A great day here in lovely Eastern Mass! The weatherman said that there would be severe stoms for the next several daysl So, I got on the road in Amherst this morning at 7:30 prepared to be involved with the t-storms the last hour or so. No thunderstorms, however, actually occurred!
The day was sunny and hot (with light winds) and I managed to end up here in Wareham (pronounced Ware-Ham (like the animal that provides us with a lot of bacon)… and put on 84 miles on my bike (a new record for me.)
The latter part of today was on old Route 28, known as the Cranberry Highway. This was one of the few ways to get to Cape Cod back in the Old Days. The bogs (as opposed to blogs) are privately owned… and all those berries go to Ocean Spray, an agricultural co-operative in Middleboro (or Middleborough) MA.
When I was in Middleboro, I had lunch #1 at a place wih the word “sub” in its name… they actually call them “grinders” around here (and frappes for milkshakes)… and called ahead for a motel in Wareham. Every motel was booked (at 1 pm!) so I chanced on a Bed and Breakfast. I’ve always been afraid of B and B’s… figuring I’d have to… I don’t know, actually talk to people, or convert to the innkeepers religion. But here at the “Cranberry Gardens” this is not the case. The folks are wonderful, the room is very cute and clean… and the wi-fi also works. After I had lunch #2 (chowder and beer) and Dinner #1 (kale soup and lazyman’s lobster pie) the B and B owners brought me in to meet their friends, have a little taste of the grape and discuss biking and Public Radio.
I also had a flat tire today (as promised by those cross-country bikers). It wasn’t that exciting, a fish hook or nail went in and out of my back tire, and then the air soon followed, but slowly. I installed my spare and continued.
Wareham is almost on Cape Cod… there are lots of summer cottages here, wonderful beaches, lots of hidden harbors to hide your boat. And one of the old Nantucket Light Ships. From 1857 to 1983 (thank you Wikipedia) these ships (with big lights on them) marked Nantucket shoals, and were the first US lighthouse seen by transatlantic ships on their way to the US.
A few people have asked how I select my route. I have a computer program (DeLorme Topo USA) that lets you select starting and end points of your route, and if you want to go the fastest or shortest way. I select shortest and force it modify its route. I eliminate Interstates, and try to eliminate huge cities. Then once you have a route, you can view the vertical profile (ups and downs) then try to re-route around mountains usually adding a few miles for the gentler climb.
For example, the shortest route between North Russell (my home) and Provincetown is through the Adirondacks. I didn’t want to tackle those hills on my first day… and wanted to see the Mohawk Valley, so I forced the route in that direction …. But added 50 miles to the trip. Today’s 66 miles should be pretty flat… first over the bridge over the Cape Cod Canal, then onward!