Distance: 33 - 37 miles
Weather: Wet. Very wet. Low 50s to start. Low 50s to end.
Highlights of the day:
Hurricane Matthew is making his presence know in New England. Now, this is absolutely nothing to compare with what the coastal southeastern US or Caribbean has experienced. He pummeled them with heavy winds, tidal surges and heavy rain. He was damaging and life threatening. Up here, he just made it very wet. The region enjoyed the soaking rain, it hasn’t had any to speak of for far too long. For us riders, it just made everything wet. And gave a pretty good tail wind too!
Rather soggy, we still made this 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. The lighthouse was seen & recognized and we headed on down the coast.
The official SAG stop du jour was at a farm stand with a dirt lot. Dirt lot in rain meant that it was a mud lot. We reconsidered our options and consulted with Google Maps. A Starbucks was located a quick 0.2 mile off route just up the road. Hot drinks and a chance to dry off a bit? No time needed to ponder this choice, most of the riders immediately headed up the road. Two riders, intent on a getting a little more mileage today regardless of the rain, took a little side trip out to the point of Prouts Neck and back. Nice foliage. Lovely coastal views, albeit a wee bit foggy. All for just over 4 miles.
Coffees and pastries finished, we headed south on Route 1 to a bit of a tourist trap discovered by one of our riders last year - Len Libby’s Candies & Gifts. Why would this interest us? Well, as we found out last year, this establishment is home to Lenny, the world’s only life size chocolate moose. 1700 pounds of chocolate. Why? We’re not sure. But pictures were taken. Chocolate tasted and purchased, we headed on to Old Orchard Beach and our stopping point for the day.
Bikes & riders were hosed off and some laundry completed. We found the required seafood for dinner and called it a night. A very wet but very pleasant Day 1 is in the books.