Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Rallies 2011 – Day 12

This morning we did something a little different. We stayed at the hotel and performed work related stuff until about 10:30. Reagan’s work is time sensitive and needed to be done by 8:30EDT while my work really does best if I start after 9AMEDT. So we compromised by staying at the hotel and getting a later start. The solution worked out well.

We hit the road around 10:20 and headed up I-95. When we got into New Hampshire we took a little detour on US 1 to swing by Max BMW to see if we could find Reagan some new gloves as her current gloves were now being held together with electrical tape. The sales lady was super helpful and found Reagan some gloves that fit. In fact they even had gloves a 1/2 size smaller which were too small. I was shocked, it’s rare that a shop has Reagan’s glove size but I’ve never seen a place that had even smaller glovers. Of course they were BMW gloves. So my impression of what the Germans think everyone in the world is like must be 6 1/2’ tall men with long legs and petite women with tiny hands who also have long legs. BMW engineers are just now starting to make bikes with lower suspension for us mere mortals.

As we were leaving the shop we noticed a bike outside with a Texas license plate. Almost instantly Reagan recognized the bike as belonging to Ardys, an 87 year old lady who is riding through all 48 states to sample their BBQ. Sounds like a perfectly good riding reason to me. And at 87 that’s awesome! Reagan went back inside while I checked on some things with my bike. When I went back inside they were chatting about all sorts of things and Reagan was helping her get a new set of gloves as well. We visited for a little while, Reagan was really excited about this chance encounter.

We left the dealership and proceeded north on US 1. I just followed it until I found a sign pointing me back to I-95N. We got back on the interstate at the Maine state line and proceeded up the road until we reached Brunswick. We did take one other detour from the planned route. When we got up to Portland we stayed on I-95 to exit 52 instead of taking exit 44 onto I-295. Signs indicated major construction delays on I-295 and I didn’t really want to sit in traffic.

When we got to Brunswick we followed the signs to US-1 east/north. We followed that road over to the coast and then north. We went by an old castle which belonged to one of our friend’s grandfather. Due to the street and traffic we were able to stop and take pictures. But just the thought of her running around in that castle as a little girl cracks me up. It was a cool place indeed.

Along the way we stopped for a light lunch where I enjoyed lobster stew (bisque is more like it) and Reagan had some crab cakes. It was a fun place called the Sea Basket. Definitely a place where the locals ate. A few miles down the road as we rolled into a little town there were 2 food stands near the water with very long lines of people waiting to place their orders, dining was on picnic tables outside. It’s the closest thing I’ve seen to the school bus in Hyder, Alaska where I enjoyed some incredibly fresh seafood back in 2009.

Traffic along US 1 can be slow at times and it seemed we were never alone. But the ride was nice and the temperature was amazing, it never got above 78 degrees and most of the time in Maine it was in the low 70s steadily falling into the upper 60s.

We turned south on US 3 to head down to Bar Harbor and road into town just before 6pm. It was a great day of traveling at a leisurely pace.

day 12

Total mileage today, 254 miles. Total travel time was 7.5 hours putting our average speed at 34 mph. It definitely wasn’t a high speed day. Of course stopping at Max BMW accounts for 1 hour of the time but that was a fun, unexpected stop.

Cellular service is almost non-existent. Every call I tried to make kept getting dropped so I just turned off my phone. The internet at the hotel isn’t much better. Email works because it’s not critical to have a responsive connection but the bandwidth is minuscule and latency is extremely high so it’s not possible for me to do any server work. I’m hoping it’s just all the other guests getting on facebook and such and that it will improve in the morning. Otherwise we’ll be hitting the road early to try and find a wifi hotspot in Bangor or Augusta on our way over to Lancaster, NH.

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