Okay, I’ll admit, this has been on my Bucket List for a while and has almost come to fruition a few times. The last time was with daughter Alex a few years ago. Who would have thought though, with our extended 2019 Winter and the 2020 Covid-19 Pandemic, that the Maine Adventure would become a reality this year.
Friday, June 26, 2020
The Bike and trailer are packed, Kat & I are drinking coffee and preparing to head out at about 6:00AM towards our first stop in Keene, New Hampshire (about an 8-9 hour ride). After a good night sleep, and weather dependent, we’ll head north to ride the famous Auto Road of Mt. Washington, NH https://www.mountwashington.org/. Afterwards, we’ll head east towards Acadia National Park to our final destination in Bar Harbor, Maine, The Moseley Cottage & Inn B&B http://moseleycottage.net/moseley-cottage-inn/.
Big shoutout to Sandy G. at the Northstar Flag Company https://www.northstarflags.com/ for going Above & Beyond in getting our awesome logo flags to us in record time.
It’s been a long riding day of 9+ hours of road time. For most of the ride the weather was awesomely cool bouncing between filtered and full sunshine. Dory cooperated nicely and ran strong even with the packed trailer in tow. Our route took us through upstate Pennsylvania, New York State, Vermont then finally New Hampshire where we’re staying for the night. While passing through NY we stopped at a Starbucks for some much needed coffee but the “no bathroom” sign made us turn around in frustration to find a more accommodating place down the road. While there was beautiful scenery everywhere one of the most memorable was the 65 mile stretch along Route 9 as we entered Vermont from New York. We encountered everything a motorcycle rider would want from gorgeous views to twisty-turns and changes in elevation to good places to stop for a view or even a cold beer.
Arriving at our hotel about 6:00PM we unpacked, changed our clothes then headed to what we heard was a great, local BBQ place. The rumors did not disappoint as Jim Eddies on Winchester St. was THE place for great food and conversation. The lobster bisque and BBQ were so good and a fitting meal after such a long ride. Soon we headed back to the hotel to plan out tomorrow’s exciting trip to Mt. Washington and the weather was looking good.
Saturday, June 27
We were up at 6:00AM hoping for a little breakfast and a strong cup of coffee. Unfortunately Covid-19 reared its ugly head again causing our hotel to replace their bacon, egg and coffee breakfast with a blueberry muffin and OJ. Oh well, we’re packing up and heading towards Mt. Washington.
From Keene we headed out Rt 9 then up along Rt 93 on our 4 hour ride to Mt. Washington. The scenery was stunning as we carved through mountains and lush, green forests. This land up here is fertile and breathtaking. Along the way we quickly found a Dunkin Donuts for a much-needed cup of coffee.. and a donut. After a quick break we were off again. The ride was enjoyable as we passed through some magnificent areas. Although we didn’t want to make any unnecessary stops due to time constraints, we did stop to see the Boise Rock in the Franconia Notch State Park. Interesting legend if you have time to read about it.
Mt. Washington was an incredible sight and at over 6,000 feet high it’s the highest peak in the Northeast U.S. As with many awesome places we see, words and pictures don’t truly capture how amazing something looks to our eyes. After we arrived we were greeted then told we’d have to disconnect the trailer before heading up the steep mountain. After 15 minutes completing this task we were heading up. While we wanted to ride to the top we stopped just at the point the paved road turned to gravel, steepened, narrowed and dropped off 1,000 feet on the downward side. After a minute to evaluate the situation I decided that if we lost traction on our push upward it was too steep and narrow to turn around to come down. Better judgment got a grip on me and I finagled the bike around so we could start downward. A day of defeat or of good judgement, I’ll let others decide.
After a fun time at Mt. Washington we decided to eat on the road with 4 hours to get to our final destination before dark. So as I rode Kat fed both of us a tasty lunch of Cliff bars and protein shake. The time went by fast as we were anxious to see the Maine coastline, Cadillac Mountain and Acadia National Park.
Just after 6:00PM we pulled into the Moseley Cottage & Inn in Bar Harbor. It looked like a beautiful place nestled in a community of homes, vacation properties and other B&B’s. Upon arriving we were met by two women in the parking lot who were friendly and quite helpful with area information. After a good 30 minute orientation from the ladies we checked in and carried our belongings up the 3-flights of stairs to our third floor room, the Behive. Once organized we had a quick shower then were off for a walk towards the bay and the local eateries.
After a short walk we decided to try Getty’s restaurant and their lobster rolls. We ended up getting the lobster bisque in addition along with a salad. It was a nice spot for dinner. After dinner we walked back towards our room scoping out some nice stores along the way and stopping for a nice ice cream sundae. Once back we were quickly off to sleep in preparation for a busy Sunday with its forecasted good weather.
Sunday, June 28
After waking to a faint knock at the door we were greeted with a nice Canadian bacon, egg, home-fry breakfast with coffee, a blueberry scone and OJ. It took me some time to wake up as I really wanted to spend a bit more time in bed. With the weather so nice though, and the forecasted rainy weather for the next few days, I dragged myself awake and out the door we went.
Our plan was to hit a few key places then take time for a nice dinner. So for our first stop we headed to Acadia National Park and Cadillac Mountain. At just over 1,500 feet it’s elevation is quite high for the region. It was a nice, cool ride up with some great views along the way. At the top it looks like terrain from another planet with very large boulders fused into the landscape. You can walk the entire area on the boulders and gravel even to the point of some sharp dropoffs. This was a great place for a panoramic view of the island. I hear it’s also a great place during clear weather to catch the first glimpse of the morning sun. With our weather predictions I’m not sure if we’ll be able to see this.
Once off the mountain we decided to head south on Rt 3 and over to the west part of Mt Desert Island to explore the beautiful, rocky coastline and stop at Bass Harbor Light Station. Before the lighthouse we stopped for a quick trail hike and were greeted by a sea cave carved into the rock. With the rising tide we were cautioned that the several feet of tide would strand us if not careful. After some climbing and playing on the rocks we were off to Bass Harbor. An interesting ride this was with some great views of some small bays with many locals anchored in their boats enjoying the day. The lighthouse was another nice hike down a rocky shoreline and a nice place to soak in some warmth of the sun. We were fortunate to meet fellow motorcyclist Fred and his wife riding a beautiful Honda Goldwing. Fred is a fireman and we had a great conversation before saying farewell. As we headed back soaked in the great views once again. We enjoyed the more laid-back feel of this area VS Bar Harbor and decided we’d try to get back here tomorrow.
Once back we walked down to the harbor to have dinner at the Reading Room Restaurant. We were seated in their outdoor patio at the end near the firepit which eventually proved wise. Much of our time in Bar Harbor has been with cool temps but this evening there was an increasing fog, gusty winds and temps in the low 60’s. As time went by Kat and I, along with the other patrons, were getting cold. We quickly decided to order lobster rolls, Caesar salad and lobster bisque which was becoming our staple diet in Maine. Although the dinner was good, by the time we finished we were anxious to leave for the warmth of our room. On the way though we stopped to listen to two street performers nestled next to a building shielded from the cold wind. They were interesting and after some brief conversation we were home watching a movie thinking about our Monday agenda.
Monday, June 29
Tuesday, June 30
Until the next big adventure...