Second to last day…

We woke up in Scarboro Maine at the Fairbrothers’ house. Fairbrother fact 1: Art calls me Hillbilly and Hillbillary. Fairbrother fact 2: At one point their youngest son, Andrew, age of 8, wordlessly emerged from his room and sat down next to us on the couch in full Spiderman costume and maskery. Fairbrother fact 3: Hillary was flower girl in their wedding.

We got to ride on the Eastern Trail bike path a little more, then got back on the roads, got a little lost, little of this, little of that, protein bars, beautiful mainery scenery, hit 1000 miles on our odometer, etc, etc –

We arrived at our last campground, our last night of the tour, on Lake Pemaquid, only to discover that there was a swarm of bloodthirsty mosquitoes awaiting us. So, no relaxing at the campsite. We made our last on-the-road dinner with the mosquitoes breathing down our necks, then hurried to the bath house to take showers, only to discover that they charged quarters for showers. Cool guys. Being quarterless and too tired for such games, we sponge-bathed with wet wipes and took refuge in our tent. It felt so nice and safe inside with all the mosquitoes buzzing sadly without – and then, the yelling started. Some people a few campsites down (everyone else at this campground was in an RV, so we were the only ones sleeping outside, I suppose, to hear the full spectrum of volume and annoyingness of these people) were having conversations by yelling outrageously. They seemed to be very old? and very drunk. That went on for a while but when it died down we could finally sleep.

Scroll down for an account of our last day and fun tour statistics!

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Portland, ME

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Portland

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Oreo cows!!!!!!

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Osprey nest on a bridge over a river we can’t remember the name of.

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Sideways sunset on lake Pemaquid

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us!!!!

 

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Last day!!

The next morning we rode out and hit some pretty taxing hills. The fact that it was our last day of the tour gave us a lot of energy. We went through great Maine coastal towns like Rockport and Camden. We saw rich people houses and regular people houses, all in clapboard. Dogs and birds. Mountains and craggy coastline. We saw belted galloways, the classic Maine oreo-patterned cow. We rode into Belfast, our last town before our LAsT town of Swanville. Magically, David’s parents met us at the bride across the Passagassawakeag River! David’s parents had decided some time ago to go on vacation to Maine while David was in Maine, and had booked a hotel in Belfast the day we rode in. After spending a little time with them, we pushed on – only ten more miles to Swanville! Such familiar roads to Hillary. We got to Swan Lake right at the dam.We rode around the shore and came upon who but Heidi Seekins on her lawnmower mowing the grass by the road. Heidi is the daughter of the people we’re staying with… Jen Fairbrother’s sister… I can’t explain… Anyway, she snapped a quick picture of us and said hello, and then we rode into the driveway and leaned our bikes against the house. Just like that, it was over. Remington the dalmation quickly came to check us out. He was suspicious of us with our big helmet heads and stretchy pants. Uncle Dave and Aunt Cathy (the Moores, friends of Hillary’s parents…) came out and greeted us. Uncle Dave was still in his hot pants from being at the races all day (he drag races a yellow vega). Aunt Cathy was in the middle of getting dinner together. Thank you! We took showers, then David’s parents came over, and we all (david, hillary, uncle dave, aunt cathy, heidi, cory, reagan (their daughter), and mark and susan) had dinner together. The table of food was exciting. We had dessert. We felt sleepy. We went to bed early. So there it all is – the Tour 2014. 

 

Official Tour Statistics

1,130: Number of miles ridden from Cary, NC to Swanville, ME
24: days since we left Tallahassee
11: Number of states we passed through (North Carolina, Virginia, Washington, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine)
11: days we didn’t travel

 

13: days we did travel by bike

 

2: Durhams seen (North Carolina and New Hampshire)
6: Alexander Calder sculptures seen before New York
Countless: number of Alexander Calder sculptures seen in New York
12: Number of art museums and exhibitions seen (Nasher at Duke, the Hirshhorn, National Gallery, Museum of American Art, and National Portrait Gallery all in Washington, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Philadelphia Rodin museum, the Guggenheim, a very cool Sophie Calle exhibition in a church on 5th ave, the Whitney museum of American art, MoMA, and MoMA PS1).
3: Number of family sized sunscreens gone through
9: Number of households we’ve stayed with
8: Number of households we had planned to stay in (thanks again Stan!)
0: Miraculous number of flat tires we had
1: Days we were chased by dogs (phew!)
2: Times David shaved during the tour
38: our top speed, in miles per hour, down massive hills
Barely fast enough to stay upright: Our lowest speed, up massive hills
 100: Miles ridden on our longest day
44: Miles ridden on our shortest day
95: Temperature, in fareniheight, on the hottest day
Shivering in a 32 degree down sleeping bag: our coldest night

more more pictures below

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Rockport, ME

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Beautiful lunch spot in Camden, ME

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We never tire of oreo cows

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Lunch spot swag

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Belfast, ME!

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Our first sight of Swan lake!!

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We are so appreciative to have done this, and want to thank everyone that helped us, hosted us, prayed for us, supported us, thumbs-uped us, etc. Thank you! The memories that we made on this tour are special and will be with us forever.

Below are pictures of some of what we’ve done in Maine so far.

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the Moore property in Swanville.

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Fort Knox and a cool bridge sticking up in the distance. Driving to Bar Harbor

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Beautiful Swan Lake

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View from North Bubble in Acadia. 883 feet above sea level. Pretty close to the sea as well.

 

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Hiking to the top.

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Wow. A beach, but different from the ones we’re used to.

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Documenting the documentation of a Birthday lobster dinner. We ate inside Acadia nat’l park!

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Smile found on the Maine beach we enjoyed

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Mikesell parents on the beach

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Sea glass. See glass?

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Handsome Hillary on the very Maine beach

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View from Bar Harbor

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20140531-073701-27421846.jpgWe ride our bikes every day, for a long time, so we need a lot of water. I, David, once ran out of water in south Georiga on a previous tour, and it was no good. We both carry gratuitous amounts of water; almost 250 oz! That’s just shy of 8 liters. We both carry three water bottles on our bikes, and David carries a 100 oz bladder in the black bag on his bike. You can see the black bag and our bottles on our bikes below.

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So far, we have never been in a desperate situation for water, which is lucky, but can also be attributed to the amount of water we carry. We love water!

We left our campground with pretty cold but clear weather. After a few minutes we’d shed all our extra layers and the temperature was perfect for riding. The sky was blue. The roads dipped and curved. In Newmarket, New Hampshire, we passed a building that David recognized. It happened to be the headquarters and factory for Independent Fabrication, the largest exclusively American bike manufacturer. We also passed a rowing boat manufacturer. All very exciting to David, this American manufacturing. Anyway, we soon crossed the border into Maine. A very important moment. We hugged and took a picture. Soon our route led us to a ragged dirt road in the woods that seemed to be leading us to nowhere, and we thought that we had been pranked again by google maps. But then it turned out to just be an adventurous shortcut. Cool! Cutting through those woods was a fun introduction for David in his first experience of Maine. We re-emerged onto a state road with a nice wide shoulder. Then we ducked back onto a quiet small road. We stopped for lunch and were able to sit on rocks (!) instead of the ground. Nice! After more back roads we got to get on a f’real bicycle path that was draped in woodsy canopy. When we got off the trail, we came up on a Hannaford and stopped in for snacks and Moxie. Moxie is a Maine carbonated beverage flavored with the gauna root. In the last leg of our ride we got to get on a bike path again, mostly across a salt marsh, which reminded us of Florida. By 5 we were at Jen and Art Fairbrother’s house, and were greeted by Lily the dog. Everyone else greeted us too, Jen, Art, Jake, Josh, Andrew… It’s hard to explain if you don’t know, but basically just they’re family friends of Hillary and very special. We had family dinner! Kabobs! Wow! Also, homemade applesauce! And other exciting treats! After dinner David became embroiled in the Great Clan War of Jake Josh and Andrew, while Hillary hung out a little with Art. Jen had to leave for a shift at the hospital. But then we went out for ice cream!! Hillary got “peanut butter whoopie” flavor which was so the very best, and so fun to have had moxie and whoopie pie as soon as the state of Maine was reached. After ice cream we hanged out with the boys and enjoyed sitting on a couch. And petting Lily. The end. Two days til Swanville!
Sorry that we don’t caption the pictures anymore. Our app updated and it’s extremely hard. On to the pictures…

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Greetings from the state of Maine!

We departed from Windsor Locks, CT and rode through incredibly hilly territory. Really, the day was dull and strenuous. Somewhere in Connecticut, David rolled through tar on a road. It got in his fender and on his tires and was just generally unpleasant. The other interesting thing that happened on this day is that we passed out of CT, into Rhode Island, and out into Massachusetts, all within 10 miles. Both state lines lacked pomp, or even signs. The last 10 miles into our campground were interesting. The temperature plummeted very quickly and the day became stormy. We had a sense that we needed to set up camp a$ap so we’d have a tent to retreat into when the rain started. But when we pulled into our campground, it was weirdly like a ghost town, with no one to let us in and no one at any of the campsites. Also, this campground wasn’t actually a campground but really was just a neighborhood where a bunch of people had permanently planted their RVs and put up lawn ornaments. We entered the campground thinking we could find a place to quickly eat, tent up, and pay in the morning, but again it was the weirdest campground ever and wherever we looked down all it’s winding dirt lanes we could not seem to find ourselves a spot. Finally in desperation we set up camp in a place that was almost definitely one of the RV’s backyards (??) but they weren’t home so it was alright… Basically, it was a super weird situation and we didn’t get showers or anything, we just ate, slept (it rained all night), and left early in the morning without even hanging around to eat breakfast. Unfortunately, once we got off on the wrong foot (dirty, hungry, and rushed), things never really got better. We were in the middle of some cold, rainy, windy weather that chilled us to the bone despite our layers. It was hilly, and difficult to shift our gears for the hills because our hands were so numb with the cold. After a while Hillary said, I want to stop. So david looked at the map and found a motel 20 miles away. So we rode there and were happy. It was extremely homey and near a laundromat – that’s another thing, we hadn’t had any luck with laundry lately and all our clothes were either wet or dirty or both – and so we just hunkered down there for the rest of the day. We hung out everything to dry, since literally everything was wet, from the inside of our tent to our canister of oatmeal. We were most pleased by our warm showers and were very happy. We replanned our route to account for the 30 lost miles, and everything worked out. The next day was beautiful as though it never had been nasty weather at all. It was a great ride, with pretty country and blue skies and picnic lunch on a rock wall. Now we’re in Exeter, NH and tomorrow we’ll ride to Scarborough, ME. Crossing our last state border wow! Stay tuned for our final THREE days of riding

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20140529-174053-63653758.jpgNext Day

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20140529-174415-63855121.jpganother day

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We got to New York hullo (Hillary’s perspective)
We decided at the last minute to take the SEPTA train all the way from Philadelphia to New York because it was reasonably priced and raining and faster and safer than what we had originally planned, which was a combination of bike and train between the two cities. So oops train again but anyway here we are in Mew York. It’s a good thing we did that because it saved us about three hours that we then used to see a classical music concert of Alvin Lucier new music performed by the members of the band Sunn0))). Well actually the whole concert experience was a mixed bag because we skipped dinner to go to it and it was standing room only with no A/C and I (Hillary) had gone a little too long without water also so0o0 I wound up sitting in the lobby for the whole thing because I didn’t feel very good with all that but. Anyway, our NYC lodging situation is super fun and good because we’re staying with the family of a girl I met who’s currently on a bike tour herself, to California. And her brother at home who sweetly made our beds and showed us around the house has also done a cycling tour in the north (when he was 16!). They have one rather large dog and one rather small dog, and we are sleeping on a pull-out sofa, which is way cushier than the hostel mattresses, so to all of this we say, hooray. This is our first day in NY and we’ll be here two more days then take the train a little ways out of town (bypassing the chaos as much as possible) to Connecticut, and thennnnn we’ll roll out on our last leg of the big journey to Maine.

Philadelphia to New York (David’s perspective)
In order to get to New York from Philadelphia, we planned to ride from our hostel to a trail station in Trenton, New Jersey, and to take a train into the city. The morning of, we figured that we could skip the scary city riding, and take a train from downtown Philadelphia to Trenton. So… We rode the 6 miles into the city down the Schuylkill river trail, passed the art museum and Benjamin Franklin parkway one last time, and took an elevator down into the subway. We awkwardly stumbled onto the train and shoved our bikes into a corner. A police officer sitting across us talked about how he was only a cop for the adrenaline rush. As the train pulled into Trenton, we saw in huge letters on a bridge “Trenton makes, the world takes,” which was funny. At the train station in Trenton, we bought tickets and RAN to our departing train. We boarded a car made specifically for bikes on the new, space age train. We passed pretty New Jersey countryside, and saw the skyline of the city before we went underground.

Back to CombinationHillaryandDavid perspective:
In New York we ate street food (knishes), looked at as much art as we possibly could (MoMA, MoMA PS1, a show for Sophie Calle, the Guggenheim, and (on its second to last day! Phew made it!) the Whitney Biennial. We were staying in Hastings-on-Hudson, a town outside of NYC easily accessible by the MetroNorth commuter rail. So by day we subway-ed to this and that activity (as I said, chiefly art exhibitions), and by night we came to this small pleasant town by the river and to a home where we felt entirely welcomed and cared for, which to me was really the best part of the whole New York experience. Our hosts not only gave us a place to sleep and wash up, they also made us brownies and blueberry pancakes, the greatest treat for two deprived wanderers like ourselves. But wait there’s more! They had two dogs: Lucky, a border collie/wolf (they don’t know his breed), and Nellie, a Jack Russell who behaved as if she had alka-seltzer fizzing in her blood all the time, which is to say, she was absolutely wiggling jumping licking wiggling at every moment without rest. We so appreciated their (our human hosts’) hospitality and liked them very much as generous, thoughtful people who spend their free time doing all the most wonderful things like canoeing and hiking and reading and gardening. We left Hastings on the train and rode out to Waterbury, CT. We overheard a lil boy a few seats up from us asking his mom if there was pizza in Waterbury Connecticut. Indeed, it was a strange and different place. We ended up riding through a weird part of town, and when we got to the woods, they were dirty and overgrown with brush. But, regardless of the scenery, it still was nice to get away from the city and to be back on the bikes. That night we got into Windsor Locks, Massachusetts, where our adventure cycling map route picks back up and takes us on to Maine. We did a strange thing that night which must be admitted – after many nights of beans on the camp stove, we got Chinese take-out. Ha!

Following are pictures of:
The road our philadelphia hostel was on, and the horse stables next dor to our hostel. Boathouse Row where David raced! The Philadelphia skyline, bike paths, and GReEn bike lanes!
Our bikes and ourselves on the train(s) out of Philly and into NY; Hastings-on-Hudson upon arrival. Grand Central Station, Lucky the dog, the Guggenheim, the Whitney, just NYC, and our ride in Connecticut. Phew! Sorry – we can’t use the caption feature on this little iPod computer.

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Sorry for the lack of updates. We’re in Connecticut, and will be in Massachusetts tonight!

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