The Garmin data is now linked into the Trip Log. Click on any day in the trip log to see a map of our route as well as speed and elevation information. One very interesting feature of the Garmin website is Google Earth, which enables you to zoom in and see in more detail just where we have been!
After 3,500 miles, 2 months, and travels into 14 states and Canada, we thought we would share some of our thoughts about our fabulous adventure. Check out the separate blog page entitled Post-Trip Thoughts.
As our bike trip drew to a close today, it seemed appropriate that we were faced with weather in the 90‘s, unseasonably hot for Maine this time of year. We rode east across the Maine/New Hampshire border and diverted off the Adventure Cycling map to begin our bee-line to the ocean. We found ourselves on newly paved road for the first chunk of our day, a welcome sight for sore buns as the climbs of the past several days and many consecutive days of riding have taken their toll on our behinds.
We enjoyed a ride through forests interrupted by intermittent farmland and water. The views were lovely, albeit with the somewhat familiar look of home turf. Wild turkeys by the roadside scurried into the woods and fluttered to nearby branches as past them our gears clicked and wheels ticked. Some unexpectedly long hills helped transition us from the rural to the more suburban setting. With about 20 miles to go, the indexed shifting on Tim's bike lost its click. Despite a rear wheel out of true, the constant rubbing sound that seems to emanate from the crank, and brake pads pretty well toasted on both bikes, these bikes have worn well and will be up to their task of completing the journey today.
As the afternoon wore on toward rush hour and we approached the coastline, the traffic thickened on what we discovered to be shoulderless and somewhat beaten up roadways. We both felt that the heavy traffic on these narrow roads posed one of the more challenging sections in this respect on our whole trip, serving as one last reminder of how God has protected us all along our journey. We carefully worked our way through the congested areas onto the more aesthetic shoreline drive. A few miles later we arrived at our much anticipated destination, the Atlantic Ocean with well wishers Dick, Patti, Lauren, and Richard awaiting us. After pictures, warm conversation, and a satisfying meal, Richard transported us to Massachusetts. The adjacent photography helps capture the joy of the closing moments of our adventure. Special thanks to all of these individuals who are now uniquely sealed in the memory of our final day of an awesome experience.
We enjoyed our breakfast conversation this morning with the proprietor of the cabin that we stayed at last night in Fairlee, Vermont. When he was in college, he biked across the country alone. He was interesting to talk to and very interested in our progress. After we ate some oatmeal and cinnamon rolls, we were off into New Hampshire early in the day. Today was very hot and the early morning haze of the Connecticut River Valley soon burned off.
We rolled up Route 5 and crossed the Connecticut River, pictured here. This river forms the boundary between New Hampshire and Vermont. Once onto the New Hampshire side, we headed north to catch an east-west path that would take us to Lincoln.
We encountered two large climbs today. One hill was roughly 1,900 feet above sea level, and the Kancamagus Pass has 2,855 feet of elevation. The first climb, just west of Lincoln, produced a wonderful downhill with a fairly high grade. Pictured is Debbie beginning her descent. We ate lunch in Lincoln and obtained plenty of cold fluids for the Kancamagus, which was a long and windy climb with a modest descent grade of 7% on the other side. This descent was long and allowed for much coasting.
Packing two long climbs in one day along with 77 miles in unusually hot temperatures was satisfying. We feel like we’ve made good gains since our starting days in Oregon a couple of months ago. And the scenery today was again exquisite.
Tomorrow, we are on schedule to finish the bike adventure. We plan to go to the residence of Tim’s former boss in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, which is right on the Atlantic Ocean. Dick has been a mentor for Tim over the years, so it will be a meaningful spot to end the bike trip. Tim’s college roommate will join us there and then plans to transport us back to Marlborough. What a blessing.
Heading into the last day of the bike adventure, we are feeling a bit sad to see it go. We have had a great time and great experiences, and are grateful for the support and prayers of many.
Today we took in the beauty of central Vermont, enjoying gorgeous views of green mountains, the fresh scents in the air, the sound of rushing waters splashing on rocks as they made their way down the hills that we found ourselves climbing, and the small towns that define Vermont. We’ve captured some of visuals in the accompanying photos. In the photo of Debbie riding her bike, you’ll see a farmer’s patriotic gesture out in his corn field.
We entered the Green Mountain National Forest early in the day as we rode up Middlebury Gap. The apex of the climb topped out at 2,100 feet above sea level. We had other significant climbs later in the day as well. In total, we climbed 4,400 feet. While eclipsing each of the past two days, we expect to reach new heights tomorrow. Some of today’s climbs, although not large in numbers, tended to be very steep. Actually, the steep descents were a bit more hair raising than the ascents, including descents of 12% and 13%. In the photo below, Debbie is catching her breath from a long climb up Middlebury Gap while contemplating the steep descent that awaits, as indicated by the 12% grade sign in the background.
It was a beautiful day for riding and enjoying the surroundings. The temperature was in the 80’s with the favorable west to east wind at our backs. We met our goal of reaching the New Hampshire border, which keeps us on track for a Wednesday arrival in Portland.