I really felt like I was losing it today. So many things should have made me feel good today. As I posted earlier, I made it to a pretty major milestone in the trip.
That euphoria was short lived.
I had decided late last night to follow a “recommended” route along the coast of Maine until I reached the town of Belfast. I’d make that a loop back to a couple dealerships to get chips and that would make for a great time in Maine. Or so I thought.
Here’s some quick advice for anyone wanting to ride or drive through the Maine countryside. Don’t.
Ok. So it being the day after a holiday could have something to do with it. I did see a ton of out of state plates. Mostly Massachusetts.
Here’s the deal.
Traffic. Constantly. Everywhere. On the coast. In towns. Between towns. In the hills. In the mountains.
Now, that wouldn’t be so bad. If…if everyone would just achieve the damn speed limit. I don’t care if you only go the speed limit. I really don’t care if you go a reasonable amount over. But in the name of everything holy. Just achieve it. There isn’t a single car made after 1990 that can’t go the speed limit, anywhere in this great nation. If it can’t, get it off the road.
This wasn’t a one time thing. Or even occasionally. It was absolutely constant. If the limit was 55 (typical), the person in front would be doing 40. Yep. 40. And no one would pass them! There would be a huge line of cars just meandering along. On the rare occurance of a dotted center line, there would inevitably be the same traffic coming at us. On the even rarer occasion that I could pass, the car I was passing would try to speed up to close the gap. Every time!
This went on for almost the entire day save for two times.
The first was bumper to bumper, stop and move 5 feet and stop again, traffic. There was obviously an accident up ahead based on the ambulances flying by. There were no alternate routes because of all the lakes in the area.
The north east is in the middle of a record setting heat wave and at one point my thermometer displayed 100 degrees. Motorcycles don’t have AC, at least not yet, and I was completely exposed. No shade.
After about 2 hours of this I couldn’t take it anymore and so I pulled into a roadside tavern to take advantage of their air conditioning and to talk to my wife on the phone, killing some time.
I tried again after an hour and made it through in about 30 minutes.
A Ford F series had wiped out a guy and his wife on a Harley. I don’t know the outcome but none of the ambulances left with their lights and sirens on.
That was an enlightening moment and really served to chill out my road rage for the day.
Odd how the rest of the day was quite peaceful. It was all my mindset.
It did help that once I crossed back into New Hampshire the roads became more remote and the crowds thinned out.
Because of all of the setbacks today, I didn’t make it as far as I’d originally planned but that’s never been the point of this trip and so I’m happy.
I’m shacked up in a reasonably overpriced campground for the night. Already showered and waiting on a small load of laundry, just because I don’t have anything else to do. Dinner is on the bench next to me, beef jerky and trail mix. So good.
I feel like I need to stop thinking of all of the things I am really tired of and start to really look around at where I am and enjoy the journey.
I realized I didn’t take any other pictures today so you get this one. My beat down, too much sun, selfie.