Fall Foliage Classic Day 1 - Portland to Old Orchard Beach ME
Distance: 35 miles
Weather: Low 60s to start & foggy. Upper 60s to end & bright sunshine.
Highlights of the day:
The doom and gloom forecast a couple of days ago never materialized. No one was disappointed. We rode out into a temperate foggy morning. The roads were a little wet but nothing fell from the sky. No one complained. The fog finally dissipated in the afternoon and we were left with clear blue skies. Everyone smiled. Wind wasn’t as friendly but with all the sightseeing we did, it didn’t seem all that much of an issue. All in all, a very good day to be on the bike.
This is a day to see some sights. Seven miles into the ride, we pulled into Fort Williams Park and the Portland Head Light. We then headed down the coast to Two Lights on Cape Elizabeth. There is only one lighthouse but when it was original built, it had two towers each with its own light – hence the name Two Lights. At Two Lights is a small restaurant called The Lobster Shack. It might not be the locals favorite but sitting right on the coast with a great view of the water and the lighthouse behind it, it is definitely a tourist destination. It was nearly noon so we stopped for clam chowder, lobster rolls, lobster salad, and clam cakes. Pictures were taken and we rolled on…
The official SAG stop du jour was at a farm stand. Local apples were eaten. I think a pie was purchased for later consumption. We rode on to Prouts Neck. It’s a quick 4 mile out & back. Nice foliage. Lovely coastal views. This group then opted for the Eastern Rail Trail to head into Old Orchard Beach. It cut a mile out of our route but it also kept us off of Rte 1. We gave up traffic and commerce for a nice hard-packed dirt path that cut through the coastal marshes. It was beautiful.
We did have one last food stop at Bayley’s Ice Cream. Yes, it’s October but as I’ve said, it’s unseasonably warm. The ice cream was great. We rode on to the hotel and then to the required seafood dinner to call it a night. A very pleasant Day 1 is in the books.