Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Chasing the Sun: Fleche Lovellone (5/26/12)

Hiram Falls - Not super impressive

Trip:    Portland – Lovell, ME
Ride Distance:   68 Miles (day total: 80 miles)
Sights:             Vacations Past, Hiram Falls

There was a ton of stopped traffic in front of the Museum of Science for some unknown reason.  As I pulled up to the end of the stopped cars one thing hit me – smell.  It smelled like a Dickens novel.  A sludgy gross not burning but heated up oil smell.

Fuck! The bridge is opening up!  I was running late for the SECOND train to Portland of the day – 11:10.  Earlier I had missed the 8:50 because it was sold out.  Umph!  Now I was stuck on one of the Monsignors waiting for some damn boat to cross from the river to the harbor.

Stuck in the tons of cars that were for some unknown reason heading downtown on a Saturday morning I had visions of now missing THIS train and pulling into Portland at 4 with NO CHANCE of making Lovell.


I made the 11:10


Had difficulty with this bike locking contraption 

I got out of the train in Portland at 1:45 and got my bearings and prepped for the 75 mile ride up to Kezar Lake.

Waypoint 1 – Hayfields: Buxton

After a 13 mile ride down 25 I was supposed to catch another road out of Buxton.  I started looking around not only for the road (maybe 112) but also for one hayfield in particular: “It's got a long rock wall with a big oak tree at the north end. It's like something out of a Robert Frost poem.”

Maybe I could find it and look for the piece of black volcanic glass that has no business in a Maine hayfield.  I was hoping Red didn’t take all the money that was there for his trip to Fort Hancock, TX.

Looking for the said hayfield with oak tree and black volcanic glass – I missed my turn.

Waypoint 2 – Doggerel: Limerick

Once I realized that I missed by turn in Buxton – and my chance at the rest of the warden’s money – stopped to look at my directions only to realize that taking 112 into Limerick would have just been out of the way as 25 carried me to Waypoint 3 anyways.

But in penance for missing Limerick, I wrote a limerick:

There once was a man from Somerville
Who tried to ride the Western foothills
He’ll never learn
As he missed his turn
And he might be out there still.

(So, It’s not very good – but you try writing even doggerel at 15 mph.)

Waypoint 3 – Ghosts of Vacations Past: Cornish

I continued on 25 toward Cornish.  En route, I passed one of the many Ghosts of Vacations Past.  As I rode through Steep Falls there was a sign for Acres of [Birds] Campground.  When I was middle school/high school age, I would camp to here with my parents.  Later I would pass the road to Bridgton where I would go in my 20s to my friend at the time Marc’s grandmother’s cabin.   Finally, I rode through Brownfield and Frost Mountain Yurts – home of Yurtin’ for Certain.

Waypoint 4 – Unimpressive Dam: Hiram Falls

From the looks on the map, Hiram Falls was supposed to be a cool site… Maybe on release day.  But it was cool to sit in the shade of the woods and eat two peanut butter and apple butter sandwiches.

Waypoint 5 – Almost, Almost There: Fryeburg

Fryeburg is only one town away from Lovell – my goal.  So close, yet so far.  Taking 5 through town from beginning to end was nearly 20 miles and over an hour!  Also, like riding to Ancient Olympia, this is where the ride starts to get hilly and hard.  The White Mountains move from little sketches against the sky that might just be optical tricks of the clouds to RIGHT THERE!  Each hill was more painful knowing I was almost to Lovell but not really that close.

Endpoint – Farrington Pond: Lovell

I pulled into the cabin right at 7:00 pm.  Beating the sunset by an hour and in time to jump in the pond and take a shower before heading to dinner with the boys at Ebeneezer's.

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