Onward to Maine

6/1/22

I’m in a new-to-me state! I haven’t had many of those yet on this journey, just Louisiana and Georgia up until now.

It’s a bit chilly here in Sanford: 51 as I write, with an earlier high of 59.

This morning in Cambridge, Massachusetts, I enjoyed some PB & J toast with last night’s Warmshowers hosts, Paul and his housemate Paul. We had had a homecooked meal and hours of conversation last night, in their historic Cambridge house. (See the extra-quaint Little Free Library out front.) Paul had undertaken a 14-month bicycle journey around the United States in 2015-2016, and found it to be—unsurprisingly—a life-changing experience. (The theme for his trip was the question, “How will we live tomorrow?” and that is also the name of his blog of the journey; take a look!)

After this morning’s toast and a bit more chatting, I packed up my rig from my attic guest room, and headed out into a cloudy sky that threatened to drizzle.

The rain didn’t amount to anything on that ride, and I enjoyed the 6-mile sojourn through Cambridge and Boston to Amtrak’s North Station. There was great bicycle infrastructure along the whole route. Once inside the station, I saw pigeons walking around amidst the construction.

The train was only 30% full, so I very easily loaded my rig into the large area in front of my seat.

The scenery was lush, if a bit rainy.

When we pulled into the small, volunteer-staffed station in Wells after about two hours of travel, I was pleased to note that like the other stations along this New England “Downeaster” Amtrak line, there was a platform flush with the train, so it was relatively easy to disembark. I had not seen this design elsewhere that I have traveled on the Viewliner trains. Generally, either an entire station—like New York or Philadelphia or Boston—would have a large platform that runs the length of the train, making boarding and deboarding easy, or no platform at all, making it quite a trial with my rig. This seemed like a good hybrid option for these small stations.

Unfortunately, I did have a snafu in connecting with my Servas host, Gail. We had a miscommunication about how we would meet, and where, and how we would communicate about it. So we both ended up sitting waiting for the other for about two hours, after which the rain had stopped so I bicycled about an hour and a half to her place, while she wondered where I was and drove the 12 miles to the station to try to pick me up.

Oof!

But we eventually met at her house, and had a wonderful Indian-food dinner while we got to know each other and I got to meet her two cats.

The weather for my time here in Maine is looking pretty cool and overcast, at times rainy. I was hoping for warmer, more 70s-like weather (and apparently it was 90 here a week ago!) but it is springtime in Maine, and I’m sure wherever I go will be beautiful nonetheless. We’ll see what we end up doing tomorrow.

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