Day 107: Newry to Farmington - Racpat Northern Tier - CycleBlaze

September 15, 2021

Day 107: Newry to Farmington

No Motel for you!

“Don’t those wood chips smell so good,” Patrick says. “Are you missing your workshop?” Rachel asks. We are back in the land of lumber trucks and woodchips being made into paper. And in 6 weeks, we’ll be back home: 4 weeks more cycling, and 2 weeks in Holland.

We wake up at 6:30, just as it is starting to get light and decide to get moving quickly since it is not raining. The forecast had called for rain overnight and a soggy day today. Instead the clouds are thick, it is unlikely we’ll see the sun, but it is dry for now. Ann is not yet up when we are packed and roll-out. Most Warmshowers hosts host because they want to meet people, but with the Covid still going around we understand and respect that she wanted to keep a distance from us. Either way we appreciate the shower and free campsite and the offer of her garden produce should we want to cook. Our plan today is to ride to Farmington and get a motel before the rain arrives.

We follow Intervale road until it connects with a highway that crosses to the north side of the Androscoggin River just past Hannover. There we pick-up US 2 that will take us all the way to Bangor. Several people have confirmed that this road is good to cycle with a nice shoulder most of the way. Just before Rumford we stop at a McDonalds for breakfast. Rumford is quite the sight with a quint New England town dwarfed by the smokestacks of a pulp mill. As we make the turn to cross the river, there is a Giant Paul Bunyan and Babe. In front is another Giant adirondack chair with Rumford Maine. Behind this is a visitor center and Rachel collects a bunch of brochures about Maine. After taking some photos of the wood chip trucks being tipped almost vertical to dump their loads, we get back on Highway 2. The road leaves the river and as expected there is a climb. At the top Patrick notices a squishiness in his front tire, and there is indeed a small metal tire wire that has caused a slow leak. He decides might as well replace the tube since it still is not raining.

Just past Wilton an older guy, on a fully loaded touring bikes rides up behind us. We stop and to our great surprise the guy only greets us and keeps going. What is this world coming to? We are so used to stopping and chatting with fellow cyclists to find out where they started and what their trip is all about, share information. We have not seen a fellow tourer since Wisconsin and this one is not interested in losing any time. All right then, information is not needed and curiosity is gone. 

We are pushing pretty good to try to beat the rain that is supposed to start around noon. The hills slow us down a little, but at about 12:30 we roll up the Colonial Inn the first one we want to check out. We know the rates listed on Booking.com, but typically walk-up rates should be a little better. To our great surprise Rachel runs into a brick wall when she asks for a room to check into early. They want $60 for check-in before 3:00. No way we are waiting 2.5 hours on the curb. So we ride on to the next motel where we find the same treatment. The motels seem pretty empty so they just must not want the business.

We have a fall-back plan though, even though we really wanted a room for the afternoon that is supposed to get wet. There is a campground just outside of town. Patrick had emailed with them and even though they do not have any cabins for rent, they will let us camp next to a “storage cottage” that we can use to take shelter in if we want. So we have lunch at the Walmart Subway restaurant, do some shopping and ride to the campground. The Troll Valley campground is pretty rough, the “cottage” is not much better. There is a lot of junk around and we do not even consider sleeping on the cots inside. Instead we will pitch out tent on the floor. We think if we’d been in a third world country this would have been acceptable, but here in America and for $27, it seems sad.

The predicted storm front arrives a little later, but at 4:30 a good thunderstorm comes through and it pours. The roof on the cottage is watertight. We are warm, dry, have had some beers and have a grilled chicken waiting for dinner.

Tomorrow, a Warmshowers host in Norridgewock.

Continuing on the North Road
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Rumford Maine with the Giant Adirondack Chairs and go figure....Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. We crossed into Maine on a backroad so no "Welcome to Maine" sign...this will have to do.
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No, we didn't make a wrong turn
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Patrick finds another treasure, a Vermont Truck license plate.
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Watch out for motorcycles
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Interesting mailbox
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those pesky tiny wires....oops, no focus
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Flat #4
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Another Giant Adirondack Chair...
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We are studying up on how to properly eat a lobster
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The "cabin" at the Troll Valley Campground
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The thunderstorm hit at about 4:30pm, happy to be inside.
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When the rain continued almost all night, we were happy to be inside and a dry tent.
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Today's ride: 46 miles (74 km)
Total: 4,211 miles (6,777 km)

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