When you're a 40 something single mother of a teen with lots of ambition, you find yourself in all kinds of interesting adventures and situations. Come back to laugh at us any time you feel the need, heaven knows where we'll be doing what next. Here you can expect a few words, a lot of images and hopefully ideas on what you can do for your next adventure.

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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Biking to Peak Island

Saturday, August 8th the monkey and I woke up to a brilliantly sunny day and although I tried to get him to head to a friend's camp in Harrison that was not what he wanted to do. I had just had a company summer outing on Friday at Peaks Island and mentioned how beautiful it was there.

Let's go to Peaks mom! Can we take the bikes?

I quickly showered and loaded the bikes in the bike rack. Let me tell you that I'm a single mom so I get to do all this stuff by myself. I'm a superwoman. We piled in the car - backpack full of necessities - and headed for town. We parked in a secret location off Commercial Street and navigated to the Ferry Terminal, got our tickets and waited for the 12:15 ride to the island. The monkey amused himself by chasing pigeons in the ferry terminal.

The ferry ride was mobbed, but still beautiful nonetheless. The harbor was busy and I laughed at the tourists in awe of our port of Portland. The monkey was at the bow of the ferry, taking it all in, right up until we pulled into the dock at Peaks.

We quickly gathered our bikes and walked them up the steep hill of Welch Street, banged a right on Island Avenue then swung down Whitehead Street – the connector to our ultimate goal – Seashore Avenue. Right after Seashore splits from Maple Street the shoreline opens up to a little beach covered with perfect rocks called Woodlanding Cove. We parked the bikes on the side of the road and played for a few minutes. I showed the little man the ‘Keeper of the Harbor’, a formation in the rocks that looks like a man’s head (legend is that it is an Indian) as well as the Fort located on Cushing’s Island. Ram Island light is clearly visible as well. It was tough getting shoes back on to move along, but there was still so much to see!

Between the intersections of Edwards Street and Onway Avenue we found where people have been building elaborate sculptures out of the flat, skinny rocks found there – some were fantastic! It was all I could do to keep the 8 year old from knocking them all down! We wandered further down towards the water where the waves were crashing on the rocks with some major velocity (it was high tide) – we loved it! There were some tidal pools to play in; monkey got his share of water play there!

We moved on and found the entrance to Battery Steele, military bunkers used in WWI and WWII to help defend Portland Harbor. The trip in wasn’t the highlight of the day, for certain! We brought our bikes with us thinking the trail would be ok, but it was muddy and the grass was tall, making it hard to navigate. It was scary up there, dark and smelly – we hung out of a minute or two then worked our way back to the road.

The beach directly across from the entrance to the fort was the best one we found. The rocks were beautiful, the water was beautiful, the view was gorgeous and the beach roses were fragrant. We stripped off our shoes and headed straight for the water. We hung out there with our toes in the water for the longest time, savoring the sun and the day, a little tipsy with all the fresh air. We snacked on beef jerky and fruit leather and pounded the water down, the headed off to see if we could finish our journey.

We made it past Whaleback, then Wharf and Spar Coves then realized the road was an uphill battle across the top of the island (no more ocean breeze!). We turned around and went back the way we had come, past the fort and the sculptures, stopping only to rest back at Woodlanding Cove. After a final toe dip, we went back into town and stopped at Peaks Island House for Lupper (what we call late lunch early supper). With timing more perfect than I could have ever expected, we left the restaurant in time to catch the 3:45 ferry back to Portland.

The ferry trip back was a little chilly, as the breeze had picked up. It didn’t stop the monkey from bringing us front and center on the top level of the ferry to observe the skyline as we approached the terminal. He was most interested in Fort Gorges, wanting to know if we could go out there some time. I told him I didn’t feel like swimming that far, so until we get a boat…. Probably not.

I will admit that I woke up this morning still tired from all the fresh air and my legs and butt hurt like crazy! It was well worth it, and I would suggest the trip to anyone at any time. Walking it would be just as great and costs much less since there’s a fee for bringing the bikes over. Make sure you have plenty of water and time and make a day of it!
Peace out cubscout, I'll post again after the next adventure!


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