Day 28 - Conway NH to Naples ME - 42 miles (1,401 total)

July 19, 2013

"Isn't it too hot for biking today?"

We were asked this many times today. The answer is probably "Yes". Anyway, back to chronological order, because that is the order that I took my pictures....

We got to bed a bit late for a crazy early start, so we slept in until 5:45. Mistake number one. It didn't take long until making it to the Maine border.

I remember crossing Andy Rd, otherwise today was too hot to commit things to memory.

The temp was in the high 70s during our early riding, but it was so humid that we had water dripping from our bodies only a few minutes into the riding. Maine is not flat. It is exactly the opposite of flat. It is unflat. It is Maine. The locals call these "rollers", where the road simply goes up and down, up and down. Some are small enough for Rog and I to hold our momentum and cruise mostly up the next roller. None are small enough for Taters to do this. She is too light.....wind resistance eats up a higher percentage of her energy on the downhills.

This was the biggest downhill roller of the day. That is Katie and Laura at the bottom. I hit 41.5mph on the downhill. The roads in Maine are in very horrible shape, but this one was just repaved. No lines. No cars even. Perfectly smooth.

The rollers add up fast. We did over 2000 feet of climbing today.

The worst road in the day was probably Hardscrabble Rd. Yep. The blacktop was crushed. Literally. I presume for repaving some day. Rog gave up and pushed his trike. We asked local cyclists if there was a better route, but that involved climbing a mountain that none of them would bike up. They chose the gravel, so we did too.

Hardscrabble Rd was about an 8% grade, with very soft crushed blacktop and dirt.

Yeah, Rogers shirt used to be light grey. Yeah, Katie rode most of it. She is a gravel hill climbing champ.

Long story short, we pushed hard in the cool morning, and had 31 miles in by the time we needed some food. We stopped at a Subway and never got our gas back after that. It was just too stinking hot out.

At 40 miles, we gave up and started looking for nearby lodging. Campgrounds wanted $50+ per site, and were not going to let us have 3 tents on a single site. Hotels are booked or priced more than $200. We found a campground 1.5 miles off route that would let us all be on a single site. Thank you Conrad at Naples Campground. This place is immaculate. Normally campground showers creep the little Monk in me out, but this one is spotless. Monk would use it.

Each day a different person dominates, and someone else struggles. That makes group travel slower, and makes it a team effort. Today, and I think he would agree, Rog struggled. He never struggles, but the heat was too much for our senior citizen. We got to camp, and he wasn't the first one with his tent setup. He is always first. He wasn't the first one scoping the place out. He wasn't the first for anything, and he is always first. Laura used her water bottle to cool him down though. It seemed to work. We then went swimming which fixed everything. We got the perpetual Roger smile working again.

After we cooled down, Rog watched the minutes tick by, waiting for the campground to serve dinner. We were starving. We got Thanksgiving dinner today! Seriously. Awesome!

After dinner, we relaxed away the heat of the day. We took some cool showers, and are now listening to distant thunder, hoping for a cool front. It is 87F and no breeze right now as I try to finish this. Too sticky to sleep. Hopefully it cools down.

The people here at this campground are almost entirely seasonal (well, we were put in an empty seasonal site, so no surprise). They are all really friendly, and one neighbor let us put our water bottles in his freezer for the night. It is my 2nd bottle, I can drink it as it melts during our morning riding tomorrow.

Hopefully it rains only a bit tonight, and isn't raining the morning. We can get going early and beat the heat a bit. We can't leave terribly early though; the campground serves breakfast at 7am. We will be backed and ready to roll at breakfast.

So far, Maine is great. The roads stink, and the weather has been miserable, but the people and scenery are awesome.....and that is really what this is all about. Less than 200 miles to Bar Harbor.

Good Night.