Atlantic Maritimes &
Denis Kertz, ©2007
I was in no hurry in the morning because the Lupine Lodge restaurant didnít open until 8:00.† I got there right at 8:00 and had good pancakes.† I was also reminded about the great view out the window from the rustic lodge.† It was foggy earlier and there was still a trace of fog.
I left close to 9:00 and rode next door to the Roosevelt
Lodge, where Franklin Delano Roosevelt spent his childhood summers and some of
his early adulthood.† It didnít open for
a tour for another hour so I just took a photo and left.† There was a nice lookout from nearby Friarís
Head with a panoramic view of the islands.† Then there was a nice side road loop to the
Finally, I rode across the bridge and checked through
customs.† I was the only one and checked
through in a couple of minutes.† After a
brief trip through downtown, I changed my bike computerís clock from
I left town on 189 which was a very poor road.† Not only was it shoulderless but the edge of the road was frequently cracked and some of the cracks were large enough to swallow my front tire.† So I was glad to detour after abut 5 miles on 191 that looped out to the coast and back to 1.† My goal was Machias, 32 miles from Lupec.† My plan was to take tomorrow off as rest day since it was forecast to be rainy and a mess.† Machias looked like the only reasonable town down the road for laying over.
As soon as I turned on 191 I knew it was a good choice.† It was shoulderless but the pavement was good all the way to the edge of the road.† It was about 20 miles to Cutter on the coast.† Mostly forested and not that scenic but the curvy road with little traffic and modest hills was good riding.† At Cutter I found a scenic harbor with lots of fishing boats and fishing activity but strangely there wasnít any food, unless you liked raw fish.† Scenery was much better along the coast as the road turned northwest.† Then I saw a number of tall antennas strung out on a peninsula.† I counted 26 antennas and was naturally drawn to them via a side road.
There was a restricted area sign but I rode on until I reached a gate, hoping to see a sign identifying the purpose of the antennas.† There was nothing at the gate so I asked a neighbor right next door to the gate.† He said it was some Navy communications system.† When I turned to leave the guyís driveway I saw a guard with binoculars and a civilian at the gate.† I could only surmise they were piqued by my appearance at the gate so I rode back to the gate and told the guard I was interested in the antennas and he kind of smirked and said they were antennas.† I said I guess they were part of some Navy communications system and he said he guessed they probably were.† It was obvious he was not about to share any information so I left.
I rode a ways before I dared to stop and take a photo.† I was a bit paranoid by then and after 2 quick photos I saw 2 vehicles in my rear view mirror.† They both passed me and I rejoined 191.† Then I saw a big red truck following me that looked like it could be a fire truck except it showed no interest in passing me.† Finally it did pass and it was a fire truck and my paranoia ended.
A little further I finally found a convenience store at
North Cutter where a water tower had ĎNaval Stationí stenciled on it.† One of the things I liked on past trips was
either pizza slices or a burrito for lunch.†
I never found either on this trip until I crossed the border back into
There was a possibility of a thunderstorm in the afternoon
and it was clouding up like that could happen.†
So I upped my pace to make it to Machias quicker.† I reached 1 at
After cleaning up I found the library and took care of email.† Iíve had an ongoing email exchange with United Airlines in my attempt to get them to reimburse me for the extra day stay in Yarmouth due to there 2 day late baggage delivery of my bike panniers.† They continued to insist how my travel experience was important to them and continued to stonewall my $53 reimbursement request.† They did offer a $75 voucher for a future trip but I continued to insist that I expected reimbursement for the current trip.
In the evening I ate at the bar at the Thirsty Moose Cafť.
It was raining some when I got up in the morning.† I walked across the street to a restaurant for an oatmeal breakfast.† It didnít look like a good day but it got better as the day wore on.† By 9:30 there were a few patches of blue in the sky and it didnít rain the rest of the day.
I spent the morning mailing some books back home, doing
laundry, and paying bills via the Internet.†
I found a place with Internet service for $5 per half hour and that also
allowed me to start planning a route across
The Presidentís Cup was on TV all afternoon and I caught some of that.† Later, I ate at a Subway.
I ate at the restaurant across the street again and had their pancakes which were OK.† On my way out of town I decided to replenish my cash at an ATM since I gave up $100 cash to stay at the Seagull Inn.† The first ATM wanted to dock me $3 so I declined that.† Another ATM across the street wanted $1.50 and I accepted that.
I rode out of town on 1 whose good shoulder became a mess a little ways out of town.† The shoulder was unrideable and the pavement near the white line was frequently cracked up.† It looked like it could be a long day but this lasted for only about 5 miles and then the good shoulder returned the rest of the way except for a few miles before Milbridge.† I rode through a rolling wooded area where there were hints of the fall colors to come, probably a week away.† After 30 miles I stopped in Milbridge for my 2nd breakfast.
My planned route was to take 1 to Ellsworth and then head
I had to ride past the return loop of 187 near Columbia Falls to a service station where I asked if there was any alternative to riding to Ellsworth.† The attendant mentioned the ferry but didnít know if it was still running.† She inquired of another woman who said the ferry was still running and found the schedule in a brochure.† The next trip was at 1:00 and it was almost 12:30 and the ferry was about 7 miles away.† I figured I had no chance to make that and would have to wait for the 3:00 ferry.† Then after wasting a few precious minutes I decided to take off and maybe the ferry gods would still be working for me.
It was a fairly easy ride to the ferry landing at
At 3:00 I took the ferry which was a passenger only
ferry.† It cost $20 which was much more
than any of my other ferry rides but it was almost an hour long and it saved me
considerable time.† But it was a struggle
to lift my loaded bicycle up a few steps to reach the ferry boat.† The ferry had about 50 life vests but there
were only 3 of us on board.† The other 2
were elderly women who were completing a roundtrip from
When we approached Bar Harbor there was a huge cruise ship
When we docked we had difficulty on the first attempt and
the skipper took the boat out and brought it back in successfully on the 2nd
try.† My first impression of
I turned around on a busy road with almost no shoulder.† Just past the street where I had initially come out was a parallel road and I took it.† A little further I found a Subway where I got a foot long sandwich, ate half, and saved the other half for later.† Then it was near 5:00 and I had a little over an hour to find a campground.† I knew heading south would get me to a campground; it was just a question of whether it would be daylight when I got there.† Fortunately, there was a National Park campground about 6 miles out of town so that worked fine.
I paid $20 for a tent site and the park ranger brought me a food locker to protect my food from raccoons.† The ranger who checked me in was very helpful.† I set up, cleaned up the best I could, and ate the rest of my Subway sandwich.
In the morning I met one of my tenting neighbors who was a
local.† He and his young daughter had
bicycled to this campsite and were returning home today.† He gave me a little advice about riding across
I backtracked a short ways to a small store in Otter Creek for a breakfast of cereal and a banana.† I could have picked up the park loop road from the campground but would have missed part of the loop.† So I rode 5 miles back towards Bay harbor and started the loop there.† It was good that I did because I would have missed some of the best scenery by starting from the campground.
There were some great views of the bay and I had the road almost to myself early in the morning, although I did share it with several cyclists.† I also shared the road with a deer who was eating on the side of the road.† She let me pass on the other side of the road.† I stopped a little past and got a nice photo looking back.† The scenery included some mansions along the shore and some rugged coastline along the southern tip.
After I rounded the southern tip and started north away from
the coast, I rode through a tree lined road.†
The scenery was less interesting but the riding was nice with sunlight
flitting through the trees.† Then I
started the 3.5 mile climb of
At the top there were spectacular views of the surrounding
area.† I could see
On my descent there was a steady stream of cyclist making
the climb.† That was surprising but later
I learned there was a bike ride that explained all the cyclists.† After completing the descent I completed the
loop ride and then rode into
I bypassed 3 by taking 233 back to the park road and rode to
the visitor center.† There wasnít much of
interest there except for a large relief map of the area.† From the visitor center I had to get on 3 for
a short distance and then turned on to
I rolled my bike down the steep steps carefully, using my bikeís brakes to make sure I didnít lose control of the bike.† The Weather Channel said it was 35F in Ellsworth and it felt like it when I left about 9:00.† It was 8 miles to Ellsworth with a lot of rush hour traffic but most of it was heading south.† I didnít see anything in town other than fast food places and a Dennyís and those didnít meet my breakfast standards.
When I turned left on Highway 1/3 I was on
When I left at 9:00 I crossed a river and had a fairly steep
climb out of town.† There was a fair
amount of traffic but 1/3 had a wide shoulder.†
Ten miles after leaving Ellsworth, I met Michael, a German touring
cyclist riding from the other direction.† He was doing a 2-week loop out of
I told Michael about the $30 motel I stayed at last night
and he sounded interested in using that as his base for exploring
It was 20 miles to Bucksport where I stopped for my 2nd
breakfast.† When I left I crossed the
From Bucksport to
Leaving Belfast 1 & 3 split and most of the traffic
stayed with 1 and 3 become much quieter.†
Still 5 miles later I took the opportunity to get off a major highway
and picked up 131 south to
So I rode east on 17 for 1.7 miles to Mic-Mac Market, a convenience store, where they handled check-in for the campground, a quarter mile down a gravel road.† It wasnít a great deal at $25 but better than the normal rate of $30.† When I rode down to the campground I was disappointed to find showers cost $1 and needed 4 quarters which I didnít have.† So I had to ride back to the store just to get 4 quarters.
After setting up I walked back to the store for food.† When leaving I saw the campground was next to a lake which presumably justified the premium prices for camping.† The store had a pizzeria but I didnít feel like pizza so I heated up a ham sandwich and ate while writing my notes.
I was packed up and gone shortly after 7:00.† Using the restroom reminded how rather dilapidated they were.† I couldnít see a lot to recommend this campground except perhaps the lake but it was nice to have a place to stay overnight.
I rode down the road a short ways to a cafť where there were a number of cars.† This was obviously the breakfast place and local hangout and probably the only such place in town.† The menu only listed 1 or 2 pancakes as options so I assumed they must be really big and I ordered 2 banana walnut pancakes for $5.† Unfortunately, they were not especially large and didnít merit the price but they were good.
A local sat down at the counter and asked about my
trip.† Then he told me when he was 27 he
broke up with a girl.† When he woke up
the next morning he decided to ride across the country and rode from
When I left at 8:30 I rode west on 17 about 5 miles and
turned south on 220 and then west on 126.†
126 was similar to 131 yesterday, a roller coaster but not as
hilly.† It also had no shoulder and
cracked pavement that made for some bumpy riding.† Then about half way to
After 31 miles I stopped in
I had to cross the
I rode 126 into
I got a half hour of Internet time and made some map copies
I followed her directions out to I95 where there were 3
motels including a Motel 6 that had $40 rooms but it wasnít a particularly
great location.† Had I realized motel
locations would be a problem, I would have googled for motels on the Internet
and would have saved myself a lot of time.†
Instead I headed back towards the library where my map said there was a
visitor center.† I never found the
visitor center but I found a cyclist who had toured down to
After checking in at the Motel 6 I walked almost a mile to a Chinese place with a buffet and then back to the motel.
I wasnít in a hurry in the morning since I expected a short day to Fryeburg, about 45-50 miles.† I rode back downtown by the library, not quite 3 miles, and a little further I found a deli open for breakfast.† I had 3 nice pancakes and a cup of coffee for $5.
Leaving town was a bit of a mess.† I had to cross the river and ride on a 4-lane
road.† It wasnít fun, just a matter of
holding my line at the edge of a road that had some cracks.† Once I was out of
So I took 26 north which looked like normally it would be a
busy road.† However, it was being repaved
and a section was down to a single lane.†
This had the effect of bunching traffic in my lane to an occasional burst
of traffic.† So I made good time to
I decided to ride to Fryeburg anyway and figure out what to
do when I got there.† A guy at the cafť
recommended riding 118/5 which he said was more scenic with less traffic than
117/302 that I had planned.† It didnít
look that much longer than my planned route so I took his advice.† Nor surprisingly I started some climbing
shortly after leaving
I rode a little further and stopped at
I didnít so I rode into town which was a stream of vehicles
coming and going.† I stopped for a snack
and then rode another mile where there was a
I rode back into town and had fish & chips at a restaurant.† Then I rode to the city park and wrote my notes until it was time to meet Ron at the visitor center.
I stopped by the visitor center at 5:30 and Ron discussed
some of my planned
Ron had a big place and a good place to set up my tent.† His lady friend told him to invite me for dinner but I had to decline since I was still full of fish & chips.
Yesterday when I got to Fryeburg, my butt was really sore and I almost couldnít ride any further.† I donít use any butt salve and rarely have any problem ďbutĒ once or twice a trip I get really sore.† When that happens I apply Mentholatum overnight and Iím fine the next morning.† This time I was concerned ďbutĒ once again I was fine in the morning.
I told Ron he wouldnít see me in the morning because I would be gone between 7:00 and 7:30 and I left shortly after 7:00.† It was supposedly 6 miles to Conway and I had to take that on faith since my computer didnít work.† It worked all day yesterday and now it suddenly didnít work.† I hoped my transmitter battery was just weak and I decided to wait until I got to town to change it.
The first cafť in town didnít have pancakes so I went to the other one which did.† They were OK but rather overpriced.† After breakfast I changed my transmitter battery and that didnít work.† I tried another battery as well without success.† My transmitter has a little green LED that blinks when working and it wasnít blinking so I feared my transmitter had died for the 2nd year in a row.† I resigned myself to riding without a computer.
I picked up 112, the
Then the road started a long climb to the
It was a 3.5 mile 9% descent according to a sign.† More importantly, it was all downhill to
There was a National Forest campground about 12 miles
further on 112 and I made for that.† I
had another pretty good climb to K?? Notch, not as long as the morning climb
but a little steeper at the end.† At the
It was another 9% descent for 2 miles and then I reached my campground, the only place to stay for quite a ways.† I was in camp around 4:00 so I had a little time on my hands compared to normal.† It bugged me that my computerís transmitter just suddenly died overnight so I started playing around with it.† I came to the conclusion that the problem was poor electrical contact for the battery.† I cleaned the contacts the best I could and seemed to have the transmitter working since its greed LED was blinking.† However, I couldnít get the main unit to sync up with it so I wasnít confident I had a working computer.
This was supposedly bear country so I hung my food for the first time.† Then I wrote my notes and retired, satisfied after a good day of riding through some fine scenery.
It was cool in the morning but I didnít realize how cool until I started riding after my cereal breakfast.† The road still was a modest downhill and the sun was just climbing over the mountains.† My fingers and toes got very chilled and I slowed down to reduce the wind chill.
Since my computer didnít work, I estimated I had a couple of
miles to my turn on 116.† This was good
because there was some initial climbing which helped warm me up and got me up
into the sun quicker.† It was 9 miles to
I turned south on 10 and rode above the Connecticut River
that was the border between
5 turned out to be a good choice.† It didnít have much traffic since it paralleled an Interstate and it was a good, mostly flat road.† I tried getting my computer to sync up with my transmitter again.† That didnít appear to work but a little later I noticed my computer was recording ride data.† However, I wasnít too confident and after 4 miles it stopped working again.
After 15 miles on 5, I turned on to 132.† After some initial climbing, 132 was a
rolling road that seemed to be climbing overall.† And then once again my computer started
working again after I woke it up.† It was
a warm day so I was glad to find a convenience store in
I stopped for another break in
Then I wrote my notes and waited for someone to collect money.† The owner showed up just before 6:00 and collected $15, not a very good deal considering there was no drinking water and just a dinky outhouse.
It was foggy in the morning so the clothes I hung up to dry
on the clothes line didnít dry completely.†
I rode a couple miles into
I left a little before 9:00 when the fog appeared to be
lifting.† I crossed the
Once I could see, 107 turned out to be a good road with nice scenery.† I passed the other campground near Gaysville which was my other camping option yesterday.† Since the road was flat, I could have easily made the campground but I couldnít tell if it was actually open.† 107 ended at 100 and I took 100 north through a valley with big hills on both sides and farms in the valley.† The fall foliage appeared to be close to peak and the valley was very scenic.
When I reached my turnoff to 73 I decided to ride another
I had my 2nd breakfast of cereal and then checked out the bakery/deli next door that had used books.† I picked up another used paperback for $1.50 and rode on.† 73 started out nice for a few miles and then abruptly turned left and started to climb modestly.† It actually looked like it could rain for a while and then the sky improved.† The grade increased, making climbing a little harder and then it got fairly steep at the end and I used my lowest gear.
At the top I met another cyclist from
Finally, I took off on a fast descent into
In town I stopped in front of the
Finally, Janet said there was a woman who had an upstairs apartment that might be available for someone stranded this weekend, and I seemed to fit the definition of stranded.† Janet called Arvelia who told me to come by.† The place was just up the street on 73 where I rode in and I was there in a flash.† The place was way overkill for someone used to a one-person tent.† It had a porch, living room, small dining room, a kitchen, a bath, and 2 bedrooms.† It cost $100 cash which I was happy to pay under the circumstances.
However, after I chatted with my hosts, Arvelia and John,
and cleaned up, it was 4:30 by the time I got back downtown, just as the crafts
fair and music were closing down.† Of
course, I didnít care about the crafts show but I would have enjoyed listening
to some music.† Instead I checked out
places for breakfast and then ate at a bar.†
When I left I stopped at the ice cream place and had a milk shake,
figuring I owed them at least a touch of business.† Then it started to sprinkle while I was
walking home.† The weather prediction was
for an evening shower which was one reason why I was loathe to ride further
The Weather Channel was predicting showers for the rest of
the week after Sunday, which I took as a sign I should get out of town.† I rode downtown and had the best pancakes of
the trip for a little less than $5.† I
left at 8:00 and headed west on 73.† My
original plan was to take 73 all the way to the
I stayed on 30 at
In Granville I picked up 149 west, which required some
climbing before a nice run out to the intersection with 40 that I took the rest
of the way to
I stopped for my last break about 10 miles outside
But when I got to the motel there was a line waiting to check in.† I could only envision learning the place was full when I got the counter and it would be too dark for safe travel.† But there was room and I got a room on the first floor for $72, discounted down from $90 due to my AARP membership.† As a bonus, the room included breakfast as well.† After settling in I walked a couple blocks to a pizza place that sold by the slice and had 2 slices.† Back at the room I watched the Bears lose another game in a miserable season.
I called Amtrak and got a reservation to
I didnít sleep well.† I came down with a runny nose yesterday evening but no sore throat.† So I was a bit under the weather in the morning.† I took advantage of the breakfast that was part of the room deal.
The forecast called for showers and thunderstorms,
particularly in the afternoon, so I decided it was best to get to the train
station before any rain could hit even though my train didnít leave until 7:05
pm.† It was only 8-10 miles to the
The station was a relatively new facility.† You could see downtown
I was done before noon and just had to kill time.† I ate some chili and gumbo soup that seemed
to help my congestion.† I spent most of
the afternoon watching people wait for their trains.† It was a busy afternoon with sitting spots
hard to come by.† It was likely busier
than normal because it was Columbus Day and people were returning after the
long holiday weekend.† All trains to
My train showed up on time but left 10 minutes late because of a locomotive change.† I managed to get assigned a window seat without a seat partner.† I slept about as well as can be expected on a train.† We seemed to be doing well schedule-wise until our train stopped at 8:30, someplace outside Elkhart, Indiana, about 120 miles from Chicago.† A little over an hour later we started rolling again and pulled into Chicago Union Station at 12:10.† That was a major relief since my big concern was getting in too late to leave enough daylight to ride to Naperville.
Within an hour of getting off the train I was ready to ride.† My baggage came just after I got to the baggage claim area.† Then I had to go downstairs to the real baggage area.† Last year it took a while to find somebody who could get me downstairs which was a restricted area.† This year the baggage claim attendant got me on an elevator right in the baggage claim area and my bike was waiting for me.† It took 20-25 minutes to put everything back together.
Like last year, I followed the Grand Illinois Trail section to
get from downtown to the Illinois Prairie Path which took me close to
Copyright Denis Kertz, 2007. All rights reserved.