Thursday, August 9, 2007

The Maine Event

The threshold crossing was an epic. My old self has been destroyed, and I've been reborn on the other side of the continent. The flights were all on time, but the lay-over in Boston was, shall we say, HELL? Dallas was fine--a nice airport--and the flight was made very pleasant by an unexpected encounter. I boarded on time, making sure to pass my explosive Teva's through the scanner, and settled into my seat. My row-mate, Phil from Tufts University, had just completed his own trans-continental bike ride. Well, hot diggity damn. What are the odds of both of us sitting on the same plane let alone the same row? Instant brothers, we talked long into the night as we raced towards Boston. Clouds and the inky void meant no views to be had. As we neared the east coast, towns and roads glowed through the fog like new born stars in a distant nebula.

In Boston, I dragged my monster duffel across to the next check-in area at midnight. Some folks were already laid out on cots provided for fools and wayward souls like myself. Obnoxious pop music blared from hidden speakers. Periodically, God's voice cut in to warn travellers about security requirements. Whatever you do, do NOT take that suspicious package from the bearded guy in the turban and flowing white cloak, okay? I slipped in behind an unused stainless steel cart of some sort, set up my pad, wedged plugs into my ears and hoped for the best. No sleep was as good as it got.

5am, I crawled from my burrow, staggered over to Starbucks--LIFE!--and sat in a caffeine twisted stupor to await my flight. Rain and dark clouds did little to lighten my condition as I scrambled for the tiny plane that would take me to Bar Harbor. A 19-seater, it bobbed and twisted and made me quite green. I struggled to hold onto my Starbucks'. On the ground with my stomach load intact, I was confronted by a lack of baggage. Lovely. They'd send it ahead to the hostel. In town, I marched through pouring rain to the bike shop where I was required to assemble my bike outside where no shelter was to be found. Oooooh, having fun, yo? In even heavier rain and with no rain gear (on its way, they said), I stomped to the hostel to be confronted by the all-to-common lock down. I was so tired I was about the vomit. Luckily, I found a strange, partly constructed annex with some shelter form the storm. I crawled in, covered the openings as best I could with some stray plywood, and collapsed onto my pad, getting some sleep at long blessed last.

Today is as beautiful as yesterday was horrendous. I slept well in my tent as the storm ended late in the afternoon. Now I've got my bike all together and I'm off for a little tour of the island. Tomorrow, I head west. Head west not-so-young-man, head west!


Andy Huffaker said...

You are my hero. I have dreamed of doing just what you are doing since I was a little kid. There is something so Whitman about the open road. I look forward reading your adventures and living vicariously through you. May the four winds blow you safely home

Robert said...

Woohoo. Half of your trip is over! Now for the other half - the cycling!

Scott Wayland said...

Thanks, guys. Time to let 'er roll.


Drow Millar said...

Yo Scotty,
Well so many roads to ease my soul... and a Kerowac lifestyle too...glad to here that you are heading west finally. Alas I was wondering why you started so late in the summer, means that you will most likely run into some "narly weather' this fall. If you need a place to crash in Portland, Maine or Connecticut, my brothers would welcome you in for a hot meal and cold beer. I too will be vicariouly be following your journey here in cyberspace. Course when I attempt such a journey someday, it will be doing the Continental Divide Mountain bike trail from Canada to Mexico... Still don't trust those "fu#king cars and the idiots that drive them... ride on my friend... Dr. Ow

Scott Wayland said...

Hey, Drow! Thanks for the note. Alas, I cannot drop in in the Millar boys as I'm almost out of Maine. I may even make it into New Hampshire today--contemplating a layover in Conway. Be well.