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Sue at the summit of the feared Kancamagus Pass.

Sue at the summit of the feared Kancamagus Pass.

August 14, 2009: Woodstock, NH to South Waterford, ME

Thursday night we slept in the shadow of what we thought might be our biggest obstacle of this ride – Kancamagus Pass, or the “Kan,” as the locals call it. Mount Kancamagus is the tallest peak in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and we learned of its legend as we approached its location. One lady in Vermont told us that she had a hard time driving over the Kan. A man in Woodstock told us that the Kan would make Breadloaf seem like unleavened bread.

New Hampshire's White Mountains

New Hampshire's White Mountains

The climb to the top of the Kan is six miles and it commences as soon as you exit the town of Lincoln, New Hampshire. As we climbed, we expected the mountain to rear her ugly head and throw up grades of 12 to 14%, similar to those that we experienced on the “Loaf.” Alas, with the exception of  some 8 to 9% grades two miles from the summit, the real steep stuff never materialized. As an added bonus, the descent down the east side of the hill was spectacular, offering  some great views of the White Mountains.

Sue, climbing the Kan.

Sue, climbing the Kan.

As the route continued, we descended into the town of Conway, NH. Shortly after leaving Conway, we crossed our final state line and entered the state of Maine.

Having left the Kan in our rear-view mirrors, we naively thought that we were out of the woods with climbing. How wrong we were. Just past the town of Sweden, ME, we faced some punishing rollers – one of which boasted an estimated incline of 20%. We still have about 200 miles left until we arrive in Bar Harbor. Tomorrow we will bicycle towards the coast of Maine and the town of Damariscotta, a distance of some 90 miles.

Today’s bicycling distance: 65 miles.

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