33.8 mi / 2:52:56 time / 11.7 mph avg. / 1664 ft. climbing
Staying at Spring Fountain Motel
We had another morning to sleep in and wait out the rain. It stopped enough to allow us to pack up and head off the island around 9am. We originally had kept open the possibility of staying another night (or at least most of the day) at Acadia, but the rain made that fairly pointless, so we decided to just move on.
We always talk about how you see so much more at bicycle-speed than you do in a car, but today I realized that extends to smell as well. Whether it’s the unmistakable scent of the ocean when we crossed the causeway, the rotting flesh of some poor animal (we actually saw the proverbial chicken who crossed the road (to die) the other day), the pungent pine of a logging truck bringing Christmas, or the lobster shack running their smokers all day long (the real reason I wrote this paragraph!), we just have a lot more local molecules entering our noses than in a climate-contolled cage, and that definitely keeps us connected to the world around us. Then again, we passed that lobster shack twice and never stopped…
Our backtrack off the island ended when we turned onto US 1, which would be our main route for the rest of the trip. It saw us and said “who are these losers? Are they ready for me? Here, I’ll test them with a 6% grade, that oughta send ’em back to some less-worthy road. Hmm, I see they’re still coming? OK, I’ll boost it up to 8%. Hmm. 9% will surely stop them! What?! They’re still coming? Barely even slowing down?! Who *is* this girl leading the charge up my hill. OK, OK, I give up! I apologize! Here’s 5%. Er, I mean 3%. No, really, like I said, 0%. Please come ride any time!”
It pretty much misted the whole rest of the way. So while the forecast wasn’t quite wrong, it was actually pretty comfortable riding. Cool enough, and never enough rain to actually wet us down.
Later on, when we were less-aggressively attacking yet another hill, we got a great morale boost when John and Lauren from yesterday went speeding by on their way back south, with Lauren waving out the window and some great horn work from John. In a world where communication-by-horn is extremely unsophisticated and difficult to interpret on a bicycle, John gave the most unambiguously positive beep I’ve ever heard.
We planned a short day from the start, in order to continue the recovery from the brutal days over the mountains, and especially since the rain prevented any sort of early start. The continuing mist meant it would have been a third morning in a row waking up in a wet tent, so a motel was the obvious choice. The Spring Fountain Motel was a standard old-school motel, but our particular room was surprisingly excellent, and ratified our motel-vs-camp decision. We were able to walk to a lobster shack (Carrier’s Mainely Lobster), which was surely the first time I ever spent $60 at a place where you order through a window at a counter, but at least we didn’t get shorted on our lobster!
Even though we were in a building, we still remembered to go out to see the fog painting an impressionist version of a sunset. Riding short is kind of nice!