Day 17
I'm in a nice motel (The Gull Motel, $45 with tax) between Belfast and Searsport. It fit my needs and my price constraints and I was told it was a good ways on to another motel that fit those constraints. I'll find out later if I can use my modem, but the lady running the place said other guests had used modems.

Today was a very nice touring day, if a bit hot by local standards. It was probably mid 80s with a 5 mph wind from the SW. The only real problem were the longish hills where I was doing 5 mph or so heading NE. There is nothing like a gentle tailwind to make a long climb really hot, even in Maine.

I rode the AC route, with only a few exceptions; I stayed on US 1 between Bath and Wiscasset as well as through Newcastle and around Waldoboro, and I didn't go into Rockport but instead went directly north on US 1. I could have ridden US 1 all the way from Bath, but the AC route diversions were generally improvements. Of course some of them also meant more climbing.

Leaving Freeport, the AC route goes east on Bow St and then on Pleasant Hill Rd to Maine St into Brunswick and then on 24 (Bath Road) to West Bath and Bath. I mention this because bicycles are not allowed on US 1 in this section. After Bath it is legal, and usual practical to ride US 1. The shoulder is often good, sometimes OK, and sometimes nonexistent. Depending on traffic levels and your tolerance for 'white line riding', it may be rideable without a shoulder.

I stopped in Bath at a little place called The Kitchen for a good second breakfast, raspberry pancakes. The limited 'continental' breakfast is OK to get the ride started, but a real breakfast is nice 15 or 20 miles later. Then I crossed the bridge over the Kennebec River, first walking and then riding on the sidewalk. and continued north on US 1. Riding conditions were good, if a bit noisy, but they deteriorated before Wiscasset. Traffic was light to moderate and the speed limits were lower where the road was in poor condition, so the lack of a rideable shoulder wasn't a real problem.

I stopped again at Sherman Lake Park for a rest break, it has nice sheltered picnic tables and good bathrooms. My thermometer was reading 103 F when I stopped, but after 15 minutes in the shade it was reading a more realistic 88 F. I was much cooler also. I rode on towards Warren and, near Duckpaddle Pond (folks in Maine seem to like cute names) I met the second loaded bicyclist I've seen in 17 days. I, of course, crossed the road (not always easy on US 1!) to intercept him.

As we approached each other, I though, 'Gee, this guy looks an awful lot like Jim (a fellow faculty member and bicycle tourist at UNCA).' It was Jim. He is touring for a week around Maine and, as a result, I'd ridden over 1500 miles just to run into someone whose office is maybe 100 feet from mine. A bit unreal, but we a had a nice visit, with some interruptions for moments of incredulity, documented the encounter with photographs, and then went on our respective ways.

Today's best riding was not on US 1 but rather on Maine 52 and, earlier, on Maine 90. 90, which runs from Warren to Rockport, is just a nice ride with some hills, good shoulders, and light traffic. 52 had the biggest hills of the day. It runs from Camden to Belfast past Megunticook Lake which is stunningly beautiful and around Camden Hill Sate Park. Lovely, if a but tiring.

Tomorrow I'll ride into Bar Harbor and see about getting on the ferry to Nova Scotia. I should get there by mid afternoon and I expect I'll need to take the night ferry, but I haven't found anyone who knows the current sailing schedule. I hope to be in Nova Scotia by Sunday, three weeks after leaving Asheville.

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