Posted in Maine, tagged Bar Harbor, Belfast, climbing, heat on August 18, 2009 |
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Bar Harbor, Maine.
August 18, 2009: Belfast, ME to Bar Harbor, ME
The final leg, 62 miles from Belfast, Maine to Bar Harbor, Maine. Everyone was hoping for a Sunday afternoon ride, but the rugged Maine countryside had different thoughts. The day started off hot and humid, the rollers were in place, the road surface and shoulders were not even worthy of a mountain bike, much less road bikes.
One of Maine's wonderful shoulders.
Early this morning we set out – regardless of the conditions, as long as our bicycles remained functional and in one piece, we were going to finish this tour. It was only fitting that over the last two miles as we approached Bar Harbor, we would have to scale one last long, steep hill.
The final climb into Bar Harbor.
Early this afternoon we all assembled at the beach near the town peer in old town Bar Harbor and dipped our front tires into the Atlantic Ocean. After bicycling 4,259 miles and climbing a total of 140,825 feet, the journey was completed.
Today’s Bicycling Distance: 62 miles.
Thanks from Mark and Sue to all the Northwest Parkinson's Foundation Contributors.
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August 17, 2009: Damariscotta, ME to Belfast, ME
During our off day we obtained some much-needed rest and recreation. Sunday night we visited Marshall’s Aunt Marge in Round Pond, Maine. Marge took us down to the waterfront area and we enjoyed a traditional Maine supper of clams, mussels, corn on the cob and, of course, lobster. The whole evening was perfect – thank you very much Marge!
Marshall and Marge.
Lobster feast at Round Pond, Maine.
We began today’s ride with the thought in mind that Maine had not been too kind to this group of bicyclists, visiting from the west. The combination of heat, humidity and steep rollers has taken its toll on everyone. Regardless, we began to travel north towards Belfast, ME, 52 miles closer to our goal of Bar Harbor. The weather today was not as warm as previous days, but the humidity was still evident. The map followed State Route 1 for most of the day, and although not as difficult as previous stages, today’s still presented some challenging hills.
The worst part about today’s cycling was the continual presence of automobiles in one’s hip pocket amidst the negotiation of Route 1′s narrow shoulders. On the flip side, today did give us the opportunity to travel through some of the quaint towns of northern Maine such as Camden and Belfast. Each of these communities really does have an individual charm of its own.
The Camden waterfront.
We are currently camped at Moorings Campground just outside of Belfast. Tomorrow’s ride will take us an additional 55 miles up the coast of Maine to Bar Harbor where, at long last, we’ll cast our collective gaze on the Atlantic Ocean.
Today’s bicycling distance: 52 miles.
…A belated birthday shout out to Howard Headley, who turned 69 (According to Howard) yesterday (Aug. 16). HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HOWARD !!
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August 15, 2009: South Waterford, ME to Damariscotta, ME
August 16, 2009: Rest day in Damariscotta, ME
We’re resting today at Duck Pond Campground and exploring the nearby town of Damariscotta. This morning Chuck and Suzi met up with their nephew Chris and his family, and tonight we will enjoy a lobster dinner with Marshall’s Aunt Marge.
Yesterday’s ride from South Waterford to the coastal town of Damariscotta, about 110 miles south of Bar Harbor, was rough. The route could have accurately been described in a single word: “punishing.” The temperature was in the 90s, the humidity in the 80-90% range and the Maine rollers unforgiving. Matters were complicated by the fact that the roads traveled had literally no shoulders, on a Saturday when traffic was relatively heavy.
Approaching a Maine roller.
Ascending a Maine roller.
Fortunately everyone made it in safely, if a little wiped out.
Tomorrow we will bicycle about half of the 110 mile distance from Damariscotta to Bar Harbor, putting us in position to finish our adventure on Tuesday, August 18th, two months and eleven days after beginning it all in Anacortes, Washington.
Yesterday’s bicycling distance: 86 miles.
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Posted in Maine, New Hampshire, tagged Breadloaf Hill, climbing, Conway, Kancamagus Pass, Lincoln, South Waterford, Sweden, White Mountains, Woodstock on August 16, 2009 |
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Sue at the summit of the feared Kancamagus Pass.
August 14, 2009: Woodstock, NH to South Waterford, ME
Thursday night we slept in the shadow of what we thought might be our biggest obstacle of this ride – Kancamagus Pass, or the “Kan,” as the locals call it. Mount Kancamagus is the tallest peak in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and we learned of its legend as we approached its location. One lady in Vermont told us that she had a hard time driving over the Kan. A man in Woodstock told us that the Kan would make Breadloaf seem like unleavened bread.
New Hampshire's White Mountains
The climb to the top of the Kan is six miles and it commences as soon as you exit the town of Lincoln, New Hampshire. As we climbed, we expected the mountain to rear her ugly head and throw up grades of 12 to 14%, similar to those that we experienced on the “Loaf.” Alas, with the exception of some 8 to 9% grades two miles from the summit, the real steep stuff never materialized. As an added bonus, the descent down the east side of the hill was spectacular, offering some great views of the White Mountains.
Sue, climbing the Kan.
As the route continued, we descended into the town of Conway, NH. Shortly after leaving Conway, we crossed our final state line and entered the state of Maine.
Having left the Kan in our rear-view mirrors, we naively thought that we were out of the woods with climbing. How wrong we were. Just past the town of Sweden, ME, we faced some punishing rollers – one of which boasted an estimated incline of 20%. We still have about 200 miles left until we arrive in Bar Harbor. Tomorrow we will bicycle towards the coast of Maine and the town of Damariscotta, a distance of some 90 miles.
Today’s bicycling distance: 65 miles.
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