I chose Conway as the first stop because the best campsite I've ever seen in my life is near Conway. The Dolly Copp Campground is nearby. It features many campsites right along side the Peabody River. I loved the place. On our first visit, we saw a moose and a lousy chipmunk that ate all our oatmeal. I'm dying to go back.
The mountain passes on the way into the White Mountain region were really, really windy and cold. So let me add to the list of virtues of the Goldwing. It's really stable, even in a blast of 50 mph mountain air across your bow. It also does a great job of keeping the wind off you. I left Baltimore wearing a t-shirt under a riding jacket. I arrived in the White Mountains wearing the same thing.When I stopped to get gas I was shivering uncontrolably.
I arrived in the town of Gorham, NH at about 5pm. Rain was threatening, so I beat feet to the Dolly Copp Campground. I managed to find the campsite I was looking for (# 153, right along the Peabody River). I pulled out the camping gear just as it started to spit. I figured I could set up a tent or cover the bike, but not both, before one of the two got wet. I sacrificed the bike in favor of a dry sleep. I got the ground cloth down and then the tent. Then the spitting turned to rain and I started an endless stream of "shit, shit, shit...". I crammed the Therma-Rest and my bag in the tent and sealed it off. I hadn't had an opportunity to camp with the tent since buying it and seam sealing it. I figured this night would be a good test. I got the gear out that I needed and set the bags containing that gear aside. This is a really cool thing about these kayakers' bags; you can just leave them where it's convenient, even in a rain storm. I got the bike covered and then took a walk down to the ranger's station to pay for the site.
It was a half-hour walk, and by the time I got back it had briefly stopped raining and gotten dark. I thought about building a fire and sitting out for a while when the rain started in again. It seemed like getting some sleep was in order.
I figured the close-fitting bivy tent would keep me fairly warm, so I went to sleep in a t-shirt and shorts. I wasn't too careful about zipping up the mummy bag; they were calling for a low of 40. By morning, after a solid night of rain, I was warm and dry and the mummy bag was zipped up tight, leaving a 6 inch aperture.
I went back out to one of the passes I came through the night before and snapped a few pictures. I got gas in Gorham and then headed out of town toward Canada.