Up at 8:30, I finally get to try out the newly installed shower stall in the newly finished downstairs bathroom.  It works fine. I do the last couple of days pages, while watching the rain clouds on the weather radar on TV.  I'm planning on leaving sometime today to take advantage of a series of forecast sunny days.  I wait.

The rain hangs about until 3:30.  Consequently, so do I. Consultation of a Doppler radar site on the Internet shows the large bands of rain are gone, but some smaller cells are moving towards Bangor and Calais, Maine. I pooh-pooh them, and begin packing.

This happy little fellow (or, more likely, girl) had built a web across my brother's back door, and caught me on the way out.  As I broke free, I could only imagine the Gary Larson cartoon, where two spiders have a web across the bottom of a playground slide, and one is saying to the other - "If we pull this off, we'll eat like kings!".


Away at 4:15, I head west on Rt. 1.  The class will be pleased no end to know the last thing I did before putting on my helmet was to apply sunscreen.  Yeah, me!

About 20Km outside of St. Stephen, a large cloud lets out some drizzle.  I ignore it, thinking it's getting lighter on the other side. I watch oncoming cars for wiper movement, and oncoming bikes for rain gear. About a minute later, it really starts coming down, and I pull over.  As I put on the rain pants, rain gloves, and put the "shower cap" on the tank bag, about 8 transport trucks pass by.  I have no idea how bad this will make my life. Going through St. Stephen, the rain comes down in larger droplets, and then quits.  I sit in line for the border, behind the trucks, steaming quietly in the now-present sun. About 45 minutes later (!?!?!), my turn comes, and I'm through with no problems. At least it's not hot. The pictures above are from the Maine Tourism booth, right after the border.  In the right-most one you can see the bridge and the traffic thereon. 

I head out for Rt. 9, the infamous Airline.  In the old days, it was a road so twisted that people joked "In the turns, you can reach out and touch your trailer". It is in my mind that this is the road referred to in the old truckers song Tombstone Every Mile. Therefore, I must drive it.  Information culled from various sources (relatives, guys at truck stops) says the road has been much improved, but has 2 or 3 miles of construction.  Sounds good to me.

I breeze along in the lowering sun, doing speed limit conversions in my head - 55Mph is 88Kmh, 45M is 72K, and the limit here is 50M, so I'm only speeding by, um, carry the 2, say... 15Mph.  Keen  I need to make a list for the tank bag. Here's a rest stop somewhere in Maine, near Beddington, I believe. Although there is water around, there is no more rain.  I'm pleased to report all bag contents are dry. That dark cloud is welcome as a sun shade.  Although I am pleased to set my clocks back an hour after crossing into Maine, the Sun does not go in for such foolishness.

About 30 miles from Bangor, I enter the construction zone I was warned about.  Since it's Sunday, I'm not delayed by workers, only by the big signs saying "PAVEMENT ENDS".  I creep through about two miles of this - worried every second, but having no problems.  Yeah, me!

At about 7:00, I go through Bangor.  The one-way streets downtown are confusing, but Rt. 2 (Rt. 9 ends at Bangor) is pretty clearly marked. I'm out the other side, and bed down in a hotel near the airport.  A good meal at the Ground Round, and I'm ready for bed.

Today's numbers: cheating death 2 - rain gear ready, and calmly through the dirt.  The Odometer reads 25712, trip meter 3915.  Almost 4000 Km so far, 297 today.  Only about 1100 before I'm home again.  Back to my regular life.