Friday, August 20, 2010

Ride Across the USA: 8/19/10

Sitting on Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park looking at our funny-looking tanned feet!
The scraggy rocks near Sandy Beach at Acadia -- notice the haze and by the end of the drive you couldn't see the ocean.

more of the scraggy rocks along the shoreline.

Friday, August 20, 2010 -- Megunticook CG -- Rockport, ME -- watching the sun come up at 6:01 EST .........

and a little later ........ to prove that at the end of a long and hard bike ride, the sun will come up again.

And now the adventure has been accomplished -- the 10-yr. dream, a reality. It took us 63 days of riding to cover 3,648 miles. We both have a set of new tires, with K having had 5 flats and Di, 4 for 9 total. The UV rays faded Kirk's shirt so much his shoulders tanned under it. Our tans have been fading the last couple of weeks and we certainly have some strange markings. The Gnats that would stick to the sun gunk on my nose and then squirm around are just a matter of nature and almost forgotten. This is a big and beautiful country we live in and we can't begin to describe the ride. We are grateful to the Lord for guiding and protecting us and humbled at what he helped us accomplish.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ride Across the USA: 8/18/10, Wed -- Waldoboro to Camden, ME -- 29 mi/ 3648 total

Welcome to the Atlantic!!

The water on the feet felt great!

High five for the adventure!

It was a happy feeling, indeed.

Enough energy left to hoist the bikes!

Decided to ride Hwy 1 all the way in and we had an absolutely terrible no-shoulder road for about 13-15 mi, but the rest of the time, great road. At Thomaston, we stopped at the Maine State Prison Showroom. What a vast array of wood items, all made by the prisoners, most of it very nice and lots of ships. Rode into Rockland and what a wave of different feelings when we could first see the Atlantic. We had to pull off as the emotions of the trip were too much for both of us. We rode on to Camden as we thought that would be a pretty setting for the tire dipping but couldn't find public access. We had called J and H to join us, so we ate lunch, loaded the bikes on the van and drove back to Rockland. Found just what we were looking for, did the picture thing, then met a MN couple who had just done a 200 mile ride. They were excited telling us about it. We sat on the bank and did our wine and cheese thing when we met Ann and Charlie from NH who moor their boat at Rockland. The lobster that had been dangling before us the entire ride was delicious!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ride Across the USA: 8/17/10, Tues -- Durham to Waldoboro, ME -- 46 mi/ 3619 total

Meet Mark Wheeler, drawing us a map for directions. What a nice guy and gave us a lot of interesting information on the area.

There was heavy fog in a.m. so waited to lift. Due to traffic and no shoulder, we had J and H drop us on the edge of Brunswick. We were not on the AC route until we could figure out where we were and it was kind of fun negotiating through with the traffic. Stopped at the edge of Bath to confer on which roads to watch for, heard a bell and met 72 yr old Mark Wheeler, a fellow biker. Super guy, gave us a private escort through Bath, along with a history lesson, across the Kennebec River bridge and through Woolwich. Did you know Bath is the oldest ship-building village in the state and now builds destroyers for the government, employing about 4500 people? He also works p/t at a bike shop. We declined his offer for lunch and on we went. We turned tourist at Wiscasset, stopped at the pier and lunched on crab rolls. Yum! Decided to stay on hwy 1 for less drastic hills and good road. Duck Puddle CG was off-route and about 50 yd from entrance, K broke shifting cable. We set up camp, called Mark's bike shop way back in Woolwich, threw the bike on back of van and headed out. They closed at 5:30 and we just made it -- cost $14.40 for the repair. What a deal! Stopped and did a little Christmas shopping along the way back. Ate out and it felt good not to hurry to CG and get something to eat and clean up. Was 9:30 by time we had showers, etc.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ride Across the USA: 8/16/10, Mon -- Fryeburg to Durham, ME -- 65 mi/ 3573 total

The smallest cemetary we saw on trip -- the Colonel and his wife were both born in 1766, died in 1837 and 1857. Had to hike a short distance back into the timber for this .... interesting how the trail was all mowed and the site well cared for.

Stayed at the Canal Bridge CG along the Saco River -- noisy due to all the yelling from people tubing and in canoes and kayaks. Huge sand bar/beach full of people. Went to church yesterday in Fryeburg at the Congregational Church -- there were 23 people there and it was not a good experience. Today as we start this last Monday, there is heavy mist to rain most of the day. I can't see to read the map without stopping nor can I read the road signs, if they even happen to be there. Lots and lots of big hills and we had to work so hard we couldn't really enjoy the wet scenery. Shoulders, if there were any, were terrible but K had to get on it due to traffic. He hit some trash, blew the rear tire and he was fish-tailing down the hill, braking and dragging his feet to keep from crashing. Lucky he wasn't hurt. He changed out his front tire in the CG as it also had a little nick from the trash. Now we both have a new set of tires! Today was just hard and long and all we can say is we are glad this biking day is done. Stayed at KOA CG.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Ride Across the USA: 8/14/10 -- E of Lincoln to Fryeburg, ME -- 42 mi/ 3,508 total

This was a beautiful ride and scenery

Meet Mike Peterson from Seattle, great guy -- he's riding to Portland, then back to Wisconsin to visit his mother.

Is this what they refer to when they say "the 'ol swimming hole"? This place was just crawling with families enjoying a beautiful Saturday in NH.

The view of Swift River looking out the covered bridge.

This is the only bridge you couldn't drive through -- probably because the pedestrians were in the way!!

Yay!! Last big climb of trip as we go 6 miles to top of Kancamagus Pass. We met Mike Peterson from Seattle, a great guy. He passed us, naturally, but he waited at top for us so we could visit more. The White Mountains are beautiful, just not the Rockies. We had a little at 13% upgrade but most of it was only 9% to get to top. The ride down was stupendous and not real steep, only 7%. Swift River was by us most of time and we rode through our 3rd covered bridge -- on all these bridges, cars were also using them which is something you don't see in Iowa. This area is extremely busy: full CGs, over-flowing trailhead parking, cars parked everywhere near the water -- just people enjoying the beauty of the outdoors. We had a fairly easy day and wanted to ride more but just too much traffic. It felt great to cross into the last state of our journey.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Ride Across the USA: 8/13/10 -- Orford to E of Lincoln, NH -- 42mi/ 3,466 total

Just a beautiful valley in NH -- don't know for sure where, but it was pretty

We can honestly say we have been to Benton, NH -- there were 2 houses nearby but this little building says "This is Benton, NH" .........

If you ever wondered what a moose crossing looked like, now you know.....

Beaver Pond scenic spot in the White Mountains -- was cool and windy at the time

The 7 Appalacian hikes -- 3 from Virginia, Georgia, NY, ME and Wyoming. The young man at the left was really interesting and informative to visit with. This was one of the highlights of our entire trip.

Big, long hills in a beautiful setting, overcast about all day with roads so winding that wind was no factor. Haverhill and North Haverhill were beautiful communities. Took pic of a moose crossing area and wish we had seen an actual moose again. We ate lunch at Beaver Pond in the White Mountains and it reminded us of Black Lake in the Colorado Rockies. After we left Beaver Pond we crossed the Appalachian Trail, turned into a parking area and there sat a hiker. We had a great visit with him and he was joined by 6 others as they had all joined together as they met on the trail. They started in March and April, had gone 1800 mi with 400 left to go. What an accomplishment for them! North Woodstock and Lincoln are tourist towns and it was a really busy place. Later, we sat by a stream and dipped our feet before starting the climb up Kancamagus Pass which we'll finish in the morning. Stayed at Big Rock NFS CG so it was the outside shower on the camper again.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ride Across the USA: 8/12/10 -- Gaysville, VT to Orford, NH -- 47 mi/ 3,424 total

Kirk found a "real deal" at the Sharon Trading Post......

All roads lead to the Lord........

Another church with town offices next door

Good-bye to Vermont! Hello to New Hampshire!

He told me to hurry up and take his picture as he was going so slow he thought he would fall over!!!

Granite fence posts and from the leaning they look like they've been there a long, long time.

1906 round barn -- across the road was a new one, built in 1996.

Today, the biggies were Sharon Hill and Thretford Hill of which neither could come close to Middlebury Gap of yesterday. It was another pretty ride today and we had fun stopping at various places. Kirk loved the general store at Sharon and we both fell in love with ArtichokeArt in South Strafford. Most of the day we had a brook beside us as we rode along which is just refreshing to hear. We arrived in NH by crossing over the Connecticut River and we immediately turned onto River Road for 8 mi of riding hard-packed dirt with a covered bridge to ride through (there was one yesterday also) and it was just wonderful pedaling along. In Orford they have "the Ridge" where 7 mansions sit up high. Gorgeous. We were so busy gawking, we missed the Pastures CG by 2.5 miles!