In the morning, a cloudy mist greeted us. The fog bank covered half
of Walden Pond. After a moment’s silence, I turned to Richard and
asked how his night had gone. “Not so good,” he replied, “too many
mosquitoes. It was sweaty in my sleeping bag.” “Yeah,” I responded,
“the mosquitoes were bad, but, all in all, I had a pretty good
evening.” We hiked down the hill and managed to get our bikes back to
the highway without being discovered. Then it was up the New Hampshire
coastline, under clouds at first, but late in the morning the sun
broke through making it a beautiful bicycle ride.
At the end of the day, we found a nice secluded area to camp. But
before we camped, we went for some beer. Sitting high up on a rocky
incline, overlooking the beautiful ocean surf, we drank our beers and
ate our store bought roast beef sandwiches. We had every intention of
making it back to our pre-selected campsite, but those intentions, I
guess, just weren’t good enough because we crashed in the vacant lot
just behind where we were sitting.
Before we started traveling together, I used to bike long and doodle
little. Richard’s agenda was just the opposite. He doodled long and
bicycled in-between doodles. We both understood the situation and
therefore it was easy to agree on a new procedure. We made a
gentleman’s agreement to go our separate ways. Yesterday was such a
good day for both of us that it made it easy to leave on the best of
terms. I was the first to say good-bye to Richard who, when I was
ready to leave, was still reading his morning newspaper. Not far down
the highway from where we camped the road forked, so I took the scenic
route. (It wasn’t very scenic, though.) The weather was holding, and
Maine was beautiful—a great state to bike.
As it turned out, the time I spent bicycling the scenic route was
about the same amount of time that Richard spent doodling in Portland,
Maine. Just outside of Portland, we ran into each other on the highway.
We camped just outside of Brunswick, in the woods, in the rain. In the
morning I packed up in a swarm of mosquitoes, chiggers, and eight to
ten leeches that I guess were enjoying the feel of my nylon tent.
Richard and I agreed to meet again in Bar Harbor. We planned a joint
tour of Arcadia National Park. (I wonder if I will ever compromise
enough to abandon my solitary nature? A little compromise, I know,
would be healthy).