Day 5: Basin and Long Range

We broke camp and headed back into town for fuel (gas, coffee and a breakfast burrito). A couple of locals gave us a recommendation on a short but good hike not too far away called The Basin. Much of the area near the entrance had handrails to keep folks from wearing away the landscape with heavy foot traffic. The rock formations in the streambed, both near the trail entrance and further upstream beyond where most people venture were really something. I’m not sure, but I think part of this trail connects to the AT.

Pemigewasset Streambed

Looking downstream at smooth rock formations of the Pemigewasset River.

After I strapped all of my gear back on the bike Jen and I said our goodbyes. She headed back home, and I had a long day of riding ahead of me if I was going to make it to the coast. Based on the time estimate provided by the googlemaps I phoned up my dad and his wife to tell them that I was on my way, and should be there in about two and a half hours. My dad asked where I was, and I told him I was at the intersection of route 3 and route 112 in New Hampshire then got off the phone and on the road.

I started off south along route 3 to connect to route 112 east, also known as the Kancamagus Highway. It’s got a well deserved reputation as a scenic highway.

Scenic view NH rte 112

View from a stop along the Kancamagus Hwy.

By the time I got into Maine I realized that my time estimate was WAY off. I checked my phone and it was giving me directions to some random address in central maine, and not the address that I had entered. Rather than worry about it, I realized that my dad would figure out what time to expect me based on the location I’d given him.

I eventually passed through Brunswick, where there’s a left hand turn that has always stuck in my memory from summer trips north to visit my grandmother. It’s a milestone because it just seemed like an odd turn in the middle of town for Route 1 to make, but maybe also because it is a point which seems to transform Highway 1 into local coastal Route 1. A little further north I came to another always memorable milestone: the bridge at Wiscasset. Heading north you wind through town a bit then head downhill to the bridge, but just before the bridge on the left is a crab and lobster shack called Red’s Eats which always seems to have a ton of business. This of course makes traffic hellish since most customers are on foot and crossing to either get to or come from Red’s. Today, since it was Sunday, the traffic headed south was incredible! There were so many folks heading back to New York or Boston, or wherever to get back to work on Monday that the traffic was lined up for literally miles on the other side of the bridge! There’s no way around it because the bridge is one lane in each direction, as is Route 1 as it runs through Wiscasset, and on the other side of the Sheepscot River. Traffic running north was nonexistent, so let that be a lesson to those that follow. Don’t try to head south through Wiscasset on a summer Sunday afternoon.

What’s funny is that the Wiscasset bridge crossing heading north feels so similar to the one from New Hope, PA north into Lambertville, NJ. It even has an ice cream stand or something similar in the same location as Red’s. Everytime I cross from New Hope to Lambertville I think of it.

From there it was just a question of following Route 1 north to Waldoboro, then heading for the coast. Once I arrived at the house, I parked the bike, and it didn’t move until the morning I left. The first night, we went out to eat in Thomaston at a cool place called The Slipway. We sat on the screened-in porch and were served by a beautiful waitress who managed to face her fear of bees and rescued a trapped bumble-bee by transporting it out of the porch to safety in a mason jar. The food was delicious. Two thumbs up. Go there.


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