Day 6 Wilton / East Dixfield, ME to West Bethel, ME – 42 miles
Side note: One thing that might be surprising is the effort required to get ready for our overnight spot – either finding the WS host home or getting groceries for a good dinner. We’ve learned to allot plenty of time for this and often spend time at our meal stops making reservations with WS hosts a day or two ahead.
This blog also takes more time than we expect but it certainly is a labor of love. It is as much for our own memories as it is for letting our dear friends and family know how it’s going.
Today’s ride: We had a great day today. Most every local person we spoke with about today’s route said, “yeah it’s pretty flat.” And… They were right! Today was just like Michigan riding – just what we’re accustomed to, a couple of big hills, but no long climbs. Even though we’ve only been at this 5 days, we both feel our legs are getting stronger and the hills easier to take. (Although we know we will hit bigger hills soon!) Today we had fun!!
We had breakfast at the Front Porch Cafe in Dixfield, Maine. Great food and great conversation! We spoke with Brad for quite awhile – he’s a bike rider and gave us a nice route change to keep us off a very busy road thru Mexico & Rumsford. Brad also gave us an interesting fact – the Front Porch Cafe is the former home of the inventor of the toothpick! The mill behind the house produced a gajillion (or so) toothpicks! It was also where the wooden thread spool was invented! We’ll remember Brad and the Front Porch Cafe every time we pick our teeth or sew. Brad drove off with his new business venture in tow: Doug’s Dogs – a mobile hot dog cart. Too bad we just got stuffed with breakfast, I’m sure his ( or Doug’s) dogs are delicious!
A huge (literally!) surprise awaited us as we turned a corner in Mumford Falls. The visitor’s center had a huge Paul Bunyon statue! Sure, Paul is cool and all, but there was no mistaking this statue was a Muffler Man statue! Check out : http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/37422
We’ve both shared a love for the Muffler Man art genre, but to stumble upon one is really special! Mumford Falls is also the home of Edwin Sixton Muskie (who knew!!). When Jim was 9, he did some living room campaigning for old Edwin – (pretty sure it was the fishy name :-/). Like that wasn’t enough, the falls in Mumford Falls is no slow drip! It’s the second biggest falls on the east coast!
We moved on to a lunch spot, one that was recommended to us. Route 2 Diner in Rumford Center was a great place, and when we ordered a piece of blueberry pie to share, our waitress gave us an extra big slice ;-). It was really good too!
Teeth adequately stained blue, we headed on to our over night stay at the Bethel Youth Hostel – A Hostels International location. The hostel was a bit like staying in a college dorm, but had everything we needed, including a community kitchen and laundry facility. It’s the off season (between skiing and hiking seasons) so we had the place to our self. It was nice to spread out a bit. Later that evening, the family that owned the hostel, Dave, Deb and family came over and started a campfire. It was an very inviting fire and they offered us our first S’mores of the season. (Mmmm sticky food!).
We had some great campfire discussion where we discussed our pets and the pet geniuses (Cesar Millan & Jackson Galaxy) we watch on TV. We also spread the Gap Year gospel. We’re building the spider diagram for our book (or maybe pamphlet!) to spread the word to a larger audience.
We must be working hard in the fresh air, we both slept over 10 hours (!). Not sure that’s happened since college days!!
Our WS hosts, Sally & Larry
Taking a breather after the first big climb – about a mile into our day. I think Larry said it was Bowerman’s hill.
Front Porch Cafe
We got a pic of our new friend Brad – behind Jim!
Shawn loved the fieldstone fireplaces, Jim loved the lava lamp angel.
Jim working on the blog & the pie 🙂
For our fellow Red Wings fans 🙂
Our room at the hostel:
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