There’s this lake …and it’s very long. The name of this lake is Long Lake and it is a very beautiful 11-mile stretch of water surrounded by a dense ridge of trees that are in the throes of changing their colour from green to kaleidoscope. Our B&B, The Inn at Long Lake is perched on a little hill at the southern base of the lake. Looking out of the window as we woke up this morning, we were greeted with a vista akin to a Turner painting …it was wonderful. We had a lovely breakfast with Keith the owner/manager of the Inn and once again chatted about all the things that were wrong and right with the world. We’ve picked up so many pearls of wisdom whilst on this trip we’re beginning to feel like an aromatic plant with grayish-green leaves! Wishing Keith well, we set off on a 55-mile roller coaster of a ride toward Bath, ME.
Our starting elevation this morning was 350ft and our finishing elevation was to be 100ft, so today’s trip was supposed to be short and simple. The weather was playing ball and despite starting later than planned we still had loads of time. What we didn’t plan for was (i) over 3,600ft of climbing: “How is that possible with a net descent for the day?” you ask …well it was possible, and it hurt; and (ii) two stretches of road being closed, with very long detours, 2 miles and 15 miles respectively.
Approaching the first ROAD CLOSED sign, we duly cycled past it ignoring all warnings of no THRU ROAD. A mile later at the bottom of a very steep hill, we were confronted with a giant-sized hole in road, filled with all sorts of construction equipment. The way was shut and there was no route across …funny that! We reluctantly about-turned, pedalling back up the steep hill and took the short detour, as instructed. It was getting later and we were getting tired, the realisation that ‘short n simple’ were not going to be the adjectives for the day was becoming apparent. We took a quick break at the side of the road, refuelled and began again. 10-15 miles later we approached a second ROAD CLOSED sign. Learning nothing, we were about to cycle straight through, our usual Modus Operandi, when fortunately, Anthony had a rear wheel puncture right next to the “road-closed” barriers. We say “fortunate”?! Because, as Anthony was fixing the puncture, Kat removed the Panniers from Steed and went on reconnaissance down the closed road …15 minutes later …Kat returned and explained that there was no way to cross the road. Apparently a massive crane was fixing the road next to the river, when the road suddenly gave way …the river claimed both the road and the massive crane. The road was now closed for different reasons, as the county departments work out how to get the crane out of the river. However, as luck would have it, during her reconnaissance, Kat had met some burly firemen who said they would escort us across a private field avoiding the collapsed roadway and more importantly the 15-mile detour. Thank you Thank you Thank you Kevin, Scott and Zac for saving our lives (we know you save lives everyday).
Despite experiencing another rear wheel puncture, we struggled up many more steep hills and made it to our hotel in Bath, ME at 6pm, just before the rain started! Dinner at Solo Bistro was very nice and we were happy that tomorrow would be a non-cycling day.