Day 1

At this time, I'd like to reserve the right to tell the story completely out of order, leave out pertinant details, and altogether make this description of my trip as convoluted as possible in order to increase the clarity and hilarity of my trip.

And then the sun exploded.

Okay, I'm not going to begin the story with bulldozers at my front door, worrying about the destruction of my home when the planet will be gone in a short time, anyway.

See? Clarity.

The story starts with a canceled flight, as all good interactions with airlines do. I was now flying out at 10am, rather than 6am. This has an indirect effect on the week.

This is also a moment when I'm leaving out pertinent details.

So I end up getting into Manchester around 3:30 or so. I start walking. I immediately find out that a) GPS units and maps aren't especially useful when there are fences and off map roads surrounding you, and b) there are not many walkways away from the airport.

So, I begin walking through the grass, along the highway, wondering how vagrant-like I look, occasionally getting scared by minor things, such as having a plane fly 25 feet over my head, at which point I decide that walking on the upper part of the hill is, well, not a good idea.

I continue walking. I'm heading towards a bike shop, and I figure it's maybe 4 miles away, so I figure it might take awhile.

Unfortunately, I'm wearing my army bag that's almost entirely full, my shoes don't fit correctly, and my left leg hurt from sliding through the stairs the day before(see? Another story you're not going to read.)

And, unfortunately, the bike shop is about seven miles away. Or, rather, it takes me a little over two hours to get there, with a couple of stops at gas stations for refreshments and a bathroom break.

So, I arrive at the bike shop. Previously I had decided that I'd like to rent a bike, and if I can't rent a bike, I'll buy one, as I don't have a bike I can use in the winter.

Now, let's just pause and think about this for a second: I'm buying a bike 1500 miles away from where I live. This would make perfect sense if I were definitely moving to New Hampshire, and going into the trip it seemed reasonably likely. After two hours of walking, and a few, "What the heck am I doing?" thoughts later, this was significantly less certain.

So, I bought a bike, and started towards Concord, using the directions I got from the guy at the bike shop. I immediately began thinking, "Boy, was that stupid."

That eventually passed, and I began thinking, "You know, this is one of the craziest things I've done."

Of course, considering my past(e.g., the getting asked out by a guy to prom, saying yes, and all the rest that came from that.), I think it's a bit of an exaggeration.

Anyway, I headed on to Concord, and found that it took me much less time to bike to Concord than I thought it would. So, strike two for time estimation in far off lands.

I arrive in Concord, and find out that they decided to hold a festival just for me.

Market Days is a yearly festival in Concord where the local shops put out some deals, and a few other groups have things there -- there was a record album sale, a kayaking club raffle, and a covered wagon selling cooked hunks of buffalo death.

I head off to the capitol, checking to make sure that the girl I was supposed to meet wasn't still there, an hour and a half after I was supposed to arrive. She's not there, and there's a decent bit of story around all that. Again, I'm skipping it, and teasing you mercilessly, because I just don't like you, with your purient eyes, reading with voyeurisitic glee.

It's around this time that I realize I have a bit of a problem. I know the address of the motel I'm staying at, but nothing else. No name, no phone number, nothing of any use.

You see, I had depended on my Mapopolis maps to find my way. Unfortunately, this, "Gulf Road" has one building on it -- my motel. And I guess it's not on my maps or in Mapquest.

Thankfully, this is market days, so I begin asking people questions, hoping they either know where the motel is, or can find me a phone book, so that I can figure out where I should be going, or at least a name, so I can harass people until I find the place.

Instead I get directed to a nice gentleman who tells me the name of the place, and then how to get there.

Disaster averted.

Although, mind you, "disaster" would have been walking up and down the street pulling people aside, asking them questions, and possibly meeting more people. So perhaps it didn't turn out for the best.

Or perhaps that's just my argument for why serendipity doesn't cause me to believe in fate.

Anyway, that's the end of excitement for the first day(although I DID skip over the buffalo eating and the gambling). I headed to my motel room and enjoyed the copious amenities of your basic-level accomodation.