09:03 On my way out for a run, I swing by the Chamber of Commerce and am greeted by two women that are completely unhelpful. One tells me that she’s not at liberty to discuss local economic development efforts and that I should come back to meet the organization’s director, though she doesn’t know when said director will be in. Terrific.
09:47 The beach houses here are given names like ships. Canonicus. Second Wind.
Mobile Home Park
11:02 A girl of about sixteen is smoking a cigarette while standing with her family as they pack up their car. She must be French Canadian. She is.
11:17 I stop at a touristy restaurant and buy a ludicrously expensive lobster roll. I don’t like shellfish very much, but feel that I’ll be asked if I ate any lobster in Maine so feel obligated to do this. The lobster roll is disgusting. I don’t know if it’s me, the lobster, or the mayonnaise, but this meal tastes just like the barnacle undersides of a busy pier smells and I am disgusted.
13:14 At the antique auto museum, a man comes out of the exhibit and starts talking to the employees. I was hesitant to pay $7 to enter, but his enthusiasm for cars is infectious. He apparently has owned 126 cars since 1964. I also manage to get the fee reduced to $5.60 using the AAA membership my parents may or may not actually have.
14:12 Mike Livingston, town planner, tells me that Wells in fact has an industrial park and gets relocation inquiries from big employers (50+ employees) almost monthly. He notes that the population here swells to about 30,000 over the summer, that there is no local sales tax above the state’s 6%, and that property taxes are .86%, among the lowest in the state, and many year-round residents commute out of town to work.
14:38 Just for the hell of it, and because I have the time, I decide to walk the mile and a half to the train station. It’s my last hurrah and it is hot as hell.
Antique Car Museum
15:09 As if just one last karmic kiss goodbye, I’m told that my last train of this journey is going to be just a couple minutes late. It’s significant by any stretch, and is much more cute poetic symbolism than anything.
15:15 I get on board and I am just feeling top class, to be embarking on my final train of the summer. Though sweating still, I’m smiling and grinning and just alive with positivity. The people who are seated in the first car are reacting very well to my enthusiasm, which makes me feel just that much better.
15:16 On board the train, I offer to lend my burly strength to an old lady to help her put her bag up, though she declines, I get an, “Aw, that’s so nice!” exclamation from a very cute girl sitting in one of the seats nearby, as she instinctively praises my heroism to the unworthy guy sitting next to her. I feel great.
16:18 I call Amtrak one last time to figure out all my travel costs and mileage.
17:11 Betty, the patient Amtrak operator, and I finish digging out all the data just as my train pulls into Boston. Somehow it just feels completely appropriate to be sharing these final moments of my journey with her. I walk out just feeling irreplaceably amazing!