Northern Tier 2010

September 7, 2010

Seagulls and Salt Air

Filed under: Maine, Section 11 — Henry Scott @ 12:00 pm

It rained late last night and into early this morning, which helped facilitate a light fog hovering over the Androscoggin River, and on the fields, in the early daylight hours. My intention was to ride straight through to Bath before stopping for breakfast, but due to a wrong turn, I made a brief excursion off route to Lisbon Falls. It was worth it, however, to see defiant outcroppings of granite poking up through the water flowing beneath the falls.

Along the bike path between Brunswick and Bath, I asked for directions from a walking couple. I didn’t get their names, unfortunately, but they are avid hikers, having completed most of the Appalachian and Pacific Coast Trails; they are currently taking a break form the Discovery Trail. Whereas I’ve been out for less than two months, these two take trips for five to six months at a time.

From there I felt destined to describe the day as a disappointing grind: Highway 1 was congested, and the sky was overcast. But, by Damariscotta I started to get my first glimpses of ocean inlets, the smells of salt air, and the sounds of crying seagulls. I had reached the ocean! But, my destination is Bar Harbor and Acadia, so I have a little ways yet to go.

As I continued north through coastal towns such as Rockport, Camden, Northport and ultimately Belfast, the traffic progressively lessened, the road improved, and the sun came out.

I love rocky, rugged coastlines, and the coastal outpouring of the Appalachians through Maine and into the Pacific is amazing. Even at the coast, the terrain continues to be quite hilly. It is almost hard to notice, though, because the scenery is so beautiful and constantly cycling between forests, meadows, pastures and coastal towns, and such dynamic, breathtaking scenery makes the miles go by quickly.

The small towns, by the way, are very fun. They are historic, many with charters dating back hundreds of years, and they continue to be vibrant. I stopped for dinner in Belfast, and was amazed by the packed streets and myriad restaurants and shops. With a population exceeding 6,000, I wonder if it is less dependent on seasonal tourism than the smaller towns through which I passed earlier, where many businesses had already closed for the season.

I’m camped at the Moorings Campground just a few miles outside of Belfast. It is right on the coast, and the view is so gorgeous I was pleasantly surprised to only be charged $15: a great deal given the location… and how badly I needed a shower.

At 103 miles, today should go down as my last century ride for this tour — I only have about 60 miles left before reaching Bar Harbor. Unless something goes very wrong, I should be there for a late lunch.

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9 Comments »

  1. I don’t know if you’ve been to Bar Harbor before, but if you haven’t, enjoy it! Well, even if you have, still enjoy it 🙂

    I love Maine; it’s absolutely gorgeous.

    Comment by Sara — September 8, 2010 @ 11:39 am

  2. Go, Henry, go! What a pleasure to get to share your adventure. I, too, am crazy about Maine. Enjoy your rewards. Lobster and pie? Acadia National Park has a lovely restaurant, the Jordan Pond House. Lobster bisque there is divine, as are their popovers and jam on their lawn. I worked in Acadia for a summer when I was in college. It was pure magic. Cheering you on!!

    Comment by April — September 8, 2010 @ 1:32 pm

  3. What an amazing journey! Your blog has been my tonic every day. That lobster should be at least 4 pounds!

    Comment by George Cass — September 8, 2010 @ 3:00 pm

  4. Yay Henry! Wow, I’m so impressed and happy for you. Sounds like your trip was perfect. I’m really glad to have been there to kick it off; I only wish I could be there to welcome into Bar Harbor. Cheers! Here’s to your grand adventure!
    -greg

    Comment by Greg — September 8, 2010 @ 4:59 pm

  5. Well done Henry!!! As I write this it is almost 2:30 pm and I imagine you are in Bar Harbor by now. Wow what a trip! I hope you are feeling good (something tells me you are) and have some time to relax there before heading back home. It was nice meeting you and cycling up the Middlebury Gap with you last week! Congrats on your coast to coast trip!!

    Comment by Judy — September 8, 2010 @ 6:24 pm

  6. I’m sure there is a little sadness in finishing such an amazing adventure. Your running friends await your return though… We’ll try to plan some running adventures to keep your spirits up!

    Comment by Joanna — September 8, 2010 @ 11:40 pm

  7. DUDE! It’s pretty late on Wednesday evening here in The Bend . . . that means you should have long ago arrived in Bar Harbor! CONGRATULATIONS on an amazing accomplishment. Like others, I too wish I could have been in Bar Harbor to welcome you to the finish line. Looking forward to your return to Indiana. Travel safely home!

    Comment by Bruce Spitzer — September 9, 2010 @ 12:37 am

  8. Congratulations Henry! Your blog has been a great read this summer. Thanks for the updates.

    Comment by Keep South Bend Beautiful — September 9, 2010 @ 3:29 am

  9. Congrats on finishing your incredible journey! Enjoy your time in ME with your family! ( I’m sorry we won’t be there after all this weekend…I couldn’t handle packing up the three musketeers again….) I will miss reading your blog everyday but I’m sure you’ll be happy to be settled at home with Jen!

    Comment by Kim Hock — September 9, 2010 @ 1:11 pm


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