One last attempt to solve the mystery of the bicyclists’ long-missing camera in Maine

Posted March 27, 2011, at 7:22 p.m.
Last modified March 27, 2011, at 8:52 p.m.
Taking a break, a cyclist views a quiet Maine coastal scene.
Taking a break, a cyclist views a quiet Maine coastal scene.
Nine cyclists pose at the US Route 1 south turnout in Prospect, Maine, with the old and now-closed Waldo-Hancock Bridge spanning the Penobscot River. Bucksport is in the background.
Nine cyclists pose at the US Route 1 south turnout in Prospect, Maine, with the old and now-closed Waldo-Hancock Bridge spanning the Penobscot River. Bucksport is in the background.
A cyclist drinks water as he leans against a school sign on Bayside Road in Northport, Maine.
A cyclist drinks water as he leans against a school sign on Bayside Road in Northport, Maine.
As fellow cyclists watch, one member of the group demonstrates his agility as he apparently stretches before setting out on the next leg of their journey.
As fellow cyclists watch, one member of the group demonstrates his agility as he apparently stretches before setting out on the next leg of their journey.

While everyone might not agree, I regard spring cleaning, whether at home or at work, as a fun undertaking because, quite often, it can turn out to be interesting.

You never know just what you might find.

I was in for a surprise when I was doing a little “neating up” in my BDN office the other day and discovered some lost items I had written about on April 22, 2006, that remain in my files unclaimed: someone’s photographs of a Maine bicycle tour.

But I can understand why the photos went unclaimed at the time because, although the BDN was on the Internet, we weren’t using photos all that much, so while I wrote about the photos, we did not show any of them.

Today, however, we have the ability to put those photographs out there for all to see, and if we’re lucky, someone may recognize himself or herself, a friend or a relative.

Here’s a summary of the information I included in my column five years ago, which I dubbed “the mystery of the missing camera.”

Sharon Bray of Orland had written me that a friend of hers had found a disposable camera lying on the side of state Route 175, known locally as the Castine Road.

The friend picked up the camera, used the rest of it, kept those pictures, gave Sharon what remained of the developed film and she forwarded the photographs to me with an explanation of the situation and the hope we could find the camera’s owner.

The photos are of a group of approximately 10 cyclists who were apparently touring the Eastern Maine area in and around Bucksport.

It appears these photos predate the construction of the Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory that now spans the river connecting U.S. Route 1 in Prospect to Verona Island, because one photo is of the group of cyclists posing in the turnout before the old Waldo-Hancock Bridge, which might mean the photographs date as far back as 2003, when ground was broken for the replacement bridge.

Talk about a long shot finding the owner of the camera today!

But there are some interesting photos, and those of you viewing them might just recognize something, or someone, familiar to you.

I have a hunch cyclists are a pretty tight group, and if you spread the word, perhaps someone will experience an “aha” moment and recall a wonderful cycling vacation spent in Maine, or what we now call a “stay-cation” during which the camera was lost.

Obviously the cyclists were having fun with the sites they were visiting because there is one photo of a young man, posing appropriately, drinking what appears to be a bottle of water as he leans against the sign for “Edna Drinkwater School MSAD 34,” which is located on Bayside Road in Northport.

And there’s another one featuring a male and female cyclist posed in the old U.S. Route 1 turnout in Prospect as if they were actually holding up the Waldo-Hancock Bridge.

Then there’s the one of a male cyclist, as I wrote at the time,  “caught in the midst of his very flexible stretching routine.”

It would be nice to find the owners of the photos.

Otherwise, I’ll have to do what we do with so many things we find during spring cleaning and can no longer keep: drop them in the “circular file,” never to surface again.

So here’s my final call to all you bicycle enthusiasts: If these are your photographs, or you have an idea to whom they belong, get in touch with me.

I’d be very pleased to return them to their rightful owner.

By the way, it’s a double set.

Joni Averill, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402; javerill@bangordailynews.com.; 990-8288.

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