June 4, 2007
Presque Isle, ME -> Danforth, ME
When we awoke the morning it was still dry but overcast. It was windy last night and everything was really dry when we packed up. We rolled out around 7:15 into a direct head wind. About an hour and about ten miles into the days travel it started to drizzle, which turned to light rain, which turned to a steady rain. It was like that all day: drizzle, light rain, steady rain. It was pretty much rain in one form or another. Temps were in the upper 40ís when we rolled out and hovered around 50 all day. The terrain was up and down rolling hills with typical vertical change of around 100 to 300 feet. Roads were well paved and for the most part had wide shoulders. With the cool temperatures and the hills with a head wind in the AM it reminded me of a steam engine chugging up the hill. With each exhale you could see a snort of steam.
The scenery for todayís ride was probably nice in spots, but with the rain and steam on my glasses there was really no way I could tell. With the wet weather the camera stayed deep in one of my front panniers. There were a couple of shots I would have taken though. One was a stacked mail box. About ten feet tall on the pole was a box labeled "IRS", below that on labeled, "Bills", below that one labeled, "Junk Mail" and on the bottom one that said, "Regular Mail". I think I got it right but you get the gist of it. Another shot would have been of a place called Hubcap Heaven. It was a fenced in area with hundreds of hubcaps stacked up all around. Someone has too much time on their hands.
We stopped for second breakfast at Alís Diner in Mars Hill. I had the Sunrise Special with a side of whole wheat toast. I have the same thing just about every day for second breakfast. I like it when it is called by a special name. Alís which serves a really good breakfast is a real friendly place. One waitress serves the whole dining area, gives coffee refills, and works the register. She is very efficient and friendly. Each time a regular comes in she calls him or her by name. I bet if we came back a couple of times she would say: ďHi Denny, Hi Jim. Jim do you want the Sunrise Special with a side of whole wheat toast?Ē Even though it was a raw wet day it seemed that everyone who came in had a smile and something nice to say. I guess for them it is just another nice spring day in northeast Maine. There was just one thing that I found disconcerting. A man Iíd say who was in his mid to upper 50ís and his daughter who was in her mid 20ís were sitting at a booth in back of me. He was lecturing her about something using strong foul language and referred to some bad decisions she had made in her life. It is one thing to say what is on your mind to someone face to face, in private, but another to say it within ear shot of others. It makes me wonder if that, in part, was the cause for some of her choices. Well anyway, Alís is a great friendly place where you can get a real good breakfast with good service.
About an hour and a half later we stopped at the General Store in Monticello for snacks, a break, and to warm up. It was a surprise to find that they also served food. At one table that was filled with a group of the local guys who were having either a late breakfast or an early lunch. There was a lot of banter going on mixed in between the regular talk. It didnít take long for them to include us in the banter as they asked about our trip. Again there was the presence of the dry wit used in everyday conversation. It was a place were I felt comfortable even though we just spent about twenty minutes there.
Because of the weather, winds, and lack of services beyond Houlton we had planned to get a motel for the night there. We stopped at the visitor center to find where the last motel going out of town to the south was. It the discussion we found that there were cabins on Grand Lake that are usually booked for fishing groups. We gave a call and they agreed to rent us a cabin for one night when usually itís a week minimum. Danforth is about thirty-four miles from Houlton but the winds had shifted to tails, the rain was light at the time and Danforth is a much better set up for a reasonable day tomorrow, so we decided to go for it. It took another three hours to get here. Our cabin is within fifteen feet of the lake and with the winds outside I can hear the lapping of the waves on the shore as I write this. It is warm and dry in here and everything we had on today is hanging all around to dry out. Denny said the place looks like a backpackers motel room.
Backpacker's motel room.
It was cold riding today but with layers, extra gloves, rain gear and the warmth generated from physical activity we both stayed reasonably comfortable. Yep, it was another great day for cycling.
Cabin 10 by the lake.
Cycledog (Ride the extra mile!!)