Thursday, 1 July 2010

Maine at its Best (and broken sunglasses, and scraped cameras....)

Day 7, Tuesday, was a long day of 228 miles riding the slow coast roads of Maine.

We stayed the previous night at the Inn on the Harbor, in Stonington. It really is right on the harbour....









































Even though it was misty early in the morning, the scenery was beautiful. The lobster fishermen certainly do start early around here, as the first boats went out at around 4am.

I tried the strangest toast I think I have ever seen - Egg, Bacon and Cheese bread, toasted. It was delicious....





















I went past the 1,000 mile mark on the tour today. I have decided to stop at exactly every 1,000 miles and take a photo looking forward on the road. Then at the end of the tour compare them to see how the scenery looked at each 1,000 mile point and how it has changed across the different states. So, here is the first 1,000 mile picture, taken in Maine....






















The previous day, we had somehow both missed the turn for Arcadia National Park. Wedidn’t want to miss this, so today we back-tracked and toured the park. I understand that you have to pay an entrance fee at each National Park in the US, so I opted for the year-long “America The Beautiful” pass that will allow me access into any National Park on my tour. This works out much cheaper than paying for every entrance fee to each park I will go to. As this was the first National Park on the tour, out came the video cameras....






The first part of the ride in the park took us up Cadillac Mountain, which is not very high and the views from the top were shrouded by mist, buit it did give Paul and I the chance to ride on some twisty roads, which is always good! We went to Sand Beach and climbed rocks ....














































For many of the areas to see in Arcadia National Park you really need to park up and walk. This means it isn’t a great place to ride a bike – most of us on motorbikes like to enjoy the views while riding, As Paul and I were fitting this park in to an already busy day (adding about 3 extra hours riding) we didn’t stop and walk around much.

Next was a real treat that we were not expecting. I knew there was a new bridge recently built over the Penobscot River. The old Waldo-Hancock bridge was suffering from considerable corrosion and the new bridge was built right next to the old one. Both the old and new are both stunning bridges so we stopped to take some photos, including from the top of one of the towers where an observatory has been incorporated....




















































































































Did you notice in the photo looking down, our two motorbikes? I think that is a type of view that not many will have seen of their bikes!

We were making our way to our destination for that night and I suddenly realised I had dropped a pair of (really expensive!!!!) sunglasses off the bike. I had a good idea where they might be and we rode back to see if we could find them. The good news is we did find them!! But they had been run over and were crushed. I wasn’t best pleased at my stupid mistake. We made our way to the Ripples Inn in Rockland and had terrific dinner in the Lily Bistro on Main Street in Rockland, where we chatted to both the chef from the Italian restaurant down the street and the chef of the bistro we were in. The food was excellent.

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We had a leisurely start to Wednesday (day 8). Paul and I sat and chatted over breakfast with Sandie Dillon, the owner of the Ripples Inn in Rockland. Sandie was a pleasure to talk to and a terrific host of a fine Bed and Breakfast. Was laughed at her dog, a small terrier called Isabella Rossellini, after the actress daughter of Ingrid Bergman. The dog must have been one of the most laid back hounds I have ever seen. We both needed to get some writing done, so Sandie was happy that we stay for as long as we like. I can thoroughly recommend the Ripples Inn and here is a photo....
























Before we left Rockland we both got haircuts. I had been suffering with the heat and the subsequent itchy head, so I wanted a trim badly. Right next door is the local train station....
























Before we left Rockland, we took a walk around the harbor....















































Just south of Rockland in Maine, we found the what is possibly the highlight of the tour so far – The Owls Head Transport Museum, which is a stunning collections of cars, planes, wagons, bikes.... well worth a visit and if you are into vehicles (duh!) this is a must. The odd thing is that such a fantastic collection of vehicles is in such a remote place and not at all well known for a museum of its obviously quality. This should be world renowned. There are quite of few of them, but just take a look at the photos of some of the exhibits....

1935 Duesenburg Model J....























Packard....






















1911 Ford T Torpedo....













































1913 Scripps-Booth, V8 car with two main wheels and two stabilisers....






















1914 Rolls-Royce....





















1909 Bleriot XI (plane) and 1905 Panhard & Levassor Tourer (car)....













































Wells Fargo Stagecoach....




















Milk and Cream cart....






















1907 Cadillac Runaround....





















1999 Captain America Replica (for sale)....






















Wasp Major Pratt & Whitney Engine (see specs below)....












































In the afternoon we rode on fantastic roads, nearly all empty and just 2 lane, which were very easy to ride on. Great riding, in perfect riding weather with the sunlight coming through the trees. It was a perfact day to just enjoy the ride. We found a recycled art exhibition in a front yard, so we stopped and looked and took a few photos. The guys web address is www.recyclesculptor.com His work is all made from old metal and is well, interesting....














































































































































































As we were in the heart of lobster fishing country, we walked onto one of the piers and asked about lobsters, fishing, packing and just about everything else to do with lobsters....



































































































We visited the lighthouse at Permaquid Point. Stunning scenery....

















































































As I walked back to the bike, I liked the sun hitting my crash helmet....




















Then I did a really dumb thing. By mistake I tried to open my saddlebag lock with the wrong key, which then got stuck and try as we could, we were not able to remove it. So I no longer have an ignition key and we had to dismantle the saddlebag lock. Replacements are being sought!

We had dinner at The Boat House Bistro, in Boothbay, which is on 3 levels – we sat on the top roof level and had great tapas.

On the way back we found a bowling alley which was built in 1946 and upgraded in the 50’s to include automatic pins loading machines which eliminated the need for “pin boys”. The owner is 94 and still comes in every day. It is as if time has stood still in this place. Anyhow, we couldn’t resist and enjoyed our game of old-fashioned bowling with small balls....

Paul (a little blurred as he was moving so fast)....



























Yours truly....

14 comments:

IowaHarleyGirl said...

You are really seeing some amazing places and things. I've never been to Maine but from what I see I have to take a trip there. Once again I loved the video. I did laugh at the end with the camera drag...not really good for the camera but added an extra story and laugh to the tale. I love the 1000 mile pix idea. Can't wait to see all the photos. Wishes for ocntinued amazing adventures!

mq01 said...

STELLAR DAY!! well other than the glasses and key, sorry about that gary.

Eve said...

Wow Gary and Paul! You are really doing some sightseeing now! The bridges are awesome, the museum is just the kind we like and all that metalwork is just a riot! This is like watching a movie...OH the video...I have to go back and watch that!!!
Just so you know, we don't call them "crash helmets" here...just helmets...you don't want to invoke and negative incidents!!!!
;-)

Axel said...

Great long report, even better pictures. At some stage in your video I hoped you were driving on a one way road, you seemed so comfortable and at home on the left lane :)
If you continue to loose or break your keys at this rate, better order 15 replacements in one go and let them be send to specific strategic locations along your planed route :)
Have a safe ride

Eve said...

Ok Gary I just watched the video.....it takes a while for me to load it on my slow DSL but WOW was it well worth the wait!!! Well, except that very last part at the end OUCH!!!!!!! I'm thinking, helmet mount????? hahahahaha so sorry to hear about your glasses too....Bummer!!!! What ever you do DON'T RUN OVER THE CAMERA!!!!

Eve said...

OH and I love the change in color on your list of places. You will probably hit Portland today. I hope you check out Old Port with the cobblestone roads. This is my mom's home town and I have been here many times. Casco Bay ferrys take my Aunt and Uncle back and forth from Long Island to Portland when they decide to get off the island for shopping. I love the smell of salt air and fish!!!! Well, not so much the fish but sometimes you just have to smell it. Ride safe and have FUN!!!

bobskoot said...

Gary:

in the interests of safety and peace of mind, I think you should just stay put for the next 3 months and hire someone else to go and take pictures for you.

I also liked the 1,000. mile photo, but what if I wanted a rear view ? would you go back and reshoot it for us ?

for us on a much smaller scale, we will adopt your method but take photos every 100 miles.

you are passing through very nice scenery. enjoy yourselves and ride safely

bob
Wet Coast Scootin

motoroz said...

Great pics. You are visiting some places that I look forward to seeing some day. Thanks for the posts.

SonjaM said...

Thanks for the ride. Sorry for the glasses and the camera scraping. I cringed when I heard the noise. Ouch!
I very much like the idea with the 1,000 mile shots, I hope you don't mind if certain other parties adopt the habit (since I am metric, I might go for 1,000 km pics, tho). Keep on riding and blogging from the road. Safe journey!

Radar said...

Gary,

Looks like you are have a grand time here in the States. I love the eclectic nature of the venues that you are choosing -- the glamour of NYC, the back roads artist shop, friend's homes, the automotive museum, and, of course, all the sea food. I would have likely stopped at every place myself. Wait a minute, you're taking my vacation!

I am a bit worried though that with your mis-adventures (lost keys, jammed keys, crushed glasses, etc.) that you may actually be filming a Mr. Bean sequel.

Geoff James said...

Great reporting Gary - especially loved the photo of the helmet. Hope that you've sorted out your Garmin woes too.

Gary France said...

IHG – I am glad that you loved the video and I laughed too when we scraped the camera, especially when I realised there was no serious damage done. Maine is a terrific place and well worth a trip.

mq01 – The keys and glasses incidents were not too serious, just a little inconvenient, I now have new keys and I bought a pair of riding glasses for $16 in case I do it again!

Eve – The planning and research I did before setting out seems to be paying off – we have see some amazing stuff already. OK, no more use of the word crash....

Axel – Once in this trip I did leave a road junction and for about 5 seconds forgot about needing to ride on the right side of the road. Luckily nothing was coming the other way, but it was scary all the same!

Eve- I am glad you liked the video. They are very time consuming to edit on the road, but worth it every now and then. It seems I have been a little clumsy at the begin of this tour – let’s hope that doesn’t continue! We didn’t get to see the Old Port area as we just ran out of time. I too love the smell of the sea.

Bob – So that would be you, right? I think I did actually take a rear shot as well, but if I do miss one, I would gladly go back, or even better, would you do it for me? Good idea about taking one every 100 miles but I guess the trick is remembering to do it, and then not getting hit when taking the picture as it could be anywhere!

Oz – Thanks, I hope that you get to them soon.

Sonja – No problem at all about using the 1000 mile / km idea. It will be interesting to see the contrast between the different places. I think I will get to my next 1000 miles mark today

Radar – A grand time indeed. Sorry about taking your vacation for you! Doing the tour the way I am, with few miles and many places to see along the way is the only way I would chose to do it. I really didn’t just want to blast long distances all day. The Mr Bean comment made me laugh, for it did feel that way with one thing happening after another....

Geoff – I couldn’t resist bringing that helmet. Last week I would have given Garmin about 5 out of 10. This week it has performed better, so today it is a 7. It is a real shame that they have nearly got as very good product, but let down by some really stupid stuff that they should have fixed by now.

recyclesculptor said...

Thanks for the mention. Visitors are always welcome.

Gary France said...

recyclesculptor - You are very welcome!