After my mountain-crossing debacle, I slept like a rock. I woke up and biked 2.5 miles from the campground back to the town of Lincoln, NH. There was a bike shop there, Roger's Ski and Sport, that could look at the ogre and address my gear shifting problem. Turns out there was a kink in the cable preventing shifting, and the cable needed to be shortened. I also bought a new spare tube for the trailer tires in the event of another flat, as well as a new patch kit. Since there were several camping supply stores on the main street, I decided to stock up. I bought more camp soap (a super concentrated body wash), dehydrated meals for the nights I camp far away from food sources, and RAIN GEAR by the name of Frogg Toggs. These are basically a very thin rain jacket and pants. Since it was raining again, I got to use them immediately. I quickly found out just how thin they were, because after my shopping was finished and I mounted my bike to head out of town, 4 inches of the crotch ripped open. Looking on the bright side, I now had a very effective ventilation system.
Leaving Lincoln and heading West, the route led me back into the White Mountain National Forest and some beautiful vistas. I rounded a curve in the road and was alarmed to find a female moose on the side of the road. She seemed equally alarmed, as she caught sight of me she ran off into the trees seeking higher ground.
As you may recall, my very first night on the road there was a pretty bad thunderstorm. Turns out, this storm spanned not only Maine, but much of New Hampshire and Vermont as well, causing such bad flooding in some places that entire roads were washed out and now impassable. One of these roads was part of my route, and I was forced to create an eight mile detour to get myself back to the route. As a result, I could not make it to my intended campground. After leaving the White Mountains, I was riding through seemingly never-ending farmland, which made finding a spot to stealth camp unlikely. I called the fire stations of two towns in a row, hoping i could camp behind one, but neither answered (good thing I wasn't calling about a fire). I stopped at a gas station outside of Piermont, NH to reassess my options, and a woman approached me to pet Dobby. I asked her if she knew of a place I could camp for the night. She went and got the man she was with, and he told me he was a trustee of a church right down the road that had a "youth barn." They followed me in their car to the church, introduced me to the pastor, and showed me where I could stay. The "barn" was a finished efficiency between the pastor's house and the church, and was so much more than I could have possibly asked for. I wish I had remembered to ask these kind folks their names so I could properly thank them, something I have tried to remember to do since then. Not needing to spend the time setting up camp, I instead spent the evening going over my gear and getting advice from a friend, deciding what could be mailed home in order to lighten my pack. I awoke the next morning dry, rested, and inspired by the kindness I had been shown by strangers.
We had traveled 414 miles.