Tuesday, September 4, 2012


The way life should be.

Sometimes, instead of just riding – wandering, so to speak, here and there, up or down, I get a yearning to go somewhere.  See something. Look around and get some perspective on life.

That's what I did yesterday.
So, ride with me to


Now here's an interesting city.  It's got everything you'd possibly imagine a city would need in order to be a BIG city, or even THE CITY.....

And yet, it remains a small city: just two centimeters away from being a town.
 Brunswick is only the eleventh largest city in Maine, with a population of less than 16,000 people.

And yet, it's the home of one of the finest colleges: Bowdoin.  (It ranks sixth of all colleges and universities, ahead of such stalwarts as 
and Bryn Mawr, to name a few).

It sits astride the mighty
Androscoggin River, which, after meeting the Kennebec River a few miles downstream, runs down to meet the Atlantic.

It hosts a hugh – make that gigantic, airport ( a former Naval Air Station), has good roads connecting it to the rest of Maine – as well as the rest of the country, and has an operating railroad system.

So, what's the problem?

Its got ICE,

Both rivers ice up as early as mid-December, and stay zipped fast until early May.  That means commerce (at least commerce that requires products to move and be delivered) comes to a halt for just about five months; or at the least, to a trickle – and that's not a good thing; and why Brunswick doesn't shine brightly.

But, let's go up and take a look-see, and while we wander around, let's look for signs of those glory-days, now long passed, when Brunswick was a front-runner city.

Now, to get to Brunswick, all you need do is get onto I-295 northbound, and get off at exit 28, Route One, which will take you  right into town.

But it's a Boooooring ride.
Better to ride around Portland's Back Bay, where every day, handsome men and beautiful women dutifully walk, jog or run the 31/2 mile loop, paying their dues to the Gods of Firm Bodies and Good Health.

For those of us not in tune with such lofty callings, the Back Bay is just simply the most beautiful way to enter or leave the city.  As you ride its curving path, the city, on the opposite shore, rises majestically from the hills upon which Portland rests...

    ...offering, for those with an architectural bent, tempting glimpses of interesting design.  For the rest of us, it's just a wonderful view of a great city.

From Back Bay, it's up Route 1 you go to Freeport, where you turn right onto Bow Street and settle-in for some great scenery.

When you make that turn, you enter a part of Maine that will bring you out of city life, and slide you toward rural Maine.

The roads are two lanes, but two lanes do nicely.  Wide enough for safe passage, snug enough to offer the feeling of being "in" rather than "on" as you travel along.
Here, the scenery keeps your interest, for during this transformation,

mixes with

The "Old Way" if you will,


with solid foundations

Lay scattered, interspersed with
whimsical, light, fluffy flights of fancy.

Disparate entities all,

Yet all this time, the earth reaches out and binds all together....

A marsh,

A swamp...

A meandering stream...

The smallest cluster of trees.
Each work to attach, bind, meld all into one enjoyable experience.

Then too, once you have left the city, the handiwork of man with nature becomes apparent: along roadsides, backyards, through woods and across fields – everywhere you look, there exists signs of man's collaboration with nature.

Boundary markers, setting the limits of one space to another, keeping order in a chaotic world.
Marking one field's use,

Against those of another....



  1. Mike:

    I couldn't help but notice that last photo. When I am on the "brown" side I hope you come by to visit me. that's the first thing that popped into my mind.

    I like your lack of traffic, but those stones look too heavy to lift

    Riding the Wet Coast
    My Flickr // My YouTube

    1. Bob: Not only will I come to visit, but as Omar asked – When I shall pass
      Among the Guests scatter'd like stars on the Grass,
      and in my joyous errand reach the star-spot that once you made, I will turn down an empty glass!

      Those stone ARE heavy. Those old Maine guys! They were either very, very strong, or crazy. Or both...

  2. Oh I remember that road!! Loved the art made with the bicycle rims. But what about the coffee shop you recommended? I needed more time in Brunswick...

  3. Lori...
    The Little Dog. But, don't jump ahead of the story....
    Besides, when you come in January, we can ride up and have a hot toddy there...

  4. Great pictures. I am enjoying tagging along on the ride. I can see why you like that route so much.

  5. Thank you. It is nice, isn't it? All of Maine is like this: a few big roads sprinkled about, but for the most part, just country roads. wandering about just like the wildlife and cows who made them.