Bethel to Bryant Pond, Maine
Looks like the weather will be fine for the Thursday Ride!!
This ride will take us from Bethel to Bryant Pond, ME, the site of last hand-cranked telephone exchange in the USA. This little town is also famous for a 3-story outhouse. It also has a nice bakery and a convenience store, outdoor dining near the telephone monument and a lakeside dining option also.
And, there's more!!!
The ride is nice and quiet, along the Androscoggin River, fields, farms and forest plus shore side riding on North Lake in Locke Mills. No big hills! This will be a welcome relief from the traffic and noise around the Mt. Washington Valley this week in the height of tourist season.
If you have done the ride to Andover, this ride shares the first 12 miles with that route following Intervale Road to the south and east of the Androscoggin River. Where we typically turn left at Rumford Corner to cross the iron bridge over the river, this route to Bryant Pond takes a right. At Bryant Pond we will stop for snacks (great bakery) and/or lunch. The return is by North Pond in Locke Mills, then winds back via East Bethel Road, a nice back road complete with interesting sculptures...
The ride will start at 9:30 am at the Bethel town park on the Androscoggin River at the intersection of the bike path and Route 26 (where we typically eat lunch on the North Road Ride). Drive to Bethel via Route 2, and about 0.5 mile past the brand new bridge over the Wild River (Rt 113 intersection, Evans Notch area) take a left onto Bridge Street. The construction after this point on Route 2 probably makes it a good idea to turn left on Bridge Street to drive on North Road the rest of the way into Bethel. When you get to the end of North Road, take a right on route 2, then a left at the light and drive about 0.5 mile to the park, on the left at the stop sign.
Ride distance is 40 miles.Ready to ride at 9:30 am!!
If you want carpool, meet at the Jackson Ski Touring/Wentworth Golf Club parking area across the street from the J-Town Deli at 8:20 am. Otherwise, see you in Bethel! See map link below...
Here is some info on Bryant Pond:
"Bryant Pond achieved some national fame and media attention beginning in the mid-1970s when its family-owned Bryant Pond Telephone Company became the last hand-crank telephone exchange in operation in the United States. When in 1981 the local company, operating from a two-position magneto switchboard in the living room of owners Barbara and Elden Hathaway, was purchased by the Oxford County Telephone & Telegraph Company, a nearby larger independent company. A movement called "Don't Yank The Crank" was organized by David Perham and Brad Hooper in a valiant but futile effort to keep their beloved crank phones. The effort was not ultimately successful, and the last "crank" calls took place on 11 October 1983, when a modern dial exchange was placed in service."
Here is a map of the ride: