FORT KENT — Kaci Hickox went for a bike ride, got pizza delivered, had a friend over for a visit. Things anyone would do on a nice fall day – if they weren’t under quarantine.

The scene Thursday at the home of Hickox and Ted Wilbur turned chaotic when the two decided to step outside with bicycles and go for a ride. But an expected confrontation with authorities never happened even though she openly defied a state order to remain under quarantine.

What would have been a leisurely ride on a sunny fall morning turned into a slow parade of cars, as Hickox and Wilbur were trailed by two state police vehicles – a blue marked cruiser and a champagne-colored unmarked vehicle – and 15 to 20 media members snapping photos and shooting video.

Hickox and Wilbur, dressed in athletic clothing, bike helmets and gloves, rode past the two state troopers around 9 a.m., and made a left turn off their road, then another left onto a wide snowmobile trail. One trooper followed in the unmarked car and a group of photographers and reporters got out of their cars to chase them on foot.

The couple on bikes eventually outpaced the news people and the two rode side-by-side, trailed by the cruiser, chatting with each other in low voices. But at the end of the hourlong ride, Hickox rode slowly as reporters jogged alongside, asking her questions.

It was the first time Hickox had left the property since she and Wilbur arrived late Tuesday or early Wednesday following her release from quarantine in New Jersey on Monday. The two had emerged from the house Wednesday evening to speak to reporters, but did not leave their driveway.


Reporters peppered Hickox with questions, asking why she’d decided to leave the house in defiance of the state’s quarantine.

“This is something my partner and I like to do since we moved here,” Hickox said. “This is our trail. We just wanted to enjoy this beautiful day.”

When asked if she was afraid of being arrested, she said, “I’m not afraid.”

She answered some questions several times, and at one point apologized briefly to a reporter who stood in her way as she and Wilbur turned their bikes around to go home.

Hickox smiled as reporters ran to her as she finished the ride and spoke to them as she walked her bike to the side door of the house.

Hickox said the decision to go for a bike ride was made on an impulse.


“I said to Ted this morning, ‘Let’s go for a bike ride,’ ” Hickox said as cameras crowded around her.

She added, with a little laugh, “We knew it was the only way we could get away from you guys for a little bit.”

Wilbur said he didn’t mind that the attention was on his girlfriend instead of him.

One reporter noted that Hickox was bold to have left the house while the state police were still there.

“There’s no legal action against me, so I’m free to go out on the road in my hometown,” she said.

After Hickox went inside, Wilbur stayed in the driveway talking to a Fort Kent Police officer for several minutes. Hickox came back out, put her hand on Wilbur and they returned to the house for the rest of the day.


Hickox came back to the door briefly a couple hours later to answer questions after a Portland Press Herald reporter knocked on the door. A worker from the state CDC arrived at the house at 3 p.m., the second time in two days that the health worker had visited the house.

“The CDC worker is arriving. Please do not interfere,” State Police Trooper Daniel Marquis told the media still stationed across the road from the house.

The officers then escorted the CDC worker from her parked vehicle to the side door. The worker left the house less than a minute later and drove away.

Later in the afternoon, Hickox also was visited by a group of people in a pickup truck who arrived to deliver a pizza. Wilbur answered the door, while Hickox stood behind him.

Shortly after 6 p.m., Wilbur came outside to speak to reporters in the driveway.

“Kaci is not going to come out tonight,” he said. He then began joking with the reporters, encouraging them to go eat dinner and suggesting some area restaurants.


When reporters starting asking about the state’s potential legal action, Wilbur turned serious and declined to comment. He also declined to say what the CDC worker did during her visit earlier in the day.

Wilbur also told the crowd that a woman who visited the house for about an hour shortly before 5 p.m. was one of his fellow nursing students from the University of Maine at Fort Kent.

“We have a lot of support from my classmates in the community,” he said.

He also noted that even during their morning bike ride, he and Hickox stayed away from any public area.

“We’re not trying to push any limits here,” he said. “We’re not trying to make anyone uncomfortable.”

He added that he spent much of the day studying for his nursing program through online classes, while Hickox did laundry from her trip to Sierra Leone. He said the university’s demand that he not return to campus during the quarantine will likely set back his studies.

“We don’t believe we can get anyone sick,” Wilbur said.

Just before 7 p.m., Fort Kent Police Chief Tom Pelletier delivered a box and bag of groceries to Wilbur, who told the media that Hickox would not leave the house for the rest of the evening.

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