At the end of the trail I didn’t really have strong emotions like many other hikers. I expected I would have felt more, but it seemed rather normal. In any case, the next order of business was to get home.
Now having travelled for my last few jobs, I’m still burnt out on various forms of public transit. Better friends would have talked me out of my bright idea, but I learned they’re all enablers. Sputnik and Fair Enough had their car and drove the whole group to Bangor (Mooch and TK included). We stopped first to grab new shoes for Mooch since hers were pretty much destroyed and she had a 130 mile section still. Next up though, we went to Pat’s Bike shop. And that’s where a bad idea became a bad plan of which Mooch explicitly approved.
I bought everything I needed from Scott at the store and appreciated that he even stayed late as I gathered the items on my massive list.
He kindly snapped a photo before I headed out the door.
I biked a few miles to the Holiday Inn and met up with everyone else. A few of us grabbed drinks at the hotel bar and we opened a bottle of Ardbeg (bad choice, no one liked it) back in the room.
They all left the next morning and I sat there figuring out how to fit the contents of a 55 l backpack into 36 l of panniers. Being Sunday I had no way to ship my pack anyway so I carried the overflow in that. It was a day of firsts. First hill I had to walk up, first time I got chased by a dog, my first 30 mile day (my longest bike ride ever was ~15 miles) and my first injury. I’ve never used clip in pedals before and apparently it’s a problem if you don’t unclip when the bike stops moving. I got a nice bloody knee out of the deal.
I made it to Newport, ME that evening.
My next day went pretty well. I mailed out my backpack at the post office and got a small duffel bag I could bungee onto my rear rack at the store. Everything fit much better now.
I only got lost once and added about 5 miles. I decided at that point I’d mostly follow route 2. It has lots of traffic, but very large and clean shoulders. I made it a bit over 50 miles to Farmington, ME. I’ve definitely been rocking some helmet hair.
Most of my day I kept thinking I could be at home, eating pizza and watching Netflix. Why did people let me do this!? Regardless, 90 miles and a bunch of cash in, there’s no turning back now.