Camping au savage

It’s 6:30 pm and I’m in my sleeping bag trying to warm up. I just finished the longest bicycle ride that I’ve done in at least 10, or maybe 15 years. I started at 9 AM in Cherryfield after dropping my riding buddy Andy Hazen in Ellsworth. He just finished 80 miles, I did 30 less. We are camping in the puckerbrush off the side of the Sunrise Trail, a rail to trails project that runs 85 miles of gravel hardpack from Ellsworth to up near Eastport, ME. I used my backpacking gear and was surprised at how easily it fit on a bike. I chose my Surly Pugsley for the ride, pumping up the Nate 4″ tires to max at 30 pounds. We saw no other bike riders but about two dozen ATV riders today. We ate a big lunch at Helen’s in Machias. Fifty miles was about it for me, and was only possible after riding 35 miles on Tuesday and 36 on Thursday this week. It was cold, sunny, and windy today, with winds 15-30 mph all day. I wore my winter biking boots and lined gauntlet mittens. My hands and feet are not warm yet. The wind has not let up, and has even found us at our sheltered spot. Nothing to do but hunker down and hope it doesn’t get into the low 20’s tonight.

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