No, that’s not a typo above. We really did cover over 318 miles today. How did we accomplish this superhuman feat? Oh, we just rented a minivan. Let me explain. Caroline and her sister, Amy, had been throwing around the idea of meeting up in early August when Amy had a week off work. If we were further along in our journey we could have met her in the Adirondack mountains or thereabouts. The night before last Caroline talked to Amy on the phone and told her we weren’t really close enough to be able to meet up. This morning while we were riding I had a good idea (biking gives me lots of time to think up good ideas).
It occured to me that we could rent a car and drive west to put us within range of where we could meet Amy and her boyfriend, Tim. There are multiple reasons it was a good idea. First, it means we could meet up with Amy and Tim and I know Caroline would like that. Second, it means we won’t have to bike over the same exact roads between Bar Harbor and Brunswick, Maine. Third, we got to skip over the steep hills of New Hampshire and Vermont. Yes, in a way, this is cheating, but we’re not in a race, we’re just traveling for fun. So it seemed to me like a good idea if we could figure out how to make it happen.
Caroline and I mulled over the idea during the day and once we got back to the motel we did some internet research. Turns out that it was surprisingly easy once we put the pieces together. Enterprise rent-a-car had an office at the Bar Harbor airport and they had a minivan available. We reserved it for today and Caroline took the free island shuttle to the airport to pick it up. Then she drove back to the motel to pick me up. While she was gone I did a little cleaning of the bikes to minimize dirt and grease marks in the minivan.
In no time at all we were loaded up and on the road, cruising along at what seemed like warp speed. I kept looking over, assuming that Caroline was driving way over the speed limit. But no, I think I’m just not used to traveling so fast. We retraced our previous route for a little while along the Maine coast, and wouldn’t you know it, we saw three pairs of bike tourists not far from Bar Harbor. Two people were heading north, but two other pairs of bikers were heading south, perhaps along our same route, or maybe south along the Atlantic Coast Route. Ironic that we saw more bike tourists today than we have the entire journey so far.
Soon we turned inland towards Augusta, Maine. We stuck to mostly smaller highways and country roads. The scenery was particularly nice through the Green Mountains and near Monpelier, Vermont. Unfortunately, we didn’t stop for any photos. We did stop in Montpelier for dinner and then finished our drive in Burlington, Vermont. We’re staying in a cheap Travelodge for the night. Tomorrow we’ll drop off the rental van at the Enterprise office down the street and return to bicycle travel.