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Why are campgrounds so expensive?!

Day 3: Belfast to Duck Puddle Campgrounds (54.21 miles)




Not the ideal shoulder

On the recommendation of Alex, my host for the previous night, I took the 1 instead of the alternative route suggested by the Adventure Cycling maps. This would save on the order of 10 miles (that is a LOT in bike parlance)! From 28 miles down to 18 miles, the first 12 were perfect with a large shoulder but once I reached Lincolnville, that shoulder promptly disappeared. For the next six miles, I had to ride cautiously and constantly stop to avoid cars--made substantially more difficult and slower because I still didn't have a mirror! While the route was certainly shorter, I'm not sure the tradeoff for safety was quite worth it (there was in retrospect an opportunity to join the longer route once reaching Lincolnville, which would still remove many miles...).



Finally! A mirror!

I reached the town of Camden, which seemed like a retreat for wealthy aristocrats, reminding me of some wealthy towns along the coast in California like Carmel or some of the small towns along the coast in Michigan (like think private yacht wealthy!). However, more importantly in a bike shop in the next town over, I was finally able to get a mirror for my helmet! I had a chat with another cyclist and decided to take another detour, taking a straight route on the 1 (which had good shoulders) to cut a further 14 miles on the primary route. Before the detour, I landed in the next town and I decided to go to another bike shop due to some bumpiness I was feeling in my front tire. I dropped the bike off and grabbed a bite to eat before heading back to pickup my bike. It was a good thing I checked, the bulge in my front wheel was due to my tire starting to fail: one section had thinned out there was almost a hole in it! For all the great press that Schwalbe Marathon tires get, this is my third failure in less than 2000 miles (don't worry, I'm still a believer, my first one lasted 9000 miles). The rest of the day was fairly uneventful, just some rolling hills for the rest of the afternoon all the way to camp. I feel like I'm getting scalped, tonight was $50 to setup a tent as I grabbed the last site. This is probably karma for my last bike tour where I stealthed into camp sites to avoid paying...I was assured that the business was due to a festival this weekend known as "Christmas in July". Is that why there is a massive bonfire (20 ft with 100 spectators) and Christmas music playing outside?





Day 4: Duck Puddle Campgrounds to Wolf's Neck Oceanview Camping (46.71 mi)


Rain rain go away...

Today was the first real rain day. It rained, actually it poured, for about 6 hours. I did end up hiding for about 2 hours in a restaurant for early lunch, but otherwise I ended up just pushing through the rain--which honestly isn't too bad as long as it lets up before the end of the day. The worst is consecutive days of rain, which means that you have to pack up a wet tent into your bag and everything ends up getting soaked. Luckily everything had a chance to dry off before the day even ended, so no problems there!



The first bike trail of the tour!

I did some more detouring, and it is clear that Adventure Cycling puts a very high priority on low traffic, even at the expense of safety conditions (no shoulder). I much prefer continuous traffic with a nice fat 10 foot shoulder than the occasional car whizzing by as I brace myself sitting slightly in their lane. Today also marks the first departure in the overlap between the Atlantic Coast route and the Northern Tier route which I did several years ago. I can't say that I remember everything, but bits and pieces of my last ride do come back to me every now and then. For example, today I actually passed a spot where I got charged by a deer in my previous trip (nothing this time though!). From here on out, [almost] everything will be new territory for me. I'm writing this from another expensive campground (*sigh*), but at least they have good WiFi.

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Jean Ji
Jean Ji
28 juil. 2021

Good luck with the new territory part of the trip, Alan!! It should be really fun! Look forward to reading more about your adventures! 😎


-Jean

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