My Route

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Day 4: Thursday, 5th July. Destination: Oxford House B&B, Fryeburg, Maine

First hill climb today, over Streaked Mountain (approx 1,250ft). Looked very scary on the map’s route elevation profile, but not so bad in reality: we all managed it with some energy to spare. In fact, far tougher were the two smaller climbs afterwards which proved a point that Ewa & I were beginning to suspect: small steep climbs and “gently rolling hills” can be a lot more tiring than one big climb. Our longest day so far, at 67 miles, but the return of beautiful New England countryside lifted our spirits. I was riding ahead and feeling fit, so sped into town looking out for the Oxford House B&B. By the time I’d cycled out of town and crossed the state line into New Hampshire, I was beginning to suspect I’d overshot.

By the time I got back E&E had already checked in. Set back from the road, lined with trees and not numerically in sequence were about the best excuses I could muster for missing it, but no excuses were really needed: there were two luxurious suites for us, each with a large, deeply matressed bed, and a posh dinner in a dining room with views out to the mountains. A bit fancy for my taste (expensive mashed potatoes called “rumbledethumps” and a somewhat prim hostess who required us to be enthusiastic about them) but Edward enjoyed it all and was happy to supply enthusiasm. Despite finding myself a little grumpy I had to concede that it was good to sit at a handsome dining table with a glass of red wine in my hand and a well-starched napkin on my lap. Terrible night’s sleep, though: that deep mattress couldn’t disguise the noisy humming from a ventilation unit downstairs.