RA92: Coast of Maine

Brunswick ME to Camden ME – 66.7 miles

Great stars last night with an interesting overlay of clouds.  Then some pretty cirrus clouds to start the morning.  The Thomas Point Beach campsite had been very quiet and isolated – a good spot.

Looking up from one end of my tent
Looking down at the other end
Packing up from Thomas Point Beach Campground

Jack and I selected Friendly’s for breakfast this morning.  While we enjoyed some good food, the store’s manager greeted us, then asked with real interest about our bicycle travels, wanting to know details.  Christine expressed a desire to try a bicycle tour like this, even describing a dream she has had about pedaling to California to reach the redwoods.   We discussed our riding, and Jack further directed her to the Adventure Cycling website, the Ragbrai website, and to his blog.

Jack and I wondered why we hadn’t discovered Friendly’s before during this trip.  Think about it – this restaurant is a touring cyclist’s dream – pancakes, eggs, waffles, French toast, and …. ice cream!  A perfect combination.  Christine was very kind to us – we were very glad to have met her.

Christine at Friendly's in Brunswick ME

We hit the AC route again and soon rolled through Bath ME.  I was very curious to see the Bath Iron Works so we explored through town and around the plant, but found it entirely walled off from view.  There were even signs that read “No Photography – Defense Contractor- The Police Are Watching.”  We finally crossed the Kennebec River bridge and got some good glimpses (and photographs) of some of the shipbuilding.

Scenic coastal Maine
Bath Iron Works in Bath ME

More backroads riding brought us a flurry of hills and plenty of great scenery.  Weather today: as fantastic as yesterday, brilliant blue skies, mild winds, and cool temperatures.  We met up with Roger just outside of Newcastle and Damariscotta.  He was sitting at a picnic table eating lunch by a marshy pond, and called out, “Hey, does it get any better than this?”  We sat probably half an hour with him there just soaking up the rays.

"There's a lot of hayfields up in Buxton..."
So many gorgeous views you can't photo them all
Roger and Jack
Lounging at the picnic table

Jack and I eventually headed east another 12 miles into the town of Waldoboro ME for lunch, taking a steep AC detour through old town Waldoboro, and finally stopping at a place called Moody’s Diner.  A locally famous place, but we are now sure they are not famous for their pasta.  Then more delightful wind-assisted riding through Warren ME, West Rockport ME, and a descent into Rockport ME, which sits right on Penobscot Bay.  We rejoined with Roger, and the three of us decided to follow the convoluted AC passage through Rockport.

This turned into a great decision.  Our first few turns took us to a marina that looked directly out into the ocean.  We decided that we must be gazing at South Africa maybe.  Cool moist air blew into our faces and gulls called overhead.  A boat captain asked us to go sailing with him tomorrow.  Hmmm, this is really getting to feel like the coast.

Definitely reaching the coast
Here far wherever you are

We continued on around through town, making a few turn errors but eventually finding Bayview Road.  Unfortunately, there are very few views of the bay from it, but it winds through some high dollar homes right along the shoreline, and then emerges in the heart of Camden ME.   We stopped here at a touristy market for dinner food and other snacks, and were approached by several parties of folks on the sidewalk interested in what we were doing.  Camden looks like a very nice place to visit at some later date, full of bakeries and shops, interesting restaurants, and very beautiful inns on the water.

Meeting other touring cyclists in Camden ME

Two more miles along US1 took us to our camp at Camden Hills State Park.  We’ve got a very nice pad in the woods, although we’re having to set up tents on rocks that don’t accept stakes and are uncomfortable.  We started up a wonderful campfire, fueled by cured firewood from the rangers’ station.  It is nice and quiet here and surrounded by lovely tall trees.

Camden Hills State Park

Roger will head back west to Augusta tomorrow to begin his journey home.  He plans to take all day tomorrow riding there, dismantle and dispose of his bike, then ride the bus to Chicago the next day to see friends. The three of us sat for a couple of hours enjoying the fire and scheming up ways for Roger to dispose of the many goofy items he’d picked up along the tour here in camp, the goose head (up in a tree branch), the basket (burned), and the dolly (in a tree knothole).  Nothing can stop that guy.

Campfires are good

Now in the tent, I’ve used the last two hours to catch up a little bit on the blog (when I should be sleeping).  All because Katy is getting tired of looking at Ticonderoga (see how much I care?).  No matter, because tomorrow should be a short riding day, although Jack has grown to mistrust that statement.  We rode about 67 miles today, and are now only about 80 miles away from Bar Harbor.  This could be covered in one long day, but we’ve decided to take two.  I think this is a great plan – we’ll therefore more fully enjoy these last couple of days in Maine.