To Calais - and beyond...
Updated: Sep 5
Quick Recap of the last 8 days of our Expedition (6/25 - 7/2)
Our journey through Maine was hectic and exciting and beautiful. We had a number of folks help us with lodging or with a place to park Harvey the RV (which my mother drove up from Connecticut). We met up with tons of people, spent time on some really unique trails, and made the commitment to get married in front of everyone at the finish line in Calais. We crossed the finish line, and Shan went down on a knee and asked me to marry him. I excitedly said yes, of course. What a wonderful way to end this adventure.
We certainly created some memories on the trails this week. The Eastern and Downeast Sunrise Trails are off-road, unfinished trails that kept me working hard on the road bike but gave Shan a nice break from the impact of the roads. We had a lot of company this week, too - we were joined off and on by cyclists and runners, and on the last day, a series of runners and cyclists from Bold Coast Runners helped us get safely to the finish line. For anyone attempting a run or ride in these parts during the summer months, don't forget the bug spray. We found that Ben's with 30% DEET does the trick. :)
As we got closer to the finish, Shan and I talked about our adventure and all of the people we met along the way. We have said repeatedly that the most enjoyable part of our mission has been meeting all of the people who supported our mission. We had a hard time remembering everyone and quickly realized how lucky we are to have reached so many people. We can't thank everyone enough for being a part of this amazing journey. We hope to cross paths again soon.
Some fun facts
Miles ran/biked =
Shan (running) - 336 miles
Josh (cycling) - 375 miles
Total Miles = 2960 miles!
Money raised for ECG = $16,330
Week 11 Highlights
Most delicious meal: Dinner in Berwick at Restaurant 99 (yes, for real - I loved the chicken breast and veggies - it was just what I needed)
Cool people we met (in person or virtually):
Huge thanks to Sheryl for giving us her apartment in South Portland for the evening.
Katie shared her guest room with us and took us down to the beach in Harpswell. Thank you so much for sharing your little world with us and for the delicious indian food!
Todd, Greg, and Jen joined Shan during stretches of the ECG as he hit the Eastern Trail and headed through Portland. Thanks to Todd for the delicious beers and pizza at Maine Beer Co. in Freeport.
Jeremy, who holds the current FKT for cycling the East Coast Greenway (25 days!), rode with me in the rain and then had lunch with us while we chatted with a reporter from the Lincoln County News in Wiscassett. It was an honor to ride with Jeremy. He's a super nice guy and clearly a very strong cyclist.
Katharina - thank you, dear, for offering your driveway so we could park Harvey for 2 nights as we made our way through Rockport and Belfast. It was so awesome to catch up, and an extra treat to meet for lunch, too. We can see why you love it up there!
The Bangor Daily News reporter met us at Martha's Diner in Ellsworth where we enjoyed breakfast, a treat from Andrew T. who had been following us from the beginning of our expedition. #peopleareawesome #trythequiche
Frank met us on the Downeast Sunrise Trail (DEST) as he rode his bike towards us from Machias. We had a nice morning riding/running together and sharing stories about the military lifestyle and his move to Maine after having lived all over the world. Super nice guy who also treated us to lunch at Helen's Restaurant where we tasted their award-winning blueberry pie. #twothumbsup
Eric, Carsten, and all of the other Bold Coast Runners - you are all awesome. Shan had so much company on our final day, it was much like a scene from Forrest Gump.
Gretchen - we can't thank you enough for giving us your AirBnb for the night! We stayed there the night we finished our trip and it was the perfect spot. Quiet, with everything we needed.
Mary Paige and Kristine, two East Coast Greenway staff, came out to see us during the last day and celebrate with us at the finish. Thank you for following along on our journey and working so closely with us to make this happen. It was a pleasure!
The hardest day:
For Shan: The day we reached the DEST Shan encountered lots and lots of flies and mosquitoes. He was in bad shape until I could rescue him with bug spray. Before I could save him, he had a call from mother nature that involved a rotting tree, a naked butt, and too many bugs to count. You can see his PG-13 version of the story here.
For me: The last day - it started off rough with cold and stormy weather; I was a shivering mess within the first 10 miles. The trail was tough on the poor bike, too. There were a lot of weird sounds coming from the crank and the cogs. I was worried I'd be walking the bike to the finish line. We did make it, but the bike needs some work…
Favorite view/stretch of trail:
The Downeast Sunrise and Eastern Trails were really quiet, with beautiful scenery. But I really enjoyed the rolling hills of the country roads around the Rockport area. There was a mix of farmland, woodland, and views of the ocean. It was different than any other part of our trip.
Most exciting animal encounter:
We wish we knew what they were! There were three animals, which looked kind of like weasels or otters, that were ahead of us on the DEST. They scurried into the water before we could get a good look, but we heard them making little grunting/chirping sounds.