What did I do on my day off from cycling? I rode my bike of course! After a leisurely morning of drinking coffee and writing I headed to Portland Power Yoga for a heated vinyasa class.
Portland is a sweet coastal town. It has all the best things a big city can offer: bars restaurants, an airport, train, a cute down town, and yet it's small enough that after a day and a half I felt like I know my way around the peninsula.
After yoga I went back around the eastern promenade from the other direction, back over the Casco Bay Bridge into South Portland. Without the bags on the back of the bike I'm faster and more agile than I am loaded down. I biked around Cape Elizabeth to Fort Williams where I learned about the underwater mines protecting the coast. The fort operated from 1872 to 1964 but in its current state of disrepair it feels even older.
The Portland Headlight is the crown jewel of the park. The lighthouse was built under the direction of George Washington starting in 1787 and some of the Mainers I met said its the most photographed lighthouse in the world. It was certainly a popular destination.
On my way back into Portland I stopped at Foulmouthed Brewery and tried a flight of their beers and had a nice chat with the owner who opened up shop two years ago. He and his wife had done supported cycle touring in Europe before having their daughter, who ordered a "fancy drink" from the bar tender and shook my hand. My guess is she was about 5, bleach blonde and as precocious as could be.
I cycled back tipsy and got in Eliot's dad's pickup and off we went to Sebago Lake to go boating. I introduced Eliot to the best of John Prine as we left the city behind. Of course it started raining as soon as we got to the dock. Big cold rain drops. I stripped down to my bathing suit and hunkered down under the boat cover until it passed. Rain in Maine seems to be of two varieties: ten minute sun showers and all night thunder ordeals. This was the former and left us with a beautiful rainbow and we motored out of the harbor.
The water was warm. The wind was cool and I couldn't imagine a more beautiful, serene place. Eliot grew up on the lake and went to high school near by. It wasn't until he grew up that his parents moved into Portland. Eliot's father is an accountant and he took us to his favorite Thai place, Boda, when we got back into town. It was the first southeast Asian restaurant I had been to since being back in America. I asked too many questions. I tried to read the Thai on the menu. I swapped the steamed rice for sticky rice and added too much crushed red pepper to my pad Thai. In other words, it was the perfect end to a much too short a time in a delightful city that I hope to return to soon.