Northern Tier 2010

September 8, 2010

Lewis and Clark I’m Not, But I Made It

Filed under: Maine, Section 11 — Henry Scott @ 3:00 pm


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.

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18 Comments »

  1. Wonderful Henry! Congratulations on the big ride! Looking forward to your smiling face back here in South Bend.

    Comment by Linda Wilson soon to be Lyons when I finally finish all the lengthy Indiana paper work — September 9, 2010 @ 5:06 pm

  2. Congrats Henry! It has been so great to follow along via this blog. We’re looking forward to having you back in “The Bend” soon!

    Comment by Matt — September 9, 2010 @ 5:46 pm

  3. Many congratulations, Henry! What an achievement! The view from Cadillac Mountain is dazzling — thanks for reminding me. Enjoy your family and all the kudos coming your way!

    One of your many fans,

    April

    Comment by April — September 9, 2010 @ 6:03 pm

  4. Congrats Henry! It has been such a pleasure reading about your adventure. Looking forward to seeing you in a month with high fives and beer to celebrate.

    Comment by Lauren — September 9, 2010 @ 6:58 pm

  5. Hurray! Congratulations, Henry! I am really going to miss these daily travelogues, though. Looking forward to seeing you soon…

    Comment by Jerry — September 9, 2010 @ 6:58 pm

  6. Congratulations, Henry! I have enjoyed watching your progress this summer – you are truly an inspiration!!

    Comment by Anne Brown — September 9, 2010 @ 7:36 pm

  7. Wow, congrats Henry! What an incredible achievement!

    Comment by Lacey — September 9, 2010 @ 7:45 pm

  8. Congratulations, Henry!! I will miss your daily blog and pictures. So many of us have been there with you in spirit.

    I remember watching the sun rise over Cadillac Mountain back in May of 1972. A beautiful view–but at the time I was missing Jennifer who was only five months old and was staying with her grandparents in NH.

    Hope you enjoy the rest of your time in Bar Harbor.

    Comment by Sally — September 9, 2010 @ 8:00 pm

  9. CONGRATULATIONS! You are awesome! I’ve had such a time reading about your adventure (or, according to your own posting today, quasi-adventure) that I feel as if I, too, have traveled cross country. There are a bunch of folks celebrating your success and looking forward to your return. I will admit to a few tears seeing the beauty of the sunrise photo from Mt. Cadillac. Absolutely stunning . . . congratulations again! You ARE the man! (Now, make your mom and dad buy you that lobster dinner . . . with wine!)

    Comment by Bruce — September 9, 2010 @ 8:37 pm

  10. Congratulations, Henry. Your whole family is very proud of you, and I hope by now Mom and Dad are there to say so in person. I’m also glad that our old family car will have the honor of carrying you bike back home – it will make what I paid for those bike racks truly worth it. Like many of those who commented above, I’ll miss following your progress. This blog has been just great, and though you say there are others like it, I can’t believe there’s anything quite as good as what you’ve made here. Thank you for sharing this adventure this way.

    Comment by John Scott — September 9, 2010 @ 8:54 pm

  11. Congratulations, Henry, and a big ‘thank you!’ for sharing your adventure with all of us.

    Comment by monika — September 9, 2010 @ 10:49 pm

  12. Thanks for sharing this, Henry. It looks like the journey of a lifetime, and I’ll add my name to chorus welcoming you back!

    Comment by Nancy — September 9, 2010 @ 11:59 pm

  13. Congratulations Henry! It has been wonderful fun reading your blog and hearing about your adventures. We are looking forward to catching up with you when you return.

    Comment by Deb — September 10, 2010 @ 12:25 am

  14. Congratulations Henry! A great achievement.
    It was a lot of fun to follow you on the blog.
    I hope I hear more during the runs in December.

    Comment by Sebastian — September 10, 2010 @ 8:57 am

  15. Congratulations to you and your family. I’m sure this will be something you will remember forever. What is your next adventure? Cape Horn to Alaska? Seriously, I enjoyed reading your blog. Make sure you send us links to your next adventure or anyone else’s adventure that you find worthy.

    Comment by Mike Thoma — September 10, 2010 @ 11:09 am

  16. CONGRATULATIONS, Henry to you and your family for an excellent ride. Such an awesome ride and one you will remember forever. So glad that I was in your class last year and am so proud of your endeavors. THANK YOU SO MUCH.

    Comment by Joan Evans — September 12, 2010 @ 3:22 pm

  17. Henry,

    I am curious about your success with the iPad. I have also decided to use my iPad in this way on the road (this led me to your blog in the first place), but I am thinking of using the Tout-Terrain “The Plug”. It does not have the E-Werk’s adjustable settings, but I wonder if that functionality is really necessary.

    I also own an iPhone 4, and if it were charge-through-capable then the Mophie Juice Pack Air (which I do not have) sounds to me like a turnkey solution to the cache battery problem, but have you found a similar iPad device? The HyperMac Mini is advertised as having charge-through to the iPad, but is half cool, half retarded in its design, and requires a mess of wires to make it work, similar to your APC solution.

    I think it will be only a matter of time before someone releases a turnkey solution to powering USB devices on the road, similarly to how car stereos today mostly all support the iphone out of the box. I think the only “integrated” solution I have seen so far is The Plug from Tout-Terrain, although I think it also requires a cache battery (or a special dock cable), and there is no mention of iPad support. I think the trick is putting the cache battery between the hub and the USB port.

    Would you mind doing a little after action review about how well it worked for you and what you might do differently the next time?

    David

    Comment by David Lewis — October 24, 2010 @ 11:46 am

    • The iPad was pretty good overall. It worked well for importing photos and writing daily blog entries, and it was wonderful for occasional web browsing, email and entertainment. Writing on it was a bit tough but, for me, that was a worthwhile tradeoff because it was so easy to carry and keep charged.

      There were, however, some major frustrations in the software / operating system. The way it manages photos is incredibly frustrating. The user has no ability to rename or establish folders. This is part of a system-wide design in that there is no user-accessible file system. I can see why this was done for most uses, but for anything along the lines of document production it is crazy. My worst experience had to do with the iWork office suite on the iPad: Keynote, Pages and Numbers. I kept a spreadsheet in which I logged my daily miles, time biking and details about where I camped. I also made annotated presentation files for things I saw that would be good for my classes. When I got home, however, I mistakenly synced the iPad with a different computer and, believe it or not, ALL of the documents were erased. I know I should have exported them manually right away, but this experience left a very bad taste in my mouth, so to speak. Further, the iWork apps are severely limited compared to their desktop counterparts. Pages, for example, can’t do subscripts or superscripts, and Keynote on the iPad cannot handle presentation files I’ve made using Keynote on my iMac.

      Ultimately, it would be hard for me to recommend the iPad other than for someone who fully understands the limitations and only wants it for the things it does well. For bike touring I’d still prefer it over a netbook because it worked so well for MOST of what I wanted to do due to its weight, size and ease of charging… I’d just be more cautious about backing up (or not use the iWork apps at all).

      Oh, one thing I’d definitely do differently: I made a game out of ONLY charging via the E-Werk, and I passed up many opportunities to plug in to traditional wall outlets at restaurants, campgrounds, etc. I got a kick out of doing that, but next time I wouldn’t be so strict about just using the E-Werk.

      Regarding the Tout-Terrain device: I don’t know anything about it. Although I didn’t need the versatility of the E-Werk, I like knowing that if necessary I could charge other devices with it. That said, just about everything uses USB these days, so a simpler charging device may be better. That said, the E-Werk works very well, and I suspect it has had the most R&D of such products.

      Regarding the cache battery: I liked going that route because I could pack the iPad safely away, and the battery was easy to have hooked up and charging in my handlebar bag. I also liked that I could use it for multiple devices — I just made a point of getting it fully charged each day, and I then used that power for whatever I needed.

      Although $70 is kind of expensive, the HyperMac Nano battery pack looks like a good way to go:
      http://www.hypershop.com/HyperMac-Micro-3600mAh-iPad-iPhone-USB-Battery-p/hm36-black.htm

      It has a larger capacity than the APC pack I used, more than you could probably store during a typical day touring, but if you were also plugging in to wall outlets occasionally I think you’d have plenty of daily power.

      Comment by Henry Scott — October 25, 2010 @ 11:46 am


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