I arrived at Acadia National Park a little after 2 p.m. on June 16, turned in my rental car, ate a lobster (two pounds for lunch), and then pedaled up to the top of Cadillac Mountain to be sure I had my bicycle legs under me. Since that's a rise of 1,550 feet from sea level, you're going uphill for approximately ten miles. So it's a good test and the views are fabulous when you get there.
I'm typing on an old computer at the South China, Maine Public Library, so I can't upload any pictures yet.
I felt pretty good at the top of the mountain when a young, wirey bicycle rider saw me and the load I was carrying and said, "Holy jimokes." Yep. He actually said that twice. "I'm impressed you could make it up here with that load," he continued. Then I explained that I was going to be pedaling to California soon. Two other young riders joined the conversation and I recommended to them all that they try it some day.
I told them I averaged about 80 miles a day last time and again they seemed impressed. So I was feeling pretty strong--and ready! I pedaled down the mountain, did a few extra miles in the park, and then headed for a campground overlooking the Atlantic. When I "pulled up" at the ranger station the ranger noted that I now qualified for the "over 62" lifetime pass to get into any park and get reduced rates on camping.
Suddenly, I felt my real age.
I don't know: maybe the park service figures 62=year-olds won't show up much to camp. Or they figure we don't have much time left. Well: I'll show Uncle Sam! I am now the proud possessor of a LIFETIME pass to all our parks.
Yesterday, under beautiful, sunny skies, I pedaled 68 miles and felt very good. Today, it's been rainy and not as easy. You can tell you're in Maine, though. At breakfast today (the pancakes were as big as garbage can lids, I swear it; and I think the syrup came in gallon jugs), I was reading in the Bangor Daily News about trooper Fred Thomas of the Maine Highway Patrol.
Thomas was recently involved in a collision, while on duty, with a moose. Trooper Thomas has seen this before. In 2007, he had to take evasive action to try to miss three moose crossing the highway up in Aroostock County. He missed two, but plowed into the third, causing $10,000 worth of damage to his cruiser and leaving one moose family in mourning.
I'll post a few pictures as soon as I can.
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