Miles: 32.39 Today / 2924.49 Total
Elevation Gain: 1595 ft. Today / 92,277 ft. Total
Spoiler: I made it to Canada today!
One of my big goals for this ride was to raise $5000 for the Bike the US for MS non profit organization that allocates donations to MS research and treatment centers. At this point, I am short of my goal, having raised just $4250. If you would like to help me reach my goal, please click this link and enjoy my enduring love forever.
There was no reason to rush out the door this morning, because I only had about 30 miles to ride, so I spent more time chatting with Regina about even more things we have in common, which was great. I really enjoyed talking about some of our common challenges (enduring divorce, dating at our age, etc.) and hearing about her Arizona Trail hike, gear, tips, etc., but at some point, I had to hit the road. So we said our goodbyes, and I started peddling.
Thirteen miles out, I stopped in Whiting, where I wanted to verify the details of the pickup location for catching the West Bus tomorrow morning. The the girl working the counter of the store that’s listed as a pickup point didn’t know anything about the bus stopping there daily, and neither did her mother, who acted like she was either the store owner or manager. Hmmm. I checked the bus’ website and it listed the Community Center/Whiting Store under pickup location, so I asked her where the community center was, and she didn’t know that either. Seriously? I gave up on that lady, and headed out to find someone with more information.
When I got to the parking lot, a young gal named Brianne was heading my way to talk to me. Say what? Her husband had told her that there was a lady in the store who looked like a model, and she needed to check me out. I was flattered, so I didn’t want to insult her by telling her that her husband needs his eyes checked. She knew where the community center was and also knew about what is open on Campobello Island, where I was headed. She recommended a restaurant to me and explained how to get there, which I truly appreciated. Thanks for all your help, Brianne!
After riding by the community center to scope out my morning pickup location (this is important, as I can’t afford to miss that bus), I got back on the road to Lubek, where I’m staying tonight. I was hoping to check in early or at least leave a few gear bags behind to reduce the weight I was carrying into Canada.
The not friendly lady at The Inn on the Wharf, was unwilling to accommodate me in any way, which was a little disappointing. I could see several different places where I could have easily stashed a few small items, but it was a hard No from her, so I rode on.
My original intentions were to cross into Canada, take a few steps, then turn around and come right back, but with Brianna’s help, I now had plans to see Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s summer home and eat linner at a restaurant called The Porch, which is less than a mile up the road from the home site.
As I headed for the Roosevelt Memorial Bridge, I ran into this Lost Fisherman‘s Memorial, before moving down the road.
After a very thorough screening by he Canadian Border Entry personnel, I was allowed to enter New Brunswick, Canada. I made it!!!!!
A few photos and steep hills later, I was at the Visitor’s Center of the Roosevelt Compound, watching a film, checking out the exhibits in the visitors center, then taking a guided tour of the grounds and 36 room home the Roosevelts lived in with their 5 kids during the summers. Roosevelt really had a bad hand dealt to him when he caught polio, back before they had a vaccine. But he rose above his paralysis and probably other impacts on his life, to become the longest serving US President through some pretty tough times for our country. Pretty amazing.
My linner was yummy, and it felt so good to take my sweet old time enjoying being on vacation, with nothing hanging over me. No long distance to ride. No clouds threatening a downpour. No other place I had to be or thing I had to be doing.
After riding back to and over the bridge, I passed a little ice cream shop I’d been fantasizing about all day long. Sadly, they closed early, but the busy little restaurant connected to my hotel saved the day with their amazing fresh blueberry pie a la mode. I was so busy enjoying it that I again forgot to snap a photo, but let me just say that it would have been VERY photogenic.
Tomorrow, I ride 11 miles to Whiting, where I’ll be changing into street clothing and catching the West Bus shuttle to Bangor. When I arrive Bangor, I’ll have to ride my bike 6-7 miles from the bus station near the airport to my hotel.
There are 2 bike shops, a Home Depot and a Walmart nearby, so I should be able to walk over and get the boxes I need for my panniers and bike. Well, the pannier box is a sure thing, but the bike box is iffy. Both of the shops that might have a box will be closed for Memorial Day and claim to not have any boxes, but if there happens to be a good sized bike box in one of their dumpsters, I will do an epic dumpster dive and pull it outlf. The problem is that their trash gets picked up on Mondays by a private company, that most likely will be working on the holiday, and if they have picked up before I arrive, I’ll be out of luck on the box your own bike option and will have to pay one of the bike shops $200 to $250 to pack and ship my bike. Geez! Why is this all so complicated?
Oh, but that’s just the beginning of what needs to be done. I’ll also need to walk to Home Depot to get a heavy duty box for my panniers and Walmart to get a pedal wrench, bubble wrap, packing tape, something that cuts things and snacks for the plane. And after that, there will be disassembling and packing my bike, sorting out my heaviest gear that can go into a carry on bag into a large pannier, and packing the rest into that box. Super exiting stuff, right?
If you want to hear about my dumpster diving adventures, you’ll have to talk to me in person. No, no. Maybe I’ll summarise how it all turned out in a final post, because I have no idea what to expect, and I surely don’t want to leave any loose ends out there.