Thursday, August 23, 2012

Day 10 - Gorham, NH to Bah Hahbah, ME

East or west? East or west?? It's Sunday and we have a week. Where do we go?? I was put off of heading east simply because I felt jipped. If we went back east, I felt we had wasted 3 days on this trek that could have been used more wisely. (Why am I stupid enough to think this was wasted time?? I love Mt. Washington. And while the Auto Road may have scared me, I am very glad that I managed to ride it. And the weather was perfect. There is no guarantee we would have gotten this later in the trip.) So I devised a route that would take us west into Canada and north of Lake Ontario. We could then be in a position to see Victoria Falls/Niagara Falls and the Adirondacks. We would also be so far west that we would have a route home that wouldn't overlap with our route out.

We seriously debated this issue but had a small concern at the border crossings. We just haven't done them and weren't sure how long it would take at the falls. I had been reading many experiences that were all over the board, there wasn't a line of what to really expect, some people said 10 minutes, others said 3 hours. While that wasn't really a big concern, it was a blip on the radar. The bigger blip was the weather. Forecasts showed widespread rain over the areas and Oilburner wasn't enthusiastic. If we headed east, the skies looked sunny for days. We decided to go whole coastal hog and head to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park.

I had really, really wanted to go to Baxter State Park on the bike. We just couldn't fit it into the plan. Maine is a much larger state than people think and distances can be huge! So Oilburner attempted to make my dream come true and took us towards "the wilds" of Maine. That means we tracked along the same roads as yesterday up to Errol, NH. I had to point out that we entered Maine, left Maine, and re-entered Maine within 50 miles. I'm thinking we liked Maine so much we entered it 4 times on this trip. :-) (I guess the same can be said for New Hampshire since we crossed its border 5 times.)

Out of Errol, NH we were on a beautifully repaved Hwy 16 with no traffic. The skies were a gorgeous, deep blue. The air was clean and a perfect temp. The beautiful pines were straight and dense and a healthy green. The newly paved road was as smooth as glass, completely devoid of frost heaves.

Life Is Good.

Someone didn't want to stop at a dam that intrigued me, but we did take the opportunity to stop at a beautiful lake so I could take a stretch and potty break. For an "outhouse" this place was clean! Oilburner chatted up a couple kayakers until I was able to get the camera equipment and lounge on the dock.

Another couple arrived to enjoy the weather in a canoe. We turned to watch them unload and spotted this bear in the water.

Ok. He wasn't a real bear, but a St. Bernard is close enough. He just waded in chest deep, lapped the water, and wagged his tail back and forth over the surface. He was one happy guy. The other one came by to say hi to us and welcomed me by shoving his nose into my eye. What can I say...laying on the dock meant I was at nose level. But it was wonderful playing with fur babies. The amazing part is that they put both of these guys in the canoe without problems!

We lounged, soaked up some sun. I considered slithering into the water, but didn't.

We arrived in Monson, the first city hikers experience after the 100 Mile Wilderness on the Appalachian Trail. Watching the people around town I just got this hippie vibe from people, either transient poor AT hikers or strange back woods folks that grow their own food, pasturize (or not) their own goat milk, and are still living in the free love '60's. Not that there is anything wrong with that. :-)

We were not going to be able to make it another 200 miles up, and back, to Baxter. Monson would do, for now. We tried to locate the AT crossing to recreate a photo from when we were here 5 years ago. No luck.

We covered more wonderful backroads towards Bangor, ME, gateway to Bar Harbor from our direction. I did have to turn around to take this image for Circle Blue.

And going through Bangor...I HAD to stop and get a photo with my favorite author. Or at least his house for SonjaM.

As I was finishing up with the full house shots and waiting to cross back to the bikes, someone turned into the driveway. I became self concious and quickly saddled up and left. I am not a celebrity follower and don't want to intrude on others time, property, etc. So I didn't get any gargoyle, bat, or spider images from the fence.

As I was leaving I started to wonder if King keeps his own scrapbook of photos of people taking pictures of his house. Hmmm...fair game. :-)

Relatively, we weren't too far from Bar Harbor. Unfortunately, we encountered some of the worst drivers of the trip on the stretch of highway 1A and 3 between Bangor and Bar Harbor. People had no regard for civility or the 45 mph speed limit.

Regardless, we arrived safely, but snappy after hours on the road. Since I had already relinquished control of planning I just wanted Oilburner to step up and make a decision on lodging. He was having difficulty deciding on a location. Luckily we had passed a place that appealed to him, though they were not on the water, and they had space available. I have to admit that I absolutely loved the secluded feel of this car motel of old. We were within two miles of Bar Harbor, on a busy road, and you would never have known. Barely even aware of neighbors beyond the other 3 units in our building. It was so peaceful sitting on the patio and watching the trees blowing in the wind.

We parked, changed, and walked next door to the Jack Russell SteakHouse & Brewery. I can say the clam chowdah was good. And that is about all. From reviews on the interweb people seem to have great experiences or horrible experiences. No in between.

It was a long day with a fair ending. We were thinking of staying here a couple of days to just soak up the ambience. Yay. No Packing!!

Approximate Map:

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  1. Wow, you guys really did have quite the adventure. Saw so many things.

    I love the huge doggies and how they got right in the canoe. I bet that lowered it in the water a bit.

    Neato tractor pics too. I am sure Keith will love those.

    1. Hi Trobairitz!

      That was the idea. Have an adventure. And I quite think we achieved it. Kinda like you guys with your trip to Hell. :)

      Weren't those dogs marvelous. I just wanted to hug them. And yes...the boat sunk a couple inches when they managed to get them inside. But their behinds were glued to the bottom. Neither one of them had an inkling to jump out.

      That tractor field was great! I would have enjoyed wandering around them. The large tractor in the last pic reminds me of the little ones in the movie "Cars".

  2. Nice photos of the area. I like the old flatbed. Is it about the same vintage as your old red truck? And I always wondered what happened to old tractors...

    1. When I first saw the house photo, my first thought was "what a nice B&B!".

    2. HI Richard! I loved the truck too. I can't find any info about its age, but it definitely looks to be near the era of Oilburners, if not a little older (Oilburners is a '49). I was noticing the divided windshield and hood ornament, but having difficulty identifying the make.

      Weren't the tractors great! Poor things.

      King's house a B& that would be downright SPOOKY!! I can only imagine the things that would come crawling out of the hidden passages. bbbrrrrr

    3. I heard back from the company. The truck is a 1941 Diamond Rio. I had it narrowed down to early '40's but would never have gotten the Diamond Rio. I've never heard of that make before. And surprise! No images on the magical interweb! :)

    4. Try Diamond Reo and here is a good site with photos.

      I remember seeing the name on semi tractors when I was a kid...

    5. Yeah, I saw the spelling issue doing more research. I actually think it is a Diamond T. As for model year, it could be anywhere in the '40's. All the pictures I can find that appear to match the truck range from 41 to 49. Diamond Reo wasn't formed until '67. :(. But thanks for the link. He shows some nice trucks!!

  3. Lori:

    I just love that photo of you flaked out at the end of the pier. It must have been HOT, or you were tired.

    On a road trip it's not always about how many miles you put on. Sometimes it's about stopping to relax, go nowhere but just enjoy your surroundings and spending quality time with Oilburner. I find that if you put on the miles is hard work and you usually need a vacation, after your vacation to recouperate.

    As for border crossings, there are probably webcams, here is our local one

    Just bring your passport and let us know when you are coming

    Riding the Wet Coast
    My Flickr // My YouTube

    1. HI Bob!

      It wasn't hot. It was actually just right. I just enjoy water. And this water was just so perfect in temp!! I wish we could have camped on that lake and gone swimming.

      Sometimes you need to make the miles on a trip and sometimes you need to sightsee. And sometimes you need to do both.

      I also found the webcam for the crossings near the falls. But they don't to see how things are 3 days into the future. ;)

  4. So, did anything weird happen while you were at King's house? Did a clown wave at you? Brilliant that you made it there.

    1. Hi Sonja! I have to assume that he was the author that you were referring to? :)

      I have some poor ones from 2006 when we visited. But as I said, poor quality and terribly self-conscious skulking around his house.

      The only weird things to happen: a clown laid down on his bike, and then couldn't find himself in the image. :) Disappearing objects. wwwwooooooooo.

  5. Lori,
    Love the eagle...

    And, if tractors could talk that field would pretty much sum up the Twentieth Century. Cool find. Thanks for sharing it.

    And, thanks for the link :)

    1. Hi Keith! You are so right. I was just amazed at how clean and organized it was. Most yards like that in our area are piled high and close. These were just so nicely placed and spaced.

  6. Stephen King's house - So cool! I forgot the rest of the post after that. I would also run away if I got caught snooping...but I would snoop! :)

    I loved the pic of you on the dock with your hands in the water - great photo! Nice ride report! Made my evening :D

    1. Hi Bluekat! LOL. You made my morning. Snoop indeed. Good thing nothing of note happened after King's house. ;)

      I could have stayed on that dock for hours...sigh.