 100 yards of gravel put me back out on the main road. Total dirt excursion: a few minutes. Realizing I didn't want to jerk around in NJ all day and dump/ break something: trip-saving.
I needed to cover ground so plotted a course directly for 84, then to the TSP. Having EZ Pass aboard made crossing the Hudson painless. I was halfway up the TSP before I felt the need to re-plot.
I took the TSP to the exit before 90, ported over to 22, then to 7 into Vermont. This may be the exact route I took on the syrup run - many landmarks looked familiar. I wanted to cross Vermont further north than last time, so took 7N slab/ "new" 7. Approaching 313, I saw a cluster of my waypoints scroll onto the GPS screen - Kelley Stand Rd, a promising route thru the Green Mt. Nat'l Forest - so I exited. Maybe I'd ride more of my plan after all!
The road was closed, so I just headed north. At one point the pavement ended for a while. Again, I'm surprised at how sandy it is here... in the mountains.
The Kelley Stand route I'd planned led to Jamaica - I was trying to pick routes with camping opportunities along the way in case my timing was way off. I'll have to check tracks: I took some combination of 11, 30, et. al. to get to 90. Another high-speed slog north, then 112 across NH, headed to the Pinkham Notch. The surface of 112 is bad enough to govern speed and necessitate standing - otherwise it would have been a nice ride. Somewhere on 112 nature struck - very pretty country.
It was late afternoon, but I started becoming more optimistic about making Gorham before dark - until I hit Lincoln, NH - a gnarly, congested, touristy mess. I tried to skirt it by getting on 93, but the left turn arrow wouldn't detect me. After 2 cycles, I got over to the right to go thru, turn around, and come back at it from the other side. But so doing, I passed a McDonalds, so I stopped for something to eat (I hadn't eaten anything since breakfast, and it was 5 or 6 o'clock-ish). It was too crowded, so I bailed. I just needed make a left out of the parking lot to get on 93. Again, no joy: a relentless string of traffic frustrated me after a few minutes of sitting. I went right, then made the next left to U turn, ending up sitting in the traffic I couldn't turn against since I got here. After some more sitting, I finally got to enter 93. It was beyond frustrating to waste 15 - 30 minutes of precious daylight to go 100 yards because the damned traffic lights aren't calibrated for motorcycles.
93 North from Lincoln passes thru the Franconia Notch. This is a very scenic and historic pass - the location of the "Old Man of the Mountain" - but of course I didn't know that in advance. The scenery was breath-taking, and there were lots of places to pull off and immerse, but daylight was burning... and I was almost out of gas. I allowed GPS to direct me (always a mistake) to the nearest gas and it diverted me to a small, closed (out of business) station 6 miles off my course. Next on the list was Twin Mountain. A mile or so from the gas station I passed a private campground. I decided to pack it in - just 30 miles from Gorham, about 450 for the day.
A friendly chat with the proprietor and $29 later I was setting up at site T-6 for the night, having been warned of a bear sighting. I struck camp, and made some hotdogs.
I think I'm getting the hang of moto-camping: taking the bike sheepskin off to use on the picnic bench; hanging the camelback to create a source of tapwater, setting up quickly and efficiently. I've been working a lot less hard for a lot more luxury than on earlier trips. Neighboring campers look more impressed each time a bike rolls up and a few minutes later there's a well-appointed campsite with food cooking.
I settled in for a cold night.