Greenway sign sighting! A first in a while, it’s under the Bike Route 1 sign
I’m embarrassed to tell you that we spent about a half hour yesterday researching ferry possibilities from Camden to Bar Harbor. They don’t exist, and I’m glad. We feared we had a tough 63 miles today, those Maine hills. But some seven or so miles out of town, after climbing up and sailing down and climbing up, Dee noted that we had just crossed a watershed. Nothing scientific here, but from there on, the hills were downright reasonable. Some were even the classic rollers where you can fly downhill and make it up the other side without pedaling.
We rolled into Belfast at just under 20 miles and camped out at Traci’s Diner, almost going into withdrawal shakes from no WiFi in almost 24 hours. We caught up on crucial social media news and reconnected with our navigation apps over our second breakfast. Lauren, our host last night at the lake, commented on Facebook, “you found service!”
Lauren arranged with Jeff at the Camden police station to hold our bikes there overnight so we didn’t have to ride the hilly five miles, including a dirt road, to her camp. Here they are this morning as we picked the bikes up, small-town kindness at its best.
We knew we had a few bridges ahead of us today, but we were pleasantly surprised to learn that the big bridge we’d been staring at in Belfast was not the one we had to take. Instead there’s a charming harbor walk and a pedestrian/bike bridge over the river — beautiful.
Halfway through our ride we crossed the Fort Knox bridge, which Tom had already warned me about, er, shared lovely photos of when he rode with us on Sunday. It is a beautiful new bridge over the Penobscot River — beautiful from afar, that is. Dee rode on ahead and I opted at first to walk my bike, then climbed on and rode the second half like a big girl.
“You conquered it!” Dee said.
“I wouldn’t exactly call it conquering,” I told her, “but I crossed it.”
Fort Knox bridge in background and me “conquering” it.
The rest of our ride was fairly inconsequential. We flew into Ellsworth on a long downhill, then picked up a greenway trail along a railroad line for a few miles out of town to a barn belonging to the cousin of our evening’s host, Diane. Our bikes are resting in the barn overnight; Diane drove us the 10 miles out to her lake camp. Which, as it turns out, has all the conveniences of home (laundry, WiFi, ceiling fans) along with spectacular lake frontage.
Diane is a long-time friend of Becki, our Scarborough host. Becki has joined us at the lake, too, so it already feels like a celebration (we will back on Friday afternoon with Sally after she picks us up). Diane announced as we stepped into her home that we were not guests, that we should help ourselves to anything. So I immediately helped myself to a paddle in one of her kayaks. In the late afternoon sun and a gentle breeze, it was heavenly to be on the water. Dee joined me on the lake after —this will amaze you — brewing up some decaf coffee and bringing it along in a flask.
Diane pointed to two peaks across the lake and told us that We had biked those hills coming into Ellsworth, which made me feel proud. Just two more days, 100 miles to go to reach the border.