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DAYS 7 & 8: ELLSWORTH TO BELFAST, 65 KM + REST

8 June 2011

Not long after we set off from Ellsworth, Michael’s knee started to bother him, and it became progressively worse as the day went on.  Even though we took many breaks, particularly at the top of long hills, it didn’t seem to be getting any better.  We decided eventually that the best course of action was to get Michael in to see a doctor.  After one failed attempt at a clinic in Bucksport that turned out not to accept walk-in patients, we cycled on to Belfast, a town that had a hospital with an ER.  I felt really bad for Michael, who seemed to be in a lot of pain (a 7/10, as he ended up telling the triage nurse) this whole time.

Spike Jonze, one of Rose and Chip's terriers
The experience at the ER was fairly quick and painless.  Michael saw a doctor who prescribed him an anti-inflammatory and a day of rest.  But by the time we finished up at the hospital it was getting dark and we still hadn’t figured out where we were going to spend the night.  We asked Rose, the friendly receptionist, whether we could pitch our tent anywhere nearby.  Unfortunately, the hospital grounds were off-limits, and the neighbouring municipal park didn’t seem too promising, either.  Rose kindly invited us to stay with her and her husband Chip, as she was finishing her shift at the ER and heading home.  We gladly accepted, leaving our bikes locked up outside the hospital and taking a ride to Rose and Chip’s home some 12 miles away.

Rose and Chip are artists: Chip is a woodworker, currently carving whales, which Rose paints.  Chip is no stranger to adventure, having hitchhiked across Canada and the US in the 70s and 80s.  Rose and Chip designed and built the home they live in – their dream home – which is absolutely stunning.  The living room, dining room and kitchen form one big, open space.  There are large windows everywhere, three verandas and a vegetable garden.  The property itself is large and surrounded by trees.  The basement houses Rose and Chip’s woodworking shop and also has large windows on one side.
Rose on one of the verandas, where Michael and I worked for the afternoon.  What a lovely workspace!

We will be spending a day off here to give Michael’s knee a rest.  From here, we head to Portland, where a couple from Warm Showers – a website similar to Couch Surfers, but for touring cyclists ­– has kindly offered to host us.

1 comment:

Cathy said...

Hi Michael - Hope that the knee feels better very soon! Love Aunt Cathy