Route 9 and Beachfront Riding

Trip Start Sep 02, 2011
Trip End Sep 05, 2011

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Where I stayed
Bayley's Camground, Scarborough, ME
What I did
Rode back towards Portland

Flag of United States  , Maine
Sunday, September 4, 2011

Woke up at the crack of dawn, got changed in the bathroom at Yankeeland. At 730, there was a great pancake breakfast being served at the pavillion where we had all played Bingo the night before. Had about 5 yummy pancakes with orange juice before heading out again from West Kennebunk. Now I completely didn't care about the Eastern Trail at all and resolved to just go where I wanted to. I had hoped to get to Portsmouth, New Hampshire on Saturday but I didn't think there was enough time for that and to get back to Portland on Monday, especially with some possible rain in the forecast. 

Now headed south along Route 35 to Kennebunkport, famous for being the vacation home of the elder George Bush. Was a beachfront resort area like Old Orchard beach but less of the cheap motels and carnival atmosphere and more of a sailing and summer house rental kind of place. A local directed me to Walker's Point, which was where the Bush vacation home is. Said that last week three presidents were there: George Bush Sr, W, and Clinton. Said the elder George is now in a wheelchair and former First Lady Barbara uses a cane. However, he's still been at Kennebunkport all summer. So rode down there and saw the compound. Honestly not that impressive. I remember hearing about Kennebunkport when I was younger and pictured it being this huge, gated complex. Kind of modest for someone considered part of the East Coast aristocracy and a wealthy oilman. Rode back to Route 9 East back up east and north out of Kennebunkport. Bought some locally made maple syrup which I hope is small enough to get on the plane. 
This time, stayed strictly along the coast and mostly along Route 9. Very deserted along the stretch from Kennebunkport to Biddeford. Route 9 is quiet with little traffic but a few cyclists here and there. Went off Route 9 at Fortunes Rock road hugging the coast and passing beautiful beaches and Biddeford Pool. Very scenic. Stopped by Biddeford Pool at a rocky beach. Saw two men out in the distance collecting seaweed in large garbage bags. When they walked back along the road I asked them why they were spending so much time collecting seaweed and in such large quantities. They said it was for a clam bake. The clams are cooked on top of the seaweed, giving them a distinctive flavor. 

All along the route along the coast back to Biddeford and Saco was evident the influence of the coast and seafaring in Maine's culture. You see a lot of mailboxes shaped like lobsters or crabs, boxes for collecting lobsters in people's yards, seafood restaurants are common. Lobster seems to be especially popular in this part. "Lobster rolls" are sold out of places like convenience stores. On the outskirts of Portland is a monument shaped like a big anchor. Portland's team, a double AA affiliate of the Red Sox, are the "Seadogs." Portland itself has a large variety of restaurants, but along the coast, seafood seems to dominate. 

Met back up at Old Orchard Beach again but stayed along Route 9 instead of the Eastern Trail. Got back up into Scarborough, where I decided to stay the night. Found "Bayley's Camground" this massive, sprawling complex of tents, RVs, pools and ponds along Route 9. Checked in and once again was given a spot of dirt with a picnic table to stay the night. Found the hot tubs and went in for about half and hour. After riding for so many hours in the last two days it was nice to take a dip. There were kids running around everywhere at this campground but that was ok. I thought about having lobster at the campground restaurant but passed. Oh well, maybe some other time for Maine lobster. Went back to my little place deep in the middle of tents and RVs and plopped down for the night. Read for awhile and called my girlfriend back in New York. The temperature seemed to be much warmer than the night before but that soon changed and once again I was cold and shivering. But made it through. Be back to let you know about the next day!


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