I’ve finally had my first ho-hum section of biking. The ride was largely beautiful, but there were hills like none I’d ever climbed before, and crumbled shoulders that looked like well… crumbled concrete. There were zooming cars (on the road with no shoulder)… mosquitoes… and some poorly marked roads.
Not 4 miles outside of Brunswick, I met my first nasty hill. To me, hills are only nasty if you can’t climb them without chanting “just keep cycling… just keep cycling…” or “slow and steady… slow and steady…” or without doing uphill switchbacks. There were numerous such hills yesterday and I think today will be similar, if not more so.
But to the positives! Jill and I had a great talk over breakfast yesterday. We sat at Paul’s “summer desk,” a picnic table with a table cloth in their back yard. The first night when Ben and I arrived, he was out there working on some research, and it looked absolutely idyllic. It didn’t disappoint as a breakfast spot, either!
Here I am with Jill, Paul, and Reggie, and lots of Bowdoin Pride!
It’s funny. I’m writing this from my tent in the Fiddlehead Campground. The birds have been chirping since 4, and I’m just about ready to pack my bags and set out again today. I really wasn’t a big fan of yesterday’s ride, despite the fact that I made it 75+ miles. I was disappointed in the road quality, but the ACA route noted the crumbling shoulders. There isn’t anything a bicyclist can do about speeding cars except be vigilant. And as for hills, well… they come with the territory. I’m sure I’ll be pining for hills at some point, when all I get are flat flat roads. Arriving at the camp was no small success either. The campground was marked, but once I took the turnoff, there weren’t any. I went up the first driveway along the little road and came to what looked like either a really really really gross campground (garbage everywhere, old port-a-potties, broken camp chairs) or just a garbage dump. It was getting dark, so I went back down to the main turnoff road and kept walking. Maybe 1/2 mile later, I came to the camp. Phew, I thought. I’ve made it! Now just setting up camp… But the manager wasn’t answering the phone, I had no idea where to camp or even if there was availability! After conferring with Vij (thank HEAVENS there was cell reception!) I decided to set up camp in a parking spot between a Kubota backhoe and a big Maine truck. My guffy fits in sooo nicely between the two. Quite the stud. Once my tent was up, the managers came up on their ATV. I was amazed at how wonderful they were! George, his wife, and their daughter were just returning from their farmhouse which is why they hadn’t received my call. My spot choice was fine, they said, and I didn’t have to pay. Whee! Things started looking up. Even more so when I realized I had internet access! I like to think that I enjoy camping, being alone in nature, etc. But when you get scared, for whatever reason, it is amazing how quickly you miss the trappings of city life! Anyway, to conclude the “it’s funny” thought, it’s funny that when I arrived last night I was in such a funk. This morning, I woke up feeling two things: heartburn (???!!!) which I attribute to eating too much trail mix and sleeping with my head below my legs. Oops. And excitement. I didn’t wake up thinking about yesterday or the near-sketchiness of last night. The adventure continues. This morning, I’m off to Conway, NH (mentally waving to Nugget’s family in North Conway!) and then up Kancamagus Pass to Lincoln. The ride will be much shorter mile-wise, to accommodate what is shaping up to be an overabundance of climbing. I’ve also heard the scenery is gorgeous. I will take pictures!