October 10, 2011

New Hampshire!

We arrived in a new state today.  By new I mean New Hampshire.  Today's ride was one of the most picturesque of the trip thus far.  We cycled through Maine's storied southern coast including Kennebunkport and York Harbor.  Beautiful towns.  I want to write more but I really don't have much to say unfortunately.  So, here are some pictures.

October 9, 2011


The Quasimodo Quencher.  Part of the disfiguring diet.
Maine has a lot of lighthouses.  It fits since there are millions of harbors and inlets on the jagged, schizophrenic coastline.  Each lighthouse has been deemed a state park and it seems that we stop at each one.  I am not complaining as I am a great fan of the beach and buffs overlooking the ocean, but it becomes a boring photo album.  Today's ride was really just to stretch the legs a bit as we kick off the Fall Foliage ride.  Last week's ride was the Maine Foliage and was 5 days of riding.  This week is the Fall Foliage and is 7 days long.  This ride will take us through Maine, New Hampshire, and a small sliver of Massachusetts.  We also had the rare opportunity to swim in the Atlantic ocean as it was 85 degrees today.  Fall weather has been all over the place for us, and it looks like this week we will hit nearly all of the seasons as it will go from 85 degrees to cold and rain by the end of the week.  Should be interesting.

A lighthouse

Another lighthouse

Surprise! Another lighthouse

The water was 55 degrees.  I lasted about 60 seconds before I got out.  That is cold.

The Atlantic

October 6, 2011

Pumpkins and Apples

There are some big pumpkins out there folks.  I mean big.  In fact there is a place that grows pumpkins so big that they end up hollowing them out and using them as boats to race in the harbor.  That place is called Damariscotta, Maine.  We ventured through there today.  That is where I was able to meet Chris Caranthan's 1293 pound pumpkin.  That is the picture of us up there.  Big freaking pumpkin.  Yes, they do actually hollow them out and race them in the harbor.  We don't get to see that because it is on Sunday, but seeing the pumpkins was a great consolation prize.  They are huge.  Hell, you could live inside if you needed.

Not only did we see some amazing pumpkins we also stopped at an apple orchard to have some amazing apple treats.  It just so happens that honey crisp apples were peak season when we stopped in.  For those of you who have never had the pleasure of a eating a honey crisp apple, let me tell you that they are the absolute best variety of apple ever.  I am sure they are the apple that inspired Johnny Appleseed to plant so many apple trees.  They are that good.  After the honey crisp apple, I indulged in some fresh apple cider and a cider donut.  Sweet merciful crap it was delicious!  I am salivating thinking about them.  The best part about the orchard is that you get to pick your apple off of the tree, which I think added to the deliciousness of the apple.  I had never eaten a freshly picked apple before.

Along the route we also ran across an amazing artist.  He makes everything out of metal scraps and there is no limit to his imagination.  I could describe his work but he was nice enough to let us take pictures so I will just show it.  You can also visit his site here http://recyclesculptor.com/

Pretty awesome view shortly after we departed Rockwell.

And this is the view from our hotel patio.  It's not too bad.

October 5, 2011

Lobster Captial of Maine

The road from the capital of Maine led us to the lobster capital of Maine.  If you ask me that is a lot of capitals for a state of only 1.3 million people.  Perhaps Maine is the capital of capitals.  Who the hell cares really?  Anyway, today was a bike day for me and it worked out great.  There was a chill to the air but it was welcome.  

 As I was downloading all of the images from my digital camera I came to realize that I have very few people in my photos.  All of my photos have nature settings as the main character and it made me realize that I am a city boy through and through.  I stopped in at a convenience store off of one of the back roads and conversed a bit with the clerk, as I am a man of the people, and as I mentioned the beauty of the foliage he stared blankly and replied, "yep."  So I pressed him and asked, " don't you think it's pretty amazing?"  To which he came back with, "I ain't been more than 100 miles away from this store so I don't really think much of it because I haven't known anything else."  I nodded, picked up my Vitamin Water, and thanked him as I set out.  I wonder if he would think that my home town is beautiful.  Probably not, but I am sure he would have the sense of awe at it's contrast to his locale as I have to his.  This is all deeply philosophical and really gets at the root of all that makes us human.  Right?  Obviously not, but it was able to occupy my mind for the last 25 miles of the ride since everyone had paired off and I rode those miles on my own.

Maine is a beautiful place.  I had to laugh to myself.  The houses out here on the back road are really nestled in the trees, about 60 yards from the road.  The houses are visible from the road but not until you are square in the sight from their driveway.  House after house I looked onto their property to find Halloween decorations.  Nothing unusual when it comes to decorations.  You have scarecrows, Jack-O-Lanterns, and ghosts.  But when you decorate your house with that stuff out in the backwoods it looks creepy as hell.  I would not trick or treat at these houses.  Not even as a grown up.  Again, though, I guess if I was raised here my perspective would be different.
 In Rockwell we of course had to have a lobster dinner.  Tomorrow I will be back on the van and we will be back on the road.  More foliage!

This is Harold the lobster.  He was delicious and came with a side of rice.

This is Thomas and he is inedible.

October 4, 2011

All Wet

Nature is uncontrollable.  I don't think I am breaking news to anyone.  Today reaffirmed this for me.  It rained for a bit, then after it was done raining it torrentially freaking down poured.  Luckily I was in the van, though.  I was dry until all of the riders mutinied against the terrible weather and decided to catch a ride in the van with me, which meant I had to load all 10 bikes on roof rack of the van.  In the pouring rain.  Awesome.  The best part was the gas station/pizza parlor/sandwich shop (all crammed into about 120 square feet) that would not let me in because I was too wet.  We were parked there and I was a previous customer as I had purchased some peanut butter M&Ms.  So, 15 miles of driving in my wet soaked clothes later I was finally able to dry off and feel civilized again.  Unfortunately there are not too many folks out at the stops we have been at and I have not been able to take that many pictures since it has been pouring rain.  Tomorrow looks to be much better and I will be on the bike so more tales from the road as well as pictures to come.

October 3, 2011

My Office

Sometimes work is work.  This is the view out of my "office" window for the day.  It is near impossible to have a bad day at this office.

The great thing about helping others enjoy their bike ride is that I must enjoy my bike ride as well.  Today it rained and it was a little chilly but eventually the rain gave way and eye protecting squints gave way to comfort bringing smiles.  The group is a normal size for this ride.  9 folks from all over the country and of varying backgrounds but all are agreeable and meal time is a flurry of stories covering everything from epic bike rides to raising children.

I don't have many stories but I do have pictures and there will be more to come.  I did have a crab roll and a clam cake for lunch.  I guess that is somewhat notable.  My brain is a little mushy, so I apologize for the poor writng and lack of story.  Tomorrow should be better.

October 1, 2011


It is officially Fall and I am in a place that I have never been this time of year.  Everyone who is not from California always complains that there are no seasons there.  That is true.  Being a California native for my entire life I have come to know that "seasons" is a nicer way of saying that the weather is dismal and undesirable for about 6 months each year.  I don't say this out of arrogance or malice, it is just science.  No one dies when sleeping outside in the horrible 50 degree lows of California in January yet there are appendages and lives lost each winter in areas that have "seasons."  I'm just saying.

Ok, now that I have pissed off all non-California dwellers let me offer an olive branch with my admission that the North East is absolutely beautiful in the Fall.  The colors, the weather, the general feel are all so unique and majestic that I can almost understand living through death inducing cold.  Almost.

For the next two weeks I will be supporting a group of fellow cyclists riding through Maine and New Hampshire. My office will be a breath taking backdrop of reds, oranges, and shades of other colors that nature decides to create and push to the fore only once a year.  There will be pictures and video to come, but for now I only have my words as we have been prepping the hotel to receive the riders and I have not had a chance to really snap many pictures.  I can include pictures of the hotel, but Hampton Inns don't vary much so, use your imagination.