Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Day One Hundred Forty-nine, 090726 - Brunswick, ME

Day One Hundred Forty-eight, Date Sunday, July 26, 2009
Time in Saddle: 7:34
Distance for the Day: 67.79 miles From York Harbor, ME To Brunswick, ME
Accumulated Trip Distance: 6876.8
Altitudes: Starting/Ending 54’/186’, Highest: 263’ Accumulated: 2313’
Speeds: Avg: 9.0 mph, Max: 29.6 mph
Weather: 65° foggy, becoming just overcast during the day
Expenditures: $5

In the wee hours of the morning (after being evicted from the church parking lot), I continued north on my route, and stopped off at a mini mart to have a *very* early breakfast of choco milk and donut ($3). I went up road some more and found a visitor center for the area that would have made a much nicer, more secure stealth camp. I decided to just snooze for a few hours there. It had mosquitoes, but I put on my rain gear which kept me warm and kept the little vampires off me, and napped for a few hours while sitting in my trike. I had a short dream about a Harry Potter-esque situation where a lizard who might have also been a wizard, that sort of also looked like an alligator approached me; I let him crawl up to my stomach before thinking he might bite me, so I brushed him off – I could actually feel his weight on me, it felt that real. I had arranged my trike to face out of the parking space I had decided to occupy, which looked out toward the visitor center. Just as I woke up at about 5:40am (it was fully light out by now), I saw a car pull in, right ahead of me about 50 feet away. I observed a woman get out of her car, and just then, she caught sight of me, gave out a short scream, hopped quickly back into her car, and took off! In my dark-colored rain suit, and my looking right at her from my low position, I must have looked like some kind of human wolf, waiting to pounce on her. Poor thing – I must have given her quite a fright. It was mostly clear during the night, but it became overcast and a bit foggy when I took off from this secondary stealth camp at 5:56am. I stopped at a mini mart at 7:26am for a soda ($2). I haven’t mentioned them, yet, but I’ve been noticing them occasionally since upper New York state, through New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine: the road slugs. In the morning, when the air and road is moist, I think they must fall out of the trees, or crawl out from the grass, but I have to dodge them, similar to the centipedes in the Florida Keys. Some roads have ‘em, most don’t – it’s weird. Sometime earlier today, I lost my trike’s flag! This time, I had no idea where it might have been, so I resigned myself to just having to find another one (great). Meanwhile, the fog would sometimes become a light rain, so I had to wear my rain gear and secure my pack bags against moisture during the middle of the day. I hit the town of Portland, ME around 12:30pm and spent 2 hours looking for a flag in half a dozen “likely” stores (Sports Authority, bike shops, Wal-Mart, even Toys R Us) without luck, Demitol. It’s an important piece of safety equipment, and I wanted to replace it ASAP. I had a lunch of trailmix and Gatorade while reading my book for about 40 minutes in the Toys R Us parking lot, and then continued north along my route further up the Maine coastal region. In Freeport, at 7:15pm, I came across the company headquarters of my computer mapping program, Delorme! They were closed, but I stopped to take some pictures of their huge Earth globe, to get out of some momentary light rain, and to charge up my laptop at the outlet by their front door. I thought about the possibility of overnighting there, but got no response from knocking. It was still a bit early, and anyways: there weren’t any good hidden spots, no cover to hide from the rain, and was still a bit skittish about getting found from my earlier experience, this morning. I continued on, and as darkness descended, I came to the downtown portion of Freeport, where I found the amazing catalog company of L. L. Bean. This was their first store, manned by Mr. Bean, himself, back in the day, and it was his tradition to be available for business to fishermen and hunters 24/7; they’ve kept that tradition to this day, so I rolled in a 9:00pm and not only found a new flag to replace the lost one for my trike, I also found a fully outfitted and manned cycling shop! I brought in my trike to have them look at a problem I’d been having with a slightly out-of-tune derailleur, and found out that my chain was “stretched” beyond their capacity to measure it, and that my “cassette” (the cluster of gears on the back wheel) was worn. They didn’t have the right cassette to replace it, so they did all they could to tweak it, and gave it back to me, no charge. One of the three guys there, Tom, liked my cycling trip story so much, he offered to call his parents who lived about 10 miles up the road to see if they’d be willing to host me overnight; they were happy to. Excellent! I’ve always liked L. L. Bean’s stuff – I still have a pipe I bought from then back in the 80s; now I love ‘em to death! Randy, also an L. L. Bean bike mechanic, offered to put my trike in his truck, and drive me to Tom’s parents, so that’s what we did. The weather that night was nasty, with heavy fog and lots of moisture, with an occasional shower. I was *very* appreciative of being hosted on the spur of the moment so late in the evening. We met Tom's parents, Tony and Marjorie, at their home, in a neighborhood south of the town of Brunswick, and they welcomed me in, let me park my trike in their garage out of the wet, and gave me a guest room with fresh sheets on the bed. Of course, following my creed to use as little of a host’s resources as possible, I just put my sleeping bag on the floor. We chatted a while before turning in for the night, and I was warm and dry as I drifted off – not what I was expecting at all.

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