Saturday, December 12, 2009

New Hampshire/Maine – 2009 – Part 1

Location: Concord, NH, USA

Last night, I worked my last shift at the Boiler Room Climbing Gym, for a while, at least. It was a very hectic day. I was finishing a paper, packing, making arrangements, planning routes and working, at the same time. It was particularly hectic because my friends Adrianne and Jennie fed me drinks until I came out with them, the night before. I didn’t end up getting home until late the next morning – oh well – worth it. After a long day of writing and working, I was finally ready to go. So, I grabbed my gear and headed to the Kingston Coach Canada stop, via taxi.

I got on my bus in Kingston and it was awesome. It was a brand new, double-decker, wifi enabled, palace on wheels. Only a few others were on the Friday night run to Montreal, so it was very comfortable. Upon arrival in Montreal (around 4AM) things began to get uncomfortable, for a while. I had to meet up with my friend Zach, who had picked up a bunch of gear for me from Mountain Equipment Co-op. I had to pick up the gear from him, before I could carry on to New Hampshire. So, I had to hump all my gear through downtown Montreal, at 4AM, to meet him at his place. I eventually got to Zach’s and picked up the gear. Luckily, it only took 3 or 4 phone calls to wake him up at 5AM, haha. From there, I cabbed it back to the bus station – walking sucks!!

Figure 1: Getting my gear ready in Kingston

Once back to the Montreal bus station, I read and slept until my next bus arrived. I continued sleeping on the bus, until the border crossing. The American border guards were very surly and were actually detaining people for further questioning – brutal! I showed my passport and breezed through the checkpoint, luckily. So, I waited on the bus – asleep – while everyone else worked their way through customs. The rest of the ride was uneventful. Slept, read, ate McDonald’s – the usual.

I arrived in Concord, NH, at 3PM and my next bus wasn’t until 6:30PM. So, I did a quick kit check and discovered that my headlamp had been crushed in the top of my pack. I stashed my gear at the bus station and set out in search of a new lamp. The only store I could see was, unfortunately, and LL Bean outlet, but they would have what I needed, so I headed in that direction. As I turned the corner, however, an Eastern Mountain Sports came into view and I was relieved. I browsed for a while and headed downtown for some Concord culture, after purchasing a new headlamp. I stopped at a pub called the Barley House and ordered their best local beer and some sweet potato fries. They served me a Tuckerman’s Ale. Tuckerman is the name of a significant ravine on Mount Washington, making it a very apros pos beer to serve me. They brought out enough fries for 6 people, so I offered them up to the bar. I primarily shared them with a lady named Linda, who was there picking up dinner for her and her boyfriend. We talked for about an hour and a half, as her food got cold and her boyfriend called about five times, until I had to catch my next bus. The beer and conversation in Concord were excellent!

Figure 2: My only picture of Concord, NH. It is a historical government building.

Now, I am sitting in the Concord Bus Station waiting for my final leg to Pinkham Notch, NH. I am next to a sleeping homeless man and can’t understand the majority of languages being spoken nearby – it is great to be back on the road!!

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