Friday, July 4, 2008

Day 6: Powered by the Promise of Lobster

To John they're just sea bugs. To me they're a holy grail.

Day 6: Waldoboro to Pemaquid, via Round Pond and New Harbor (41.5 miles)

We woke up in our cabin, well-rested and surprised to see sunshine and blue skies, in the morning no less. The daily fog seems to have moved on to the east, though I doubt we've seen the last of it. We started the day with breakfast at Moody's Diner. It was 6am, so it was just us and the counter regulars. People seemed genuinely curious about our biking but not at all cowed, as if to say, 'Sure, it's interesting, but we see it all the time.'

I had a bowl of Rice Crispies and homemade corned beef hash, and John had an oniony omelet. Everything from the servers' white uniforms to the stained newspaper clippings on the walls makes the place seems stubbornly frozen in time. Our Rockland barista had mentioned something the other day about wanting to be famous without being big. Moody's is that wish in technicolor (actually in avocado green).

The riding this morning was beautiful but tough, starting with an intimidating climb out of Waldoboro that crushed our spirits a little. Then we made a wrong turn into a mosquito-infested private development, and our moods were pretty deflated. We tried to be strong for each other but finally both admitted we were feeling the burn, and this seemed to ease the pain.

Rerouted to the proper road we lumbered on, though a comment overheard at Moody's earlier started to haunt us. One of the customers had mentioned a bridge that was out near Damariscotta, which skirted a small portion of our route. Sure enough, when we reached the recommended turn-off, it was "Road Closed Ahead" and a forced change in plans.

Last time we left the suggested route it was a big mistake -- roads thick with traffic but nonexistent shoulders. So we proceeded now with caution and a hefty dose of nerves. As it turns out, Rt. 32, our alternate, proved smooth and relatively traffic-free. It delivered us unharmed into quaint Round Pond, a tiny coastal community with a general store, a couple of b&bs, two lobster pounds, and that's about it. We were inspired by an organized ride passing us in the other direction -- about 25 people waving and cheering us on, which made us feel part of a mobile community and helped us forget both hunger and hills.

Now we find ourselves sitting outside the general store, waiting for a fresh-made pizza for John so we can head to Muscongus, a family-run lobster pound where I've decided to finally treat myself to a two-pounder . . .

. . . my lobster lived up to all my hopes and dreams: bulbous red crustacean on a styrofoam plate, steamed corn and melted butter on the side. It was exactly what I needed to pedal into New Harbor, then Pemaquid just to the south. John and I found a clean and lovely campground less than two miles from Pemaquid Point, where for two dollars you can tour the historic lighthouse that graces the Maine state quarter. We took the tour with a crusty old docent who indulged a few too many superfluous details, but he seemed to love that lighthouse lens like a son. Earlier in the day was a visit to Pemaquid Beach, with its white sand and something like mica in the water. The tiny waves glitter as they lap to shore.

At the moment we're huddled in our tent, listening to a gentle rain fall on the canvas. We have a bottle of crummy wine picked up at the general store that we're sharing in the dark. And off in the distance the sun is going down so majestically that the rain above us seems a lie. Like if we took 20 paces forward we might be dry and breezy as sheets on a clothesline. But it's starting to come down a little harder, so we'll keep our cover for now.


kkurtz said...

without a point of reference for scale, the light mechanism at first glance looks like a crazy steampunk chamber of the macabre.
(be still my heart)

great pics! (poor lobsty, ;()

psychlops said...

We got married in Round Pond. :)