Well via the magic of Facebook most folks know that (1) myself and Bertie made it – we managed to get from the most Westerly Lighthouse (Cape Blanco, Oregon) to the most Easterly Lighthouse (West Quoddy Head, Maine) on mainland USA and (2) and I ran the Maine Marathon – I’ve done my own wee personal duathlon in America – so I’m going to go and blow my own trumpet and say yip yip hurrah to me! Big thank you to every one I met on my way – some folks who haven’t gotten a mention yet but you will do – and also thank you to all the folks back home who have been sending me messages, etc.
West Quoddy Head Lighthouse, Maine
So Maine was beautiful – lots of trees and trees, just starting to turn. I had hoped to see more of the coast line and more of the lighthouses along it but time dictated that if I was going to make it to Quoddy Head I needed to take a more direct route, which is what I did.
Maine was beautiful during the day but the temperature had seriously dropped during the night – if I had been camping any longer I would have had to re-think both my clothing and my sleeping bag – for the last few nights I was sleeping in most of my clothes and was still getting chilly – I’m very glad to be spending the last few nights of my holiday in a hostel.
So I arrived at the lighthouse in perfect conditions – the sun was catching the lighthouse and the sea was sparkling – I met Kimberly who works there – she knew I was coming because I had been emailing her to get information on transport from here to Portland further down the coast – I got a nice well done hug from Kimberly and then tried to let the world know that me and Bertie had made it and couldn’t – no phone or internet reception – I had been struggling to get both in Maine – I don’t think I’ve ever felt so let down by gadgetry before but it didn’t last long – I was in a perfect place in perfect conditions and Bertie’s right pannier had hung in there by a whisker!
No – You Are Not Meant to See the Yellow of My Dry Bag!
So I cycled to Whiting – the closest town to the lighthouse that had a bus service – I could get one of 2 busses south to Portland I thought, where I was going to run the Maine Marathon and I didn’t have long to get there. It turned out that there was 2 busses – the one that left at 10.25am in the morning and the one that did the return journey back to Whiting at 5pm – I would have to wait till the morning to get the bus and it was all a bit vague – if there was room me and Bertie would get on the bus / if there wasn’t we didn’t – I was told that there was normally room. I was going to camp 4 miles along the road and return in the morning but the local headmaster had heard the conversation and said I could camp in the school playground for free – the gas station across the road had food, a seating area and a washroom so I was set for the night.
Rather than waiting for the bus I tried to get a ride for me and Bertie to our first stop in Bangor – lots of people said they could have taken me on previous days or the following day but Saturday didn’t seem to be the day that most of the locals did their weekly trip to Bangor – I gave up and had a 2nd breakfast in the gas station and caught up on some of the gossip and news with the locals until the bus came and me and Bertie got on with no problems and Bertie didn’t even need to be boxed up – mini bus was about 1/2 full and I got some good chat with some of the other passengers.
Another bus took me to Portland, where I had a whirlwind of getting registered for the marathon, finding the campsite which was about 8 miles out of town and having something to eat.
Alarm set for 6am on Sunday morning – should have set it for earlier – freezing cold but beautiful again – washed dressed – quick bite to eat and drink with plans to eat some more when I got to the start line – managed to take a wrong turn and get lost and the marathon had started before I even got there so no second breakfast – luckily it didn’t take me too long to catch up with the runners at the back and I was doing not too bad on time until 16+ miles and then the body protested – apart from running for a few traffic lights in New York my body was not ready for this – my legs were in cycling mode and not running mode – I was gubbed – fast walking took over from running – slow walking took over from fast walking – and stopping took over from walking – luckily about the final 3 mile mark I caught up with India – we had passed each other a few times prior to this and now we chummed each other to the end and we were both grateful for the free pizza at the finish line – great marathon – beautiful course and good music on the way but would I cycle across a pretty big country and do a marathon straight after again …………………………………………………..??????? despite the pain in my legs at the moment, yes I probably would!
The following morning a bus to Boston – but more of that later as I’m too tired to type – night folks.