Trip Log – Day 6 – Waterville, ME to Auburn, ME

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 5.23.23 PMMiles Today: 60

Miles to Date: 375

May 10, 2015 – Overcast, 55 degrees

 

If the early bird gets the worm, I have a belly full of ‘em. My alarm went off – too loud – at 4:30 a.m. I was on the Surly in the early dawn, rolling through Waterville to get to MaineGeneral Medical Center for a 7:00 a.m. tour by CEO Chuck Hays. Most of the route was along a ridge road named Middle Street, which gave the gray morning a Zen quality.

The bulk of my career was in healthcare design, and I was fortunate to be involved in three greenfield hospital projects. Completely new hospitals are uncommon, and for an architect to have a hand in three is rare. During my journey I plan to visit them all: MaineGeneral (Augusta, ME, 2013), Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (Lebanon, NH 1991) and Bronson Healthcare (Kalamazoo, MI 1999). Each were state-of-the-art when designed and built, so visiting three facilities spaced about a decade apart should give some sense of how healthcare design has evolved.

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Chuck showed me the high points of the completed facility, but what struck me most about his tour was that Chuck greeted every employee we met by name. He spent extra attention describing the staff communication systems and the focus on quality food. When we finished, I rushed back to the cafeteria and devoured two bowls of steel cut oats with fresh fruit and brown sugar. After being up more than three hours and riding over twenty miles, I was hungry.

IMG_1763The ride to Lewiston was uneventful. The weather was nippy, Dense trees in every shade of green stood tight to the road, from golden buds to deep evergreens, but the diffuse light softened their variety.

 

 

IMG_1771Lewiston is a former mill town. Although Bates College has a beautiful campus and the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul is remarkable downtown is struggling. I met with Muhidin Libah, Executive Director of SBCMALA (Somali Bantu Community of Lewiston, ME) in the two-room suite on an upper floor of a grimy, aging edifice.

It was after three when I rode to a motel in the direction of tomorrow’s ride. This was my first night in a motel, and my first night staying with proprietor Patel! On my last long trip, I discovered that Indian’s rule the locally owned motel world, and many of them are named Patel. At least in Maine, that has not changed. I was too beat to venture out for dinner, but my steel cut oats were still stuck to my belly.

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About paulefallon

Greetings reader. I am a writer, architect, cyclist and father from Cambridge, MA. My primary blog, theawkwardpose.com is an archive of all my published writing. The title refers to a sequence of three yoga positions that increase focus and build strength by shifting the body’s center of gravity. The objective is balance without stability. My writing addresses opposing tension in our world, and my attempt to find balance through understanding that opposition. During 2015-2106 I am cycling through all 48 mainland United States and asking the question "How will we live tomorrow?" That journey is chronicled in a dedicated blog, www.howwillwelivetomorrw.com, that includes personal writing related to my adventure as well as others' responses to my question. Thank you for visiting.
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