Saturday, June 27, 2015

Maine road trip 6/19-6/22/15




At 7:10 AM on Friday June 19th I was pulling my FJR1300 out of the shed and getting ready to hit the road when Randy showed up at my gate. He was supposed to meet me at the ferry, but instead came to my house. We said our hellos and I took the FJR out to the road, mounted the saddle bags and the Givi liner and off we went.

A quick 20 minute ride to the ferry and we were standing there waiting, but not too long as the boat was already in and ready to load up.  After the cars (What few of them there were) had loaded onto the big white boat, we followed and took our spots along the right side wall.

We went upstairs and had a light breakfast, then sat around waiting for the boat to cross the LI Sound to Bridgeport.

An hour and fifteen minutes later we disembarked and began to ride. Up rte. 8 and then east on rte. 84 to exit 32 where our third and fourth members of our party were waiting for us. Mike and Maria were ready and raring to go, so off we rode toward Bangor, Maine.

A quick and filling lunch at a Bertucci’s made for a great afternoon stop a few hours later. We continued on 90 then 290 then 495, around Boston before finally entering on to 95. We continued on 95 and then took that into Rhode Island and New Hampshire and finally Maine, where we exited onto 295, which a hundred miles or so later would re-connect to 95 once again. Bangor wasn’t much further from there and soon we were at our motel.

The Howard Johnson’s was clean enough with a recent remodel, but the constant Mexican’s or South American’s hanging out in the hallways and the parking lot was a bit disconcerting. I even found one asleep at one point against the wall.

But that afternoon we hooked up with one of my old high school friends, Carol, who agreed to show us around in exchange for riding on the back of my bike while I was there. That was a fair exchange as far as I’m concerned. The first night (Friday) we ate at a Texas Roadhouse and then headed out to Bangor and a casino there which we walked around in. Carol drove us in her car and we got the guided tour treatment. It was a fairly early night with all of us passing out around 11 or so.

Saturday started out as a bright, sunny day and we took full advantage of it all. We ate at the restaurant in the hotel and quickly hit the road. Carol was there early with us, riding gear in hand. Our first stop would be Acadia National Park and Cadillac Mountain. We rode around the park, making many stops for photos along the way, until finally stopping at the top of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point in the east.

More photos and some walking around the stony peak ensued.  After a while we saddled back up and headed back down to the main road that circled the park. We stopped next at ‘Thunder Hole’ which was not thundering. That was a disappointment.

We continued our loop of Acadia and then exited at loop[s end to head toward Bar Harbor and a lobster dinner. We stopped and ate at one of the many ‘Lobster Pounds’ that dot the road sides, it’s where the locals eat. 

After a (very) early dinner we headed into Bar Harbor proper and walked around for a few hours. Bar Harbor is a bigger town then I thought it was. It’s sort of a much larger and cooler Port Jefferson. The weather was perfect and the town was lively. We stayed there until about 7 PM and decided to hit the road back because we knew it was going to be dark soon.

Riding back toward the motel some forty odd miles away was a constant battle with the sun. It was right in our eyes almost the entire way back. Finally the road curved enough to the right that we were no longer blinded. We finished our ride back, and switched to the car before heading out for the night to Bangor.

In Bangor they had an outdoor concert going with Fallout Boy performing. I couldn’t get anyone to go, so we ended up in a little bar with a band playing in there. It was cool; I had a good enough time. We stayed there until about midnight and headed back.

The next morning we awoke to heavy rain, so the bikes were staying put. Carol picked us all up and we headed to a local transportation museum. After two plus hours of checking out classic cars motorcycles and trains we headed to a mall where we had a quick lunch and then over to the movies where we saw ‘Avengers Age of Ultron.’ After that we made our way back to the mall where we picked up Carols daughter who was joining us for dinner that night. 

After dinner it was back to the rooms. The rain was still ongoing and was scheduled to continue through the night.

The next morning we awoke to more rain that was supposed to be through the area already and done. We were heading home on that day. The sky cleared up after breakfast and we packed up quickly, topping the bikes off at the gas station across the street. The morning started out at about 68 but when we took off at about 8:45 to head home the temp dropped almost continually for the first hour or two as we headed south. A quick gas stop around 11 AM and we were back on the road.

Now the temps began to rise, finally topping out at about 93 by the time we were pulling back into the ferry yard in Connecticut at 4 PM.

It was a fun and fantastic weekend with a little bit of everything thrown into the mix. We totaled about 1000 miles and had the usual huge amounts of fun and laughs. The riding was mostly highway; save for the 150 miles we put on around Acadia and Bar Harbor, and that was okay. The riding went quickly as did the trip in each direction. All in all I had a great time and can’t wait for the next trip out with my riding buddies.

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