Trip Log – Day 7 – Auburn, ME to Conway, NH

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 5.19.57 PMMiles Today: 59

Miles to Date: 434

May 12, 2015 – Partly cloudy, 65 degrees

 

I woke up hungry on the edge of town, unsure where I might find any food heading west. Fortunately I came upon a fresh farm stand where I got a couple of bananas, tangerines, a hunk of cheese and a container of GORP. That put me in good shape to tackle 30 miles of rolling countryside through Maine’s Lake Country.

IMG_1774My fascination with ‘stuff’ in Maine struck a new high today. All along the road from Auburn through Minot people had set giant piles of brush, lumber, old furniture, car parts and mildewed clothing by the curb. At one point I came upon a convoy of four orange dump trucks and a shovel truck. A team of sanitation workers in jump suits put whatever people had piled into the trucks. I am sure that this was not a typical trash day, but it was amazing to see how much stuff was headed to its final resting place buried in a landfill.

IMG_1775The narrow roads of back woods Maine are more like Appalachia than any other area of the East Coast I’ve ever seen. Houses with plastic covered windows and rusted trailer homes are littered with all kinds of yard stuff. Dogs bark loud, but fortunately, they’re tied tight. Towns and lakes with a tourist bent are pristine, but the back roads are cluttered with stuff past use, churches with an evangelical bent, country music references, and American flag motifs.

 

IMG_1792I stopped at Ricky’s Diner in Bridgton for lunch; patty melt with fries and a brownie sundae dessert. The waitress worked the room like a professional entertainer, brought extra napkins and exclaimed, “If it’s not messy, it’s not good.” Most of the patrons were older than me, and a good deal heftier. But it didn’t take long for folks to talk across tables, and soon I was passing out my card and asking people about tomorrow. Exactly how I imagined engaging people from a different perspective when I planned this trip. One guy with a deep, percussive voice turned out to be a bluegrass guitarist and singer. Jack D. Jolie has a great YouTube rendition of Bill Monroe’s Old, Old House.

IMG_1800The road to Fryeburg is perfect – a wide shoulder and fresh blacktop through a forest of gorgeous golden buds on black-trunked trees. The rise into Conway, NH is gradual. As I left Maine behind I realized what good luck I’ve had in traveling safe, meeting great people, and enjoying good cycling weather. It will be tough for other states to be as accommodating as Maine.

imagesWhen I pedaled up to the White Mountain Hostel I realized I’d been here before – 40 years ago on a college ski trip. Then, the place buzzed with winter activity. Now, I am between seasons and it’s very quiet. Still, it’s clean and friendlier than a motel. They gave me a prime room. The view out my window shows the sharp silhouette of the mountains. Tomorrow I am going to live in low gear.

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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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2 Responses to Trip Log – Day 7 – Auburn, ME to Conway, NH

  1. Kim says:

    Paul, this is fabulous!! I wish you nothing but health and safety on your journey!!

  2. paulefallon says:

    Thanks, Kim. So far, I am having a great time.

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