It was an odd time in Whitefield, New Hampshire as I was in self-imposed stress mode, the cycling was immensely difficult, and the townspeople were not very friendly. I'm guessing transience has much to do with the lack of a warm welcome. My state can be confirmed as I was at the Dairy Bar eating a giant pistachio ice cream cone on the first day (it was Gifford's and it was fantastic!). My insanity was based on the control imposed upon me to cross the Canadian border and the inability to act prior to 72 hours! Thankfully, the wonderful library is open 3 days per week and all documents were in hand el pronto.
Dave, the artist, hostel owner and cyclist is a dear person though I wish I'd asked his story as I wonder why he lives here. Since I stayed a week, he was my main social contact but he was not forthcoming with his story. For the most part, folks from Canada, Massachusetts and New Hampshire came through for a night or two to hike, but it definitely wasn't a true hostel community.
When Dave told me he drives to cycle with groups, I knew I was in trouble as he was a racer for 25 years. For three days, I rode each "spoke" from the square until I'd hit a vertical wall that I just could not manage. Wicked hill riding! On the final day, I finally succumbed to driving a few miles to the lovely Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge to connect to the 20+ mile Rail Trail. Unfortunately, it was heavy gravel in a few miles so I returned to the blacktop. One last push!
A strange week all the way around as I had just left the sweet-smell and mellow feeling of Vermont, and was ready to roll into Canada. Yes, I did get across the border with no Covid testing or vehicle search! Merci.
Cyclist, writer, teacher, avid reader, bike/ped advocate, nomad, pie lover