Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A happy camper

Tuesday, June 16 -- I was up, damp but rested, with the sun at 5 a.m. and feeling pretty good about my first night in the woods, which was warm and reasonably comfortable in my new tent and down bag. There was fog out on the ocean and a bell on a buoy rang all night. No rain, but everything was damp from condensation.

I cooked scrambled eggs for breakfast, mounted my new Maine license plate on the bike, broke camp at a leisurely pace and arrived at the post office in Bar Harbor shortly after it opened to return his Connecticut plate to Herman. He has to turn it in or keep paying property tax on the bike.

The harbor was gorgeous as the sun worked to burn the fog off Frenchman's Bay. I stopped at a cafe for coffee and wi-fi -- my cell phone battery was almost dead. There's free wi-fi all over coastal Maine now. It's like going back to Europe and finding that since your last visit everybody in France and Spain learned to speak English.

I answered my email and decided to head back to Ellsworth to get the state inspection done on the KLR and install a 12V outlet so I'll be able to recharge the phone and laptop on the road. But first, I went to the summit of Cadillac Mountain, where I could see the Margaret Todd coasting out to sea, and rode the National Park Loop Road. There were few cars. I've driven the loop before, but in good weather there was always a lot of traffic. Gorgeous scenery, like this:

The weather held all day, getting warmer by the hour. I shed a few layers on my way to Ellsworth where I stopped at Friend & Friend's motorcycle dealership at about 12:40 p.m. for a state inspection to complete my registration. The man at the service counter said I'd need to come back after 1 o'clock because all the mechanics were at lunch. I said lunch sounded like a good idea -- was there a good place nearby? He recommended Sylvia's Cafe across the road and I headed there for a club sandwich with curly fries and a diet soda.

After the inspection, I headed to Bangor to visit Mom and fix her floor lamp, which needed a new socket -- the switch knob had broken off. Then it was back to Branch Lake to unpack, air and dry my damp camping gear, recharge my batteries and get to bed early.

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