Life on the Road – June Part 1: Boston, New Hampshire, and Vermont

The crew after an excellent afternoon of dinghy sailing – complete with the MIT mandatory “safety helmets”.

After 75 days on the road, having seen no familiar faces except our own, we were stoked to go to Boston and visit some friends. Unfortunately for us, getting there involved a pretty grueling drive from DC to Boston, through the giant metro sprawl. If traffic wasn’t enough, oh my god the tolls! We had expected $20, maybe $30 in tolls, but we surpassed those figures within our first 2 hours of driving. We pulled over and did a little more reading on the toll situation and found that we’d pay over $80USD in tolls if we stayed on the main route! We made a major re-route to escape the toll road hell, but also tacked on a decent bit of distance and time. We rolled into Boston pretty haggard, but had smiling faces to greet us! There were our friends Graeme, who goes to MIT, and his girlfriend Micayla, who had recently come out east to Ottawa, and had come down to Boston for the weekend. We moved ourselves into Graeme’s apartment and settled down for some relaxation and socializing!

Really happy to be visiting friends, also really stoked that those friends take us sailing!

Our time in Boston was a very welcome reset and decompress – we might be unemployed and exploring, but I can’t say our current lifestyle is all that relaxing! We toured the town by bike and checked out the breweries, took a little sail on the river in the middle of the city, and spent the evenings eating good food, drinking good beer, and playing card games at Graeme’s apartment. We left Boston well rested, well stocked, and in high spirits, Thanks Graeme!

Downtown Boston is a bit of a nightmare on a bike – but beautiful to walk!

After our vacation-from-our-vacation in Boston, we left the big cities behind to explore the wild states that are New Hampshire and Vermont. Our first stop was the small town of East Burke in Vermont, where we were keen to ride the Kingdom Trail Network. We grabbed our trail passes at the trail center in town and set off on a loop of the network. The trails meandered through the deciduous forests and surrounding farmland, with an excellent mix of technical climbs and flowing descents. The trail network does not have a lot of vertical to play with, but the trail builders did a good job building the trails so you weren’t stuck climbing for ten minutes and only descending for one minute. On our loop we took on a few black diamond trails, Alex had a couple introductions to the dirt along the way, but she made it out *mostly* unscathed. We spent a good few hours giving our legs and lungs a workout before packing off in search of an authentic Vermont post-ride beer. Our research took us out onto a little dirt country road that weaved through farmland and ended at a farmhouse brewery and tasting room. There we quenched our thirst, recharged those electrolytes (beer is a sports drink, right?), and offset some of those burned calories from the day’s ride. Vermont’s all right.

When the pavement runs out on the way to the brewery … #justvermontthings

After our riding adventure in Vermont, our next target was the White Mountains of New Hampshire; specifically, the very picturesque Franconia Ridge Loop. We kicked off our hike early in the morning to avoid trail congestion, and gained the ridge in time for lunch. As has been the theme with the Appalachians, the views were stunning. Walking along the ridge provided green panoramic views the whole way. After taking plenty of shots, we clambered the steep route down and back to the van and went in search of camp. We spent one last night in New Hampshire, melting in the evening heat and doing battle with aggressive mosquitoes, and decided that it was time to head back out of the mountains to the Coast. Maine, here we come!

Franconia Ridge snaps on 35mm film!

More shots from the Ridge!

Cool ridge plants// WE CAN SEE OUR HOUSE FROM UP HERE (if you zoom in you can see Ferris in the parking lot!)

Asking fellow hikers to take a picture for you – they got us but missed Mount Layfayette in the background -that’s it off to the left!

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