DAY 4 (6/14/05): Lewiston, ME to Freyburg, ME: 70.1 mi. Some mornings you wake up and it's hot, and others you wake up to the sound of driving rain. Today was a wet one. My dad took one look at the rain from jis comfortable seat at the breakfast table and thought that perhaps he should keep my mother company today rather than riding. So, after breakfast I set out on my own for Freyburg. The major challenge of the day was to climb Streaked Mountain. Ordinarily, it would not have been a hard climb but large sections of the road had been replaced by wet sand and packed gravel due to repaving efforts. The construction people were all very nice to me thoug, and I made it through in the end. Have I mentioned how much I like Dagny's 1.5” tires? They rock. After the climb and challenging decent, the route flattened out briefly before a really tough series of very steep hills between Waterford and Sweden. I had to really push hard in my lowest gear just to keep moving. In Freyburg, we stayed at the Admiral Peary house. Our host, Derek, was awesome. A fellow cyclist, he spent a lot of time helping me fix up the front brakes on my bike. If you're ever in Freyburg, you should definitely go stay at his inn. In addition to being a great mechanic, he serves up an excellent breakfast! Day 5 (6/16/05): Freyburg, ME to North Woodstock, NH 50.1 mi. Today was my last day riding with my father, and what a great day it was. We got a relatively early start on a cold, misty morning, and almost immediately crossed the state line into NH. Then, we began to climd, only a few % grade for the first 10 mi or so. The Kancamangas highway is really spectacular, following a rushing stream for much of its course, with lots of scenic White Mountain vistas when they aren't covered with fog. The last stretch of the climb is 4 mi of 7-8% grade. After a victory moment at the top, we coasted all the way down to Lincoln, where I bid farewell to my parents and headed off for a much needed trip to the laundromat before setting up camp in North Woodstock. DAY 6: North Woodstock, NH to Gaysville, VT 87.9 mi. Today's cold and rainy ride involved two major climbs--first one big one to get out of North Woodstock that was pretty manageable, nothing too steep. As is the patter so far, all the views were hidden by fog and rain, but I'm sure they were nice. Then, I had many miles of really beautiful cruisinf through the Connecticut river valleyn full of old farms, farmhouses and barns. It is also relatively flat, which I enjoyed, in spite of the chilly temps and rain. I crossed the CT river into Vermont somewhere in that valley, and then had to climb out of the valley. That climb was shorter, steeper, colder, and wetter. I was pretty pooped by the time I arrived at the White River campground in Gaysville. I did muster the energy to sit at my picnic bench, about 4 feet from the rushing water of the White river and use my new stove for the first time, to cook up some very tasty ramen noodles. Yum yum! DAY 7: Gaysville, VT to Ticonderoga, NY 68.2 mi. I awoke this morning to the sound of a torrential downpour drumming on the roof of my tent. I waited for a break in the weather and then packed as quickly as I could. It started raining again almost immediately. I stopped for a much-needed hot breakfast and then attacked the major climb of the day: Middlebury gap. It was steep and wet but otherwise I can't complain. I met a couple touring on a co-motion tandem, they were very nice and even less happy about the weather than I. At the bottom of the gap it was raining so hard that I sought shelter with three other drenched bike tourers under an overhang at a gas station. When the rain had let up enough so that I could see the road again, I rode right through Middlebury without stopping, I was just too wet to enjoy it. I headed was across more beautiful (if flooded) farm country to the shore of Lake Champlaign, where I took a cool little ferry that runs on underwater cables (like tracks) to the other side, and entered the soggy empire state. After stopping briefly in Ticonderoga to buy food and a spare towel (no joke), I went south to Roger's Rock state park and pitched my tent on the highest piece of ground I could find. After using my new towel to dry the inside of the tent, it was quite nice, the driest I'd been all day!