The other Portland

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Flag of United States  , Maine
Wednesday, July 31, 2013

And the end of the riding portion of the time away. We started up the Maine coast, away from our Boston destination, but a combination of things abbreviated that effort. The factors were that the route was busy, the weather wet and our energy for an out-and-back tour waited. We went as far as the Pemaquid lighthouse as we had been told it was a "must see". It was nice though it rained on our return leg We stayed in a B&B that night. We camped the next night on the coast and experienced a combination of fog and T-storm. The coast itself is quite beautiful though with noticeably less marine and shore life than the Pacific coast.

We set out to head for Boston and realized that much of it would be fairly urban riding in moderate or worse traffic as all of the roads around here seem busy.

We also came to appreciate that it is the history of the area that is the most interesting to us. So after some consideration we stopped riding in Portland, Maine and spent the day on the waterfront and a tour of Henry W. Longfellow's childhood home. We plan to look around here more tomorrow and on Thursday will take the train to Boston. We have arranged to ship our gear from here which will make the remainder of the trip much easier. I leave Boston Saturday morning.

So, my trip ends with just oner 4100 miles of really good times. I am surprised to have enjoyed it throughout the 7 weeks and do not have any desire to stop doing it if were not for missing Lauren and friends. Oh yeah, and the returning to work part. Traveling with brother Dave is as fun as ever and I hope for more trips with both him and Ed (travel partner for the first 2 weeks) in the future.

Things learned during the trip were not big life-changing insights so much as they were observations about our people, our country that coupled nicely with my own introspection. I have enjoyed many conversations with strangers on a breadth of topics, benefitted from the generosity of many and have come to appreciate how nice most people are most of the time. While there were, if course, some people and drivers with attitude issues, I felt able to dismiss them and not let them determine my attitude. So, while not much generally for blind patriotism, I was left with a strong appreciation for the people, the culture (except in Sissitoon, SD per previous entries) and the beauty in the 10 states I visited.

I have often been asked where my favorite spot was on this trip. Since you also may be wondering that same thing , let me say that there really was no favorite spot. They all had their own character and beauty. I think I generally preferred the more western part of the trip that might be due to my better prior familiarity with that part. I do think the east coast is too urban for the type of touring I like, but it is a nice place to visit nevertheless.

One of the ironies of this trip is that while others perceive it as a trip of high physical exertion and "roughing it" camping, I have felt it to be one of relaxation and simple self-indulgence. This delightfully selfish time has actually left me feeling more relaxed and rested than I have in the last 20+ years. I like that. I hope to be able to make that continue after I return to work life and while participating in projects and programs that are bigger than I am.

I know myself well enough to know that I need those larger purposes and also that I too often let them consume too much of me. So finding that new balance point will be its own challenge.

Thank you, dear reader, for your patience.
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Comments

Kate on

What a heartwarming entry :) I'm glad you had such a great trip and I wish you the best of luck finding balance in the coming months.

If you get a chance, give me a call this weekend? Also let me know if you need a list of things to do in Boston -- Drew spent 3 months there and may have some good suggestions.

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