Today I enter my last and most anticipated state – Maine! After riding along the coast of New Hampshire yesterday and seeing the beauty and feeling the cool breezes, I decided again to stick to the coast instead of following the East Coast Greenway. That route would have taken me more inland.
There were also a lot of little cities along the coast that were on the most beautiful cities in Maine list. So I made up my own route to see them, and I’m glad I did!
Not sure what I would have seen the other way, but I am a little obsessed over the New England coast.
I was in no rush today, as I knew I was going to rough it in the woods tonight. Along my way, I made several quick stops to take in the scenery and feel the breeze that the Atlantic coast was sharing.
Riding with Google maps, you never really know where it’s going to take you. At one point it took me down a residential road that said no outlet, but I went anyways to see where it was trying to have me go.
I had to do some off-roading in a park meant for walkers, but my bike handled all the tree roots and hills pretty well. Then it opened up to a great view of water. It had me pass over that foot bridge picture above and I snapped the picture below after I crossed.
All day I would pop out onto the beach. It never got old, even having lived in Florida for the past 5 years with some of the “top beaches in the US” minutes from my doorstep.
There is something about either the New England beaches, the waves, the cool breeze, the surfers, or just the happy beach goers that make me smile.
When in Maine, you will see many lighthouses, but I got my first view of one today!
It was on its own little rocky island. I didn’t swim to it…
But I did end up jumping off this bridge in the picture below and going for a little swim to cool off!
I was riding by when I saw a bunch of kids, young and old, jumping 20+ feet into the water below. My curiousity stopped me and I watched them for a couple seconds before I started to strip.
I parked my bike against the railing, clothes now piled up on my bike, walked barefoot and in my cycling shorts over to the middle of the bridge.
Turned my GoPro on, turned around, and did what probably looked like a slow motion back flip. The kids were impressed, and now I was freezing in the water below.
I quickly swam to the shore and decided one jump was good enough. Was it worth it? Definitely!
Grabbed my travel towel and dried off as much as I could and hopped back on my bike for about another mile. Then I stopped on a rocky part of the coast where no one was and laid out to dry my cycling shorts and enjoy the sun beating down on me. (I kept the shorts on, I wasn’t laying nude).
Alright! It’s been a great day so far! What will make it even better?
Beer! Good, cold beer.
Made my way into Kennebunkport, which was listed as one of the prettiest cities in Maine, and stopped at their brewery.
Kennebunkport Brewing – home of the original Shipyard Brewing.
They had 4 taps and a bar about 3 feet long in their gift shop. I guess normally they take people on a tour of their brewery and then give out samples.
The bartender heard my story and just gave me beers there without first going on the tour. Best part of these beers was how much they cost – free.
Now that I wet my whistle a bit, I was ready for some more, better, and more interesting beer!
So I headed inland and picked back up the East Coast Greenway route at the start of the Eastern Trail. This was a great hard packed gravel path that took me into Saco and to Barreled Souls Brewing.
Wowza, I got what I asked for in beer here. They are known for their barrel aged beers. I had a small pour of their white stout brewed with cocoa nibs, almonds, vanilla, and marshmallow fluff and then aged for over 11 months in a Booker’s bourbon barrel.
That one about put me on my butt with an alcohol percentage of 12.7%! Just smelling it could get you drunk. So glad I only had a small 4 ouncer of that! I washed it down with a Gose made with a bunch of berries. Very fruit forward and tasty!
The bartender and another guy sitting at the bar helped me decide on a place to pop my tent for the night. There was an industrial area about 5 minutes biking down the road.
I took my time getting there and scoped it out while waiting for the sun to go down. Just as it was getting dark, I shot into the woods, out of sight, and opened up my tent for the night.
I can’t say I slept very well. It didn’t cost me anything but a few z’s.
Since I was behind a business, I needed to get up early before people started driving in. So at about 5am I packed up and found a coffee shop to finish waking up in.
My wife is coming today! Her flight doesn’t land until midnight in Portland so I’ve got all day to hang out, explore, and visit breweries. I’m about 15-20 miles outside of Portland right now.
After my coffee stop, I jumped back on that Eastern Trail and was greeted by some beautiful views!
The perks of getting up early!
Once this trail stopped, I decided to take a longer route into Portland. I shot southeast and found Higgins Beach and spent some time watching the surfers and breathing in the crisp salty breeze.
Alright enough of the beautiful views and coast.. it’s now almost opening time for a pocket of 5 breweries in West Portland!
Yes, 5 breweries in 3 buildings all right next to each other! It’s like a brewery mall. My favorite kind of shopping!
First stop, and best stop of them all was Allagash Brewing. Before they even opened, there was a line of people waiting to get in. Myself being one of them.
I of course brought up to the bartender that I was the Traveling Brewski and he gave me 3 tokens for free beer flights! Score!
This was only my first stop out of 5 though… I’m not about to drink 3 flights here! I had one and a half and saved the third token for years down the road when I go back.
Next stop: Austin Street Brewery!
I was hoping for more because of their amazing name. I had two of their 5 on tap and enjoyed them, but kept this brew train moving.
Next stop: Battery Steele Brewing!
This place was definitely the second best of the five. Great bartender, great recommendations and beers, and the start of a stalking friendship of some Germans.
Next stop: Foundation Brewing!
Those Germans followed me here. Just kidding they had the same idea as me, I was just quicker than them at moving place to place.
This brewery had good beers, but not so great bartenders. I’ll give them third place.
Next and final stop: Definitive Brewing!
Met a guy here trying to try all food and drink places in Maine! He was a character for sure, we both had our stories though and the bartender did not want to be a part of either of them!
Guess who just walked in… Those Germans!
Well I think I’ve had enough beer. Not sure if the Germans were making another round or not, but it was time for me to go check into my hotel and wait for my babe to arrive!
My wife wasn’t about it, but I still double dipped at breakfast. I can’t really seem to sleep in anymore so I got up for the opening on complimentary breakfast while Clarissa still slept.
Gotta get the calories while I can!
Today was all about exploring Portland and spending quality time together as it has been a month since we last saw each other.
We set out in our rental car to see the coast first.
Then we got to hike around the rocks and up close to the Portland Head Lighthouse.
Time to try our first lobster roll! Fun fact: Maine supplies 40 million pounds of Lobster consumed in the US (90%). It was delic… It was not as good as we were anticipating. Huge let down. I mean it was good, but not like, “oh man, I want another one!”
So glad my wife likes beer as well! I think it was even her idea to go to a brewery… Probably not, but she was on board with it.
Went first to Lone Pine Brewing which was recommended to me by a few people.
Loved the creativity of their flight holders! Beer was tasty too and finally being able to play games with someone else at a brewery!
I lost the card game, but it was still a good time.
We then walked upstairs to Goodfire Brewing Co. Beer downstairs was better.
Last stop: Bissell Brothers Brewing!
Bissell Brothers was again recommended to me by some peeps and it was a great spot! Fun vibe inside, good brews but you had to pay to park.. so that gets them some negative points.
We had a good time just being able to sit and talk and enjoy each other’s company. Beer – bringing people together.. Something like that.