Maine Foliage Day 2 - Lewiston to Augusta ME
Mileage: 32 miles
Weather: Crystal clear skies and upper 50s to start. A few stray clouds and upper 70s to end. Winds out of the south.
Highlights of the day:
It was absolutely beautiful. We left breakfast wearing far fewer layers than yesterday. These temperatures are so moderate. We will enjoy them as long as they last, even if we do scratch our head every once and a while in confusion.
Today we took on more hill repeats. Right out of gate, the riders warmed up climbing up away from the Androscoggin River through Lewiston. We went past Bates College and then it was more hills, a few horse farms, and the SAG stop at the Roaring Brook Nursery. It was closed but we still had a chance take pictures of pumpkins.
The second half of the route treated us to more hills and probably the longest climb of the day. I don’t know the exact grade but it was steep enough to get all the riders’ attention. With challenging uphills, there are frequently fun downhills. It was tough to catch them because of their speed but I did glimpse several smiles as they zoomed by me. While the total number of feet climbed today was a topic of discussion as to whose total we should believe, I think it is safe to say that we climbed at least 2000’ in 32 miles. That is a goodly amount of climbing in short steep increments.
We were in early enough this afternoon to take in a little side trip to Old Fort Western, the Maine State Capitol and the Maine State Museum. Old Fort Western was closed for guided tours but we did get take a couple minutes to walk around its perimeter. No stories from tour guides like we had last year but, unlike last year, there were some amazing maples that were perfect for picture taking. They missed some of the details on the fort today, so I’ll include a quick blurb here. Built in 1754, it is the oldest surviving wooden fort in Maine and all of New England. It played a part in the French & Indian War and was a staging point for Benedict Arnold’s ill-fated assault on Quebec. The Capitol and museum were very interesting and a fun brain-involved way to spend the afternoon.
We ended the day at a local establishment called “The Liberal Cup,” a local brew pub on the Kennebec River. Large plates of pub fare were polished off in quick fashion. I’m not sure where they put it all! I think everyone worked hard today and will not have any trouble getting in a good night’s sleep.