Sunday, June 27, 2010

Day 6 (con't) to Day 8 (6/27)

Day 6 continued.

After lunch in Ellsworth I set off to the north on US Rt. 1. There were roller coaster hills, but I was assisted by a strong tailwind. I stopped in Milbrook, ME for a late afternoon meal of bagels and ham. A gentleman let me eat on his lawn overlooking the river below. (Bike leaning on tree in Picasa photos.)

Continued biking though a bit tired. The wind and temperature were perfect, so the hills weren't too bad. Entered blueberry country. (See blueberry theme park photo) Pushed on to the shire town of Washington County, Machias. Washington county is New England's poorest - known for its blueberries and oxycontin (sp?) Saw a nice large lawn area behind the Catholic Church and asked and was granted permission to camp there. It was convenient to the facilities at a gas station just down the hill.

Put up the tent and made a few phone calls. It started raining during the night, so I had to get up and cover the bicycle with the plastic I carry. Mileage for the day - 73.

Day 7

Rain was threatening when I got up, so the tent had to be packed up damp. As I left town I passed a farmer's market, but not much was set up yet other than craft vendors. Talked for a while with the sausage and onions vendor.

It was rolling hills to Lubec, ME, the easternmost town in the USA. Traffic had gotten light and the road was a mix of both good and poor sections. When I arrive at Lubec, I went to the grocery store and bought an avacado to make a sandwich with the one remaining bagel I bought yesterday, the other having been consumed for breakfast. I also bought some yogurt and chocolate mild. I seem to have this craving for chocolate milk - calories and liquid. The quarts are just a few more cents more than the pints, so being price conscious, of course I buy the quarts!

Across the street from the store, two men were holding an anti-war protest with signs declaring "No more war!" I crossed the road to ask them where there might be a park where I could eat my lunch and perhaps lay out my tent to dry. They gave me directions to a park near the water. Then one of the men asked where I was from and I responded, Randolph, VT. Oh, he said, where VT Castings are made. He then said he used to live in Chester
Vt. I aske when and he said from '72 to '79. I said I lived there for some of that time. He asked me my name and I said, "Harvie Porter." I know you, he said. It was Dick Hoyt who had taught Russian at Green Mountain UHS when I substituted there and mother was teaching English there. (He said he was mother's nemesis!)

At the park there was a volleyball court - perfect for hanging my tent and sleeping bag to air. I hung things up, ate lunch, and then took a nap lying on one of the picnic tables.

After packing up, I crossed international bridge onto Campobello Island, Canada. Customs was a breeze. A quick look at my passport and I was on my way. I stopped at the tourist information and found out I only had to go 4 miles to get to the ferry to Deer Island, my next hop working towards mainland New Brunswick. While waiting for the ferry, a woman from Ripton and a friend drove up. It was the first VT car I had seen since NH.

A 20 minute ferry ride and I was on Deer Island. I had only gone 35 miles for the day, but I thought it would be more interesting to spend the night on the island and take the ferry to the mainland in the morning. I resolved to look for a place to camp as I neared the ferry.

Shortly after leaving the ferry, I came upon a large number of circular structures out in the water. I went down to investigate and learned it was an atlantic salmon farm. Each of the pens starts out with about 40,000 fish and by the time they are market ready there will be around 20,000 left, each at about 8 pounds. It was explained to me that sea lice are a problem with the fish and they have to treat the fish to control the problem. Aubrey, one of the workers, took me out in one of the boats to see the fish up close. He took along some feed so we could attract them. I wasn't seeing much until Aubrey lent me his polarized glasses. I went from seeing a few to seeing hundreds. I can see if I were spending more time on the water that the polarized glasses would be worth the investment. With a storm brewing on the horizon, I continued on.

I stopped at a small store for a snack. Bought some peanuts and, of course, chocolate milk. (Just a pint this time, however.) Decided to eat the peanuts as I rode, so I squeezed the carton of milk between the handlebars and my handlebar bag. I finished the peanuts and wanted to stop and drink the milk somewhere where I could see the sea. So as I was barreling down a hill coming into a cove, I hit a bump and the carton came dislodged and fell. I had to turn around and pick it up. It turns out the milk carton led to a rather pleasant end to the evening.

When I picked up the carton of milk, a man was crossing the street nearby and he mentioned his son had just gotten married. On the ocean side of the street next to me was a large building that looked like it might be a function hall and I could hear someone playing and singing. As our discussion continued, a gentleman appeared on the balcony above us and joined in our conversation. The next thing I knew the gentleman above invited me to come up and join the party. I wasn't sure if I was being invited to a wedding party by one of the guests or what, but I thought, what the heck. It turns out, I was invited in by Jim Carr, the owner of the house which was a converted sea urchin processing plant. He and his wife Murial made me at home and even the bride and groom were happy to share the event. (The groom even made suggestions on what beer I should try!) To make a tale of a wonderful evening short, I was treated like family, joined in the Karaoke, and was given a bed for the night!

Mileage for the day - 40

Day 8 June 27

So, the second week of my journey begins.

I had a hearty breakfast prepared by my host Jim, who I learned is a retired Gillette executive who has lived in multiple locations around the world. Jim took a couple of photos of me before I set down the road. Jim and Murial - many thanks again for a special evening.

I had a few steep hills to climb before reaching the ferry to the mainland. Unlike the ferry from Campobello, this ferry was free - paid for by the government. More rolling hills with some pretty bays until I reached St. George and Highway 1. The next 30 miles to Saint John were gently rolling hills with a cross- to headwind. There was a reasonable amount of traffic, but I think that the trucks were missing as it was Sunday.

I arrived at my Warmshowers accomodation without incident. My hosts are Nancy Quan and her son Jordan. Nancy's husband, Ray, is currently cycling from the west coast of Canada to the east coast. After a shower and washing and hanging my clothes to dry, Nancy took me to see the Irving nature preserve next to the ocean. We also went to see the point where the river reverses its course when the tide comes in. The water comes in fast enough that white water is created, thus it is billed as reversing falls.

My ferry is leaving tomorrow at 12 noon with a prediction of rain. I'm hoping to be able to get to the ferry to Nova Scotia before it does.

Mileage for the day: 51.

I've posted photos on Picasa rather than as part of this blog so dial-up people can still follow the trip. Photos are available at:

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