Rick and Jeffrey had a nice chat this morning. Rick’s back and neck were broken when his car was rear-ended. The other driver fled, and was caught. That didn’t spare Rick nine months in traction. A hand injury prevents him from practicing his profession: tattoo artist. Rick knows what it is to suffer injustice, poor fellow. Unlike asylum applicants, though, at least he has a country that is safe to call his home.
The main road from Concord to Keene is closed to bicycles for the first several miles out of town. We took side roads, and an amazing bike path that – in an M. C. Escher experience – looked like it went uphill but down we coasted, fast! New Hampshire Route 9, where open to cyclists, was great:
a wide smooth shoulder, sometimes separated by rumble strips from the motor lane. Most of the hills were gradual, but there were lots of them. One downhill lasted over 4 miles, which meant we had climbed for over 4 miles.
Along the way – all day – people called out to us. Construction worker: “I saw you on Route 28!” (25 miles ago). Woman leaning out SUV window: “Human rights! Thank you!” Two guys fussing with a truck: “We passed you 40 miles ago!” Highway surveyor: “Are you really going all the way to New York?” Lots of toots and waves from people driving east as we pedaled west; some of them may have passed us westbound and greeted us on their return trip.
Scenes from today’s traverse of New Hampshire:
A Methodist church in Concord displayed this sign. Across the road, the Baptist and Mormon churches did not.
Great Turkey Pond.
On this day of warm sun and cool dry air, the mountains looked like soft moss.
Outside Henniker, we met Leo.
He was on the shoulder, securing his recumbent trike to the roof of his car. Leo is a retired veterinarian. Although he and his wife comfortably rode conventional bikes across the USA 25 years ago – I wonder whether he had to apply some veterinary unguents like Bag Balm – he now prefers recumbent machines. We talked a little about refugees, a lot about trikes.
We’ll spare you photos of road-killed porcupines. We’ve seen many. How about a resting butterfly instead? You won’t see this from a train, plane, bus or car. Oh, smashed on the windshield, maybe . . .
Franklin Pierce was a lousy president. But he’s the only one born in New Hampshire.
Scenes around Antrim:
This bridge was built with two arches, and no mortar, in the 1850s. Here’s our photo, taken from across the busy highway; and an official photo.
New Hampshire forests are full of granite boulders.
Some may have been moved and left by melting glaciers; others may be the remnants of eroded mountains. The rocks stay. We go.
Wood and water. Some call it paradise. It certainly is lovely in summer.
Our newest friend of human rights is Emily, who brought Jeffrey his pasta dinner.
Emily just earned a bachelor’s degree in occupational health and safety. When Jeffrey mentioned how he got to the restaurant, Emily said, you’re the guy on the funny bike doing something for human rights! She had read our sign on her way to work. This chance second encounter gave Jeffrey the opportunity to explain Human Rights First’s mission. We hope Emily joins the adventure on-line, tells her friends . . . and finds a job in her profession!
Tune in tomorrow for what we hope will be a significant day on this year’s Ride.