What a day it was!!! I woke up on a sunny couch in Porltland, made a delicious brunch with a dear Bowdoin friend Ben Lake and his amazing roommates and then set out for Freeport, ME. Ben knew the roads very well, so it was almost like a vacation for me. We took turns leading and I felt like I was part of the Tour (except for going about 20mph slower than they do. Is that even possible?). We were our own little peloton! Before we left Portland, I got to go over many of my mechanical questions with Ben, who is a very good bike mechanic. I have his phone number set to speed dial in my phone, should the need arise!
The ride to Freeport was gorgeous, with winding roads and beautiful houses. My favorite part however, were the smells. I kept turning to Ben or shouting ahead, “It smells AMAZING!” All the pines, the ocean, the cows. My olfactory memory was nearly overwhelmed. In Freeport, we stopped by Beans quickly for a sleeping pad. That quick stop turned into a bit of a longer wait, as the pad I was interested in was mislabeled and a big mystery to the employees. We got it straightened out in about half an hour, and we were back on our way to Harpswell.
Why Harpswell before Brunswick? One of my dearest inspirations in the sciences, Bowdoin emeritus Professor Chuck Huntington and his wife Louise live in a beautiful house on the peninsula. Ben and I tried to be speedy in getting there – I was supposed to be at another dear Professor’s house by 7 – but the bumpy, moderately broken roads made going fast difficult. Entirely worth the trip however, because Chuck and Lousie greeted us with delicious lemonade and news from all their grandchildren, the Midcoast Orchestra, and Kent Island. Chuck studied petrels, a little pelagic seabird, on Kent Island for many years and he (along with Bowdoin PreOrientation) really cultivated my love of birds. He and Louise have been great inspirations to me since 2003. I wish we could have stayed longer, but just seeing them again and talking as we did really filled my heart.
After our stop in Harpswell, Ben and I zoomed to Brunswick to the home of two current Bowdoin Professors, Jill Pearlman and Paul Franco. After filling up on a delicious pesto dinner, Ben parted ways and headed back to Portland. I had an amazing evening talking with Jill and Paul – they are amazing conversationalists! I really think that Papa would have a great time talking about philosophy with Paul. Maybe I can set up a meeting for them one of these years!
This morning I am off, first to Bowdoin’s McLellan building (Jill set up for me to meet with people from the Bowdoin Daily Sun!) and then down the road to the Fiddlehead Campground in Freyburg, ME.
Internet may be difficult to come by until I’m in Lincoln, NH (hopefully tomorrow). If I can, I will most certainly keep posting!