Day 18
Last nights motel wasn't as good as I had hoped. I couldn't get out on the net and I didn't sleep well because the bed was too soft. There were a number of other 'good' candidate motels in the next 12 miles and I should have ridden a bit further.

Today was not as good a riding day as yesterday, at least if you were heading north. Winds were gusty and ranged from 10 to 20 mph out of the north during most of the morning. Temperatures were quite a bit cooler than yesterday. The locals though yesterday was a major heat wave. Today would have been pretty nice riding conditions if I were headed south, and it was OK heading north and (mostly) east.

I ate a limited breakfast in my room and then rode about 10 miles to 'Barb's Place' in, or a bit after, Stockton Springs. A couple of cups of coffee and the 'Hash Special' really improved my outlook on the day. I liked Barb's Place because it combines, as much of Maine seems to, down home with reasonable levels of education/culture. Maine, once you get passed the reserved character of the population, seems like a very good place. It also has a lot of nice riding. Too bad about the winters...

After breakfast I continued on US 1 and US 3 towards Bar Harbor. The bridge to Verona Island was an incredible sight. It arches well over Buckport on the other side of the river and seems a great place to get blown off of on a bicycle. Fortunately for me, both the wind and the traffic were light when I crossed it. Up to that point the shoulders had been excellent, but in and somewhat after both Buckport and Ellsworth, they were not very good.

I stopped again for a milkshake just before the AC route left US 1 for 176. At the small food stand where I stopped, a lady was trying to get help to repair her broken down car. She and her 94 year old mother had been on their way to a cemetery to visit and maintain family graves. The lady that ran the stand assured her that a local mechanic would come ASAP when he heard that a 94 year old lady was stranded. I visited with both the lady and her mother before riding on. The lady said that I was crazy to be riding my bicycle so far, but she didn't seem to think being crazy was bad 8^). A rather sane mother and daughter.

Riding conditions were very good on US 1 - light traffic, great shoulder - so I decided to stay with 1 rather than following the AC route. Later, at Ellsworth, I also stayed on US 3 rather than diverting on 230. US 3 between Ellsworth and Bar Harbor is not ideal biking, but all of it except a 2.3 mile section that is under construction was pretty ridable. Most of it was good riding. The construction is in the first section of US 3 on Mount Desert Island. It was pretty bad riding with rough/broken pavement, no shoulder, and moderate to heavy traffic including too many trucks. The AC route would have been better but I missed the turn just before the construction started, and then it was just a matter of getting through the bad section. 3 is also pretty hilly. I arrived in Bar Harbor proper around 1:30 PM and bought my ticket for the ferry tomorrow. Then I found a close by motel (The Bar Harbor Motel) cleaned up, and rode on into the main part of town.

Bar Harbor itself is quite a little tourist town. Bicycle rental is a big business here and there are lots of bikes and pedestrians all over town. Lots of neat little shops and restaurants. Which reminds me that it is time to head back to town for supper. I rode around a bit on my unloaded bike (which feels weird) and did some shopping earlier, but now I will walk so I won't have to worry about my bike. There is a good looking Italian Restaurant about .75 miles from here and I think I try some Italian seafood tonight.

Tomorrow is a ferry/rest day. I'll be on the ferry in the morning and use the afternoon to explore Yarmouth and the evening to start planning my NS routes.

An added note: supper was great! There are lots of good places to eat in Bar Harbor. The one I ended up at served me 'French Fisherman's Stew' on a veranda overlooking the harbor. Good food, well presented, good service, moderate prices, and an absolutely stunning setting. Then I walked back to the motel and had a nice swim in my new (bought 'em on the way to the restaurant) Helly Hansen M'S shorts which are perfect for touring. They even come with a cute little stuff sack. Life is good.
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