With good and safe roads, Adventure Cycling’s carefully plotted route through interesting and beautiful country, excellent gear, frequent opportunities to consume large quantities of food, and such incredible support from friends, family and strangers that I have literally been moved to tears, I’ve completed my coast-to-coast tour from Anacortes, WA to Bar Harbor, ME. It wasn’t the risk-your-life adventure that early explorers experienced, but rather an extremely enjoyable way to meet new people, learn some history — both natural and cultural — and see the country.
I awoke this morning to thick fog, strong winds, and the threat of rain. I was pleased by this because I’ve had such good weather and wind recently that I feared other cyclists would accuse me of receiving special treatment. The rain started within the first couple of miles, and although I was content to keep going, I came across a laundromat, which I needed to visit at some point today anyway, after only 3.5 miles in Searsport. I stopped, and by the time my clothes were clean, the rain clouds were ready to take a rest.
The sun came out occasionally, but much of the day was foggy with poor visibility. Notable breaks came as I crossed the Penobscot Bridge into Bucksport and later when I arrived in Bar Harbor, but in between I rode in a lot of rain and against the wind. I reached Bar Harbor around 2:00 and had plenty of time to visit the bike shop, eat, and learn where to camp in Acadia. Bar Harbor is cute, but the post Labor Day weekend lull for which I was hoping did not materialize: the streets were totally congested with traffic, and I wasn’t ready for such crowds.
I’m glad I have another day or two on Mount Desert Island, with my parents joining me tomorrow afternoon, because at this point I haven’t had a chance to really see and appreciate the Acadian landscape. I’m spending tonight in the Blackwoods Campground and planning an early morning trip up to Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the island.
This has truly been a wonderful experience, and I can’t thank those who have supported me enough. Final numbers: 4,631 miles in 56 days of riding, averaging 82.7 miles per day, at an average speed of 12.5 miles per hour. The average daily mileage does not reflect my seven rest days: five in South Bend and two in North East.
Brief update because I’m posting this late the next day (Thursday): the weather is perfect today. I got up at 4:30 a.m. this morning to get packed up and head for Cadillac Mountain. I didn’t quite reach the summit for sunrise, but I got great views of the rising sun on the way up and an awe-inspiring panoramic vista at the top. Subsequently I went to the Visitor Center, spoke with an extremely helpful ranger, and am now using the Loop Bus to see some sights in the park; the geology is spectacular, and the lighting is perfect for illustrative photos for my class.