September 20:  Freeport to Kennebunk  69.5 miles, 2700' climb and 2854 calories burned!!!

The day started on a low note.  Kathy had just heard that her father-in-law has passed away during the night in Costa Rica and she wanted to get to her family.  While everyone was sad to see her go, we all understood and extended our heartfelt sympathy to Carlos, her husband and his family.

The weather had turned wet during the night, so it wasn't clear if rain gear was in order or not.  The temperature was in the mid fifties, which made layering a must, however, by the time breakfast was done and the goodbyes said, the need for extra warm clothing was over.  Down to a windbreaker and off the group headed on the longest day of the trip to date.

Freeport has a Starbucks right on Main Street -- right on our route, so exiting this Mecca of outlets was a little slow!  Need to get that last caffeine jolt before tackling almost 70 miles of pedaling.

The route today led us away from the main thoroughfare up the coast (US 1) and into the interior far from the sea but in among all the small farms -- some of cattle, some of horse, some of truck farming, and all scenic and pleasurable to the eye.  The roadway rolled through these pastoral sights with a rise and fall that for the most part was gentle to the legs.  For each down there was a corresponding up, but with the proper shifting and pedaling one could accelerate enough with gravity to make it almost to the top of the next ridge.  The towns that peppered the route were small and almost not noticed as we pedaled by.  A mere town hall or gas station or maybe just a sign that stated the location was the only signal that the area was assigned a name.  Pownal Center, West Pownal, Gray, North Windham, and North Gorham almost disappeared as fast as they appeared.  Gorham is the home of the University of Southern Maine, but apparently doesn't send its fingers out into the neighboring villages, because we saw no sign of any college life.

Between each of these villages were miles and miles of forests and fields.  Like in the previous days, the smell of fall is in the air.  Crisp and clean with a gentle wind to our rear in the morning to speed us along pass aspen, ash, birch, maple, balsam, oak, sumac -- each hanging onto that last bit of summer bliss.  So as the temperature drops the leaves will drop too.  Already some are slowly falling -- gracefully gliding down to the earth.  The sound of leaves blowing among the trees as they race to the forest's floor fills the air. 

The route continued on through the Maine countryside passing Sebago Lake where Lee, as a child, had attended her first camp!  Having been raised in the Boston area, Lee has become a wonderful source of information of places to see and eat!

It also was the culprit of the first flat tire.  Seems some car or truck had left a piece of "steel belted radials" on the roadside after blowing a tire.  Jan accidentally rode over a piece and promptly found herself with a flat front tire.  Great time for lesson number 1 on the road -- "Flat Tire Lesson, 101".  Within ten minutes she had changed the tire, taught Candi and Courtney the finer points of tire changing and was on her way to a latte!!

Standish, Bonny Eagle, Hollis Center, Goodwins Mills, all are precursors to the town of Kennebuck.  Its famous sister is Kennebuckport, the summer residence of the Bush family.  Kennebuck, however, is a quiet resort town off the ocean path.  Our home tonight is the Kennebunk Gallery Motel and Cottages.  Never saw the Gallery, but the Motel was nice with wrap-around porch and Kennedy rockers!  Nice place to rest after a long ride.  

A nice dinner at a local restaurant and then off to bed -- another long day on the horizon.


First Coffee Break!


Courtney, Lee and Jan


Courtney and Candi in Jan's "Fix a Tire 101" Class!

"And How Much of This Strawberry Shortcake Do You Want, Candi?"