Moments after we left Wiscasset this morning, we spotted this turtle starting across busy U.S. 1. Jeffrey, who often says things that make no sense, called out to it. In English. As if the turtle spoke English. “Oh, no, turtle! Don’t do it, turtle!” The turtle paused, then proceeded. Before Jeffrey could reach the turtle, it was out too far for Jeffrey to retrieve safely. We didn’t stick around to see what happened. We couldn’t bear to watch. We hope it reached its destination alive.
We reached our destination alive. And half dead. It was exhausting to climb the last few miles of Maine hills, so long and steep that Jeffrey could ascend them only by saying to himself, “Pedal 20 strokes, then rest!” Climbing some of those hills took a long time. All day we encountered bad roads that impeded our ascent, and were too rough to descend rapidly. You can get an idea of the terrain from the speeds we attained on smooth descents: nearly 40 mph (65 kph).
Now we’re safe with our friends Steve and Ellen, in rural Jay, Maine. More about them tomorrow. For now, here’s a quick recap of today.
Today’s route from Wiscasset, which bills itself as the “prettiest village in Maine”, through Augusta, the state capital, to Jay, surrounded by remarkable hills.
This sign confuses latitude and longitude. Wiscasset is the farthest east we will be on this Ride.
A Maine field.
A Maine road. A flat photo doesn’t do justice to the length and steepness of the rise in the distance. Our late-day route was much higher and steeper.
Maine logs. They are everywhere. So are the trucks transporting them.
Maine cows, curious about the odd pair passing by on an odd machine. The cows ignore motor traffic.
Two horses and (at lower left) a large goat! The goat saw us approach and ran across the road to join the horses.
Cattle on a Maine hillside.
A church in the style common to the area.
The State Capitol dome in Augusta.
Rachel recently returned to her native Maine from France, where she taught. She now is a dual U.S.-French citizen. She is a bicycling fan and recognizes the importance of protecting human rights.
Bob has extensive real estate holdings in Readfield, Maine; in NYC near our home on the Upper West Side; and in Sofia, Bulgaria. As soon as he learned that Human Rights First helps asylum applicants, he said that helping refugees is important to him. We introduced Bob to Rachel, and he gave her advice about where to live in the area.
One of many cemeteries we passed today. This one is in a particularly nice setting removed from the highway.
Woods and water as we approached Jay.