Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A long ride from Portsmouth to Ellsworth

Thursday, June 11 -- I left Portsmouth to ride to my sister Jane's in Ellsworth, Maine, via Route 16 to Mt. Washington and Gorham, N.H., then US 2 to Bangor.

It was a long day, but the weather kept getting better the further I went. The sun was shining by the time I got to Bangor!

There were some nice parts, such as the river bank along the Kennebec River in Skowhegan, but even two-lane highways are boring compared to the little country roads they by-pass. I need to dig into the details on Google maps for my next excursion. You know you're in northern New England when you see one of these warning signs every ten miles or so:

I went through the White Mountains National Forest with a pack of about 15 Harleys. They were waiting by the side of the road when I came along and took off as I arrived. I wound up being number 4 in the ranks. Pretty fun. We went from the Mt. Washington auto road in North Conway to Gorham in a pack. There, I turned right to Maine and the Harley's went left for more mountain adventures. The guy behind me pulled up alongside and gave me a thumbs up. I guess I didn't screw up.

When I got to the state line, I stopped and took a photo. Immediately, a cloud of black flies attacked and flew inside my helmet. I had to ride with the visor open for a few miles to get rid of them.

I stopped for lunch in Bethel, Maine, at a nice little Internet cafe called "Mouse & Bean" in an old house on the main drag. There were lots of signs in the dining room, such as: "Unattended Children Will Be Given Espresso and a Free Kitten," and "Drink Coffee -- Do Stupid Things Faster and with More Energy." The local humor had taken a Down East bent.

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