When He Finished His Tantrum He Told Me To Pack Up and Get Out

harbor boats

Forty-Five Dollars Was Not Going To Get Me Home

In A Pine Forest

August 5, ‘82

When it came time to go our separate ways, the goodbyes were short, uncomfortably short. Michelle did make a point of getting my address, and after that she left, and I went back into the artisans’ gallery to enjoy the artwork. In the kitchen, my friend the artist treated me to a cup of tea, which I enjoyed in the company of his wife and friends. The place was contagious with friendliness and that made it easy for me to look to the future. All things considered, when it was time to head out, I was in a pretty good mood.

I stopped at Fort Ann, and, as I walked around the grounds, I enjoyed its history. The sun was actually hot–not sweaty hot, just hot. Sometimes sweaty hot is good; when I get back in the states, I expect it to be sweaty hot. The road out of town was hilly, but not bad, and after a good day of bicycling, I stopped at Smugglers Cove picnic area to eat dinner. While there, I noticed a ravine. There was even a picnic table at the bottom. I could not let that uninhabited spot go uninhabited. Hidden from the road, and open to the night sky, it was a wonderful campsite. However, in the morning I found myself covered in a thick, wet fog.

Three hours after breaking camp I reached Yarmouth. It was still early, and I needed a shower, so I asked the lady at a campground if I could buy one. “Go ahead,” she said, “no charge.” She was a very friendly lady. In Yarmouth, it was still foggy, but not as bad. This part of Nova Scotia was the same area where I bicycled in the pouring rain the last time I was here. After experiencing this trip’s good weather, I’m wondering if it might be that the south shore has all the bad weather. On the radio, the weatherman just said more of the same, which meant at least another day or two of rain and fog. But where I came from the sun was shining.

As I write, I’m on a ferry heading down to Bar Harbor, Maine. My 415 American dollars, which turned into 539 Canadian dollars, is now down to $12 American. All tolled that gives me $45 to get home on. I will need to send for money shortly. Meanwhile, I am going to enjoy this boat ride. I’m now 2 cups of coffee and one beer into it. It’s still foggy, though, and my future doesn’t look so good. I will arrive in Bar Harbor late at night, probably in the fog and rain, with no place to go. Oh well, I’m having fun anyway.

To finish out this page, I would like to comment on the boat’s departure from the Yarmouth harbor. We headed down a narrow channel at low tide. As we passed by numerous fishing boats in their slips, the shoreline was only a stone’s throw on either side of the boat. It was a very picturesque sight, especially with the fog banks at various densities all along the shore. As the channel widened we passed a lighthouse. Its beams had little or no effect, but its bellowing foghorn cut a deeper path. Even as I write, I am reminded that I am in a boat blundering through the sea without eyes. I can’t forget, either, because the ship has its foghorn too.

Aug. 7

Sitting in McDonalds in Augusta, Maine.

Yesterday was exceptional biking, but it didn’t start out that way. I arrived in Bar Harbor around 11 pm and after U.S. Customs got through with me — real assholes– it was after midnight before I found a place to put up my tent. All the campgrounds were full, but I wouldn’t have stayed in one anyway. Walking through a residential section of Bar Harbor in the wet night air, I stumbled upon a tennis court. Its perimeter was covered with thick vegetation, so that’s where I decided to erect my tent, in between the bushes and the fence.

It was 6 am and I was breaking down my tent when this big Chrysler pulls up and out jumps this guy breathing fire. He kept asking me what I was doing on private property, and I just kept repeating that it was the only place to camp. I wanted to tell him, however, that private property is private only under daylight conditions. In the darkness, private property reverts back to public domain. When he finally finished his tantrum, he told me to pack up and get out. I thanked him because I was only too happy to oblige; from that point onward it just got better.

When the fog lifted, and the sun came out, things started looking up, but it didn’t get good until after another twenty miles. The highway leading out of Bar Harbor was in terrible shape, after that the scenery went from nice, to super beautiful. For a while I was riding along the coast, and then when I turned inland I had a super nice shoulder to ride on. I chose to rid
e through the less hilly part of
Maine. So far the hills have not been pushovers, but they are negotiable. Today will be a little hotter then yesterday—no problem.

Last night, after logging about 95 miles during the day, I camped off the highway in a beautiful pine forest. Today, if I’m lucky, I hope to get very close to or even into New Hampshire, but I must admit, yesterday was really hard on my butt. It won’t be very comfortable riding today. However, I find it thrilling to be able to ride without the constant stopping that has marked my last couple of weeks.


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