Hank – This morning I met our camping neighbor, a gentleman from Quebec, who was there with his son recreating the trip he took as a child with his father 25 years ago. He told me he met the guy who plays Santa at the Christmas Village and showed him the photo of him 25 years ago with Santa. It was the same guy so he got a new photo of himself with Santa again.
We got back on Hwy 2 and immediately started climbing. We had two large climbs today. The second was about 12 miles later. The Appalachian Trail passes along this way and there is a very large hiking population here. An event being held on some nearby trails had cars parked along the highway for over a mile. During the second long climb we got on the shoulder on the wrong side of the road. Our side was full of those large orange construction markets and we didn’t feel like constantly switching from shoulder to lane and back. Once at the top we moved back and then coasted into Gorham.
We stopped to eat in Gorham. There we met Loray (his trail name). He’s from North Carolina and he’s about 60 miles away from completing the Appalachian Trail. His arms and legs were all scabbed up. He said Vermont and New Hampshire have the rockiest part of the trail and some if it is very challenging. He told us he rode the Trans America route back in 1999. He also said that while the Appalachian Trail is beautiful, once is enough for him.
While we were eating a couple got up to leave and stopped by our table. “Are you two the same cyclists we saw at breakfast yesterday in Concord?” Yes, we were. They wished us safe travels.
Once we got to Shelburne we left Hwy 2 and got on a quiet road for most if the way to the Stoney Brook Campground. It was a very pleasant ride except for the fact my shoulder had been killing me most of the day. We crossed into Maine but there’s no “Welcome to Maine” sign on the backroads.
One observation I’ve made is that while I’m riding in pain I don’t take the time for the little moments of joy. For example, I love to apply different meanings to words so the the context they’re presented in becomes funny or nonsensical. (My kids have groaned many times at these.) Today I saw a couple of warning signs that said “Hidden drives.” I thought a fun caption for a photo would be “Libidos ahead.” It may not be all that funny but I enjoy trying things like that. But when it came to taking the picture I just went, “Meh.” I just wanted to get through the ride. When the ride is no fun it’s no fun. I’ll try to work on that
Rodney at the campground fixed us up with a different site when he learned we were on bikes. And we’re near the bathrooms! What a nice guy. He says his kids will be moved out in five years and then he wants to ride across the country. I hope he gets to.
Kathy – Today’s ride covered 43 miles and 1,500 feet of elevation. It was another sunny day in the low 80’s. Most of our route we had the trees to shade us from the afternoon sun. Although a bit hilly, it was a good ride for me. It is hard to see Hank so uncomfortable with his pinched nerve in his left shoulder. I really wished I could do something to help him. Unfortunately the best thing is rest and we have three more days of riding before we hit our destination at Barb & Keith’s house in Glenburn, Maine. Hank wants to press on and finish up this section of our trip. We are hoping the rest time will cure his shoulder inflammation.
On a good note, we passed through our 18th state – we are now in Maine! Hard to believe less than four months ago we left Spokane, Washington and here we are in Maine now. Our muscles are strong, but our bodies are tired now. We are looking forward to some rest time and having fun with our great friends Barb & Keith.
We are both really concerned about Hank’s shoulder and hoping it doesn’t cause us to postpone the remaining part of our trip. Only time will tell, but right now this guy is really uncomfortable and it makes for miserable riding for him. Please keep him in your thoughts.