House - Motorcycle Trip Reports
I looked at the clock and it was 7am, so my acting out `wake-up call' and writing down `08/26, 07:00" worked. I was three miles from Maine and nobody spoke english. A quick shower, pack the bike (which I now have down to a three minute art) and into the "Salon Restaurant" for what else, French Toast ... ;)
It had rained hard during the night and the air was that crisp, clean and easy breathing type unspoiled by exhaust or other city smells. The night before I had heard loons calling to each other and through a few trees I could see them in an inlet on the lake next to the hotel. I looked at the map and decided to take Route 27 all the way to Augusta, then route 3 to Liberty, and 173 to Lincolnville. It was a short 5 minute clip to the US border and after answering the INS officer's first question by telling him I was born in Washington DC he laughed and waved me on with "Oh, you're one of those types." For some reason as I waited in line I suddenly couldn't wait to get back into the US. After over a week in Canada it finally happened less than 20 feet from the US border.
Rt. 27 in Maine is a spectacular road...It is freshly paved and almost empty until you get to Stratton. This 40-mile stretch is much like a roller coaster, with hills, valleys, curves that beg for boot-scraping, and is accompanied by streams and ponds the entire length. I enjoyed it so much I turned around in Stratton and rode back to the border for another run. It must have looked pretty funny to the Canadian border guards to see me come screaming up, hit the brakes, pull a quick 180 then go roaring off back the way I came.
The day warmed up and the rest of the ride went much quicker than I would have liked. I spent the ferry ride over to Islesboro letting kids sit on the bike and trying to explain to one of those one-in-a-million morons in a BMW station wagon (cool sunroof!) that I was not a bad person and that it was one of the *quiet* types of motorcycles... and looking him straight in the face told him that there are jerks that drive motorcycles much like there are jerks that drive cars (thankfully he sort of ambled off at that ...) One of the mothers of one or more of the children surrounding the bike that sat through the idiocy smiled after he left and said, "What a jerk, I wish I could have ridden along...You must have seen some amazing things."
And upon reflection she is quite right. I got to see whales chasing mackerel as the sun rose over the Atlantic, sunsets that lit the sky on fire, I got to ride in and above the clouds on the Cabot Trail, I was lulled to sleep by loons calling each other from afar, I made a wizened and dour old French woman laugh in Quebec, I ate lobster fresh from the ocean, corn fresh from the fields, was scared senseless as I huddled in my tent during a terrific storm that lit up the sky with lightening and shook my tent with vicious winds, ear-splitting thunder and thick rain, I met a lot of generous, kind and friendly people that only needed a common thread of a motorcycle to come up to a complete stranger and say "Hi", and yes, I finally saw a moose this morning as I glided along Rt. 27...he turned and stared at me as I honked and waved.
Next time I head West ..... Seriously!
All Photos and Text Copyright©1996-9, Ted
© 1995-2011, Ted Verrill