Dateline Madawaska, Maine: The day started out promising. Your Intrepid Cancer Cure Rider, accompanied by his riding mates Rocky and Lenny, rode in hard driving rain for a couple of hours before stopping for a late breakfast / early lunch. We stopped at Reno’s on SR 161 in Caribou, Maine. Yes, they do name their towns after large animals around here….for reasons yet to be shown. Anyway, Rocky told our lovely waitress about America’s Perimeter Tour. A few minutes later she came over and told us that she was spreading the word, that a couple at a nearby table included a pastor, and he will be talking about it with his parishioners and will be praying for a successful journey. And then the owner insisted that he give us each a Reno’s travel coffee mug. What a great start to what would become a great day.
And to explain some of the town names (look fast….that ain’t no deer crossing sign):
And so we headed out to Madawaska. As we pulled into town I just had to stop and say a few words. The video says it all.
Then it was off to the monument. What a beautiful park and honorarium to motorcyclists everywhere. And I learned that I can have a paver placed in honor of Cancer Ride America, a task that I shall complete upon return to home. Motorcyclists from around the world have signed the guest book and there a photographs and sentiments everywhere you look. This little park is truly a biker’s haven and a tribute to the hard core rider who makes the treck all of the way to “The Ends Of America”. Also, Lenny rides a Harley and wanted to stop at the Harley dealership down the street for some goggles…that’s how hard it was raining. While there we were each presented with an official Madawaska NorthEast Corner Of The United States certificate. Very Cool!
While there a family in a van pulled up and we exchanged greetings. We talked about my efforts and as they left a young man came up and handed me a cash donation. Once again I was reminded that cancer affects everyone, and when given a chance to help, most rise to the calling just as they did. Wow….and thank you.
My Riding Partners. Rocky (Left Side) and Lenny.
Did I mention that it was raining extremely hard all day? Well, Yours Truly’s prowess with water rescues once again got exercised. While passing through Fort Kent we had pulled over to discuss our next move. All of a sudden Your Intrepid Cancer Cure Rider heard a women’s scream. As I turned to find the source I saw a lady struggling with deep water near her car, which was in a small lake and about to be rapidly flooded. I ran to her aid and grabbed her to keep her from sliding further into the water and perhaps going down with her auto. She calmed somewhat and I was able to learn that she had unintentionally placed her car in this deep water and she was in fear of losing it. She was unable to get to it. I could see that I had time, so I made my way to her car, got it running, and drove it from the pond. She was ever grateful and shook my hand and gave me a big hug.
OK…..her car was in a 6” deep puddle and she didn’t want to wade out to it so since I had my GoreTex boots on I waded in for her, started the car, and drove it out of the puddle. But you gotta admit, the first one makes a better story!
Then we made our way down to the Baxter Inn for the night. While walking home from dinner we saw a car speed up the street and broad-slide towards a pedestrian. CRAP! I went running over in time to see the female driver of the car jump out and begin to accost the male pedestrian. Turns out these two are married or somehow else “together”. She thinks he’s sleeping around and it looked like she was trying to run him over. When I ran up they were arguing vehemently and about to go to blows. Well dear friends, in the middle of Maine, in a little itty bitty town called Millinocket, they take care of stuff themselves. So I stepped between them, broke up the fight, and sent them their separate ways. Perhaps the “Real Police” will have to handle them later, but for now at least Yours Truly will get a good night’s sleep without cars spinning out in the street and people screaming at each other.
(And this one was for real….I got witnesses)
And so as Your Intrepid Cancer Cure Rider looks down at his GPS (I call her Maggie because we have Margaret, her mother, in our car), and see that she has me headed Westbound toward home at last, I reflect on these past two months and 10,000 + miles, and anticipate the 6,000 or so to come before I finally see my kitty cats, my lovely wife, and my home again. What an adventure, what a challenge, what a calling indeed…..