Friday, August 10, 2012

Day 6 - PORTLAND!!!

It's here! IT'S HERE!!!

We tried to be a little conscientious and not sleep in until noon. So we set the alarms for 8:00 and actually managed to wake up before them. We did take the luxury of waking up slowly though. (sssshhhh...don't tell Mike.)

I called Mike (a.k.a Johnny Dollar) when we hoped to be about 20 minutes out from being ready, with the idea of greeting him in the driveway. We were mostly on time. :)

We followed Mike onto the Portland roads and left our fates in his hands. He didn't steer us wrong. We turned corners, went under bridges, rode over big bridges, it's all a blur to me. The sky was a beautiful, clear blue, I wasn't having to send furtive looks at my GPS and scour street signs. I could trust to fate and hope he didn't lead us directly down a boat ramp to christen the bikes in Maine salt baths.

A short jaunt and we were pulling up in front of the house. As always occurs when riding buddies meet up, we began to eye each others bikes. Have you ever noticed it's like a slow dance meeting someone else's bike? First you stand and take furtive glances at it while talking with the owner. Then you begin to stare a little more openly. Feeling more confident, you begin the cross-over step around the bike. Until you are hunkered down, lifting the skirts to see how that farkle (functional sparkle) is connected, is that why bikes a girls? So men can feel comfortable with touching and feeling?? :)

Anyhow...stepping into Mike and BRW's home was like walking into my own: big, comfy sofa and chairs, beautiful rugs, bookcases bursting at the seams. Oh yeah. (I'm intrigued by Tom's place where he says he has created something similar to a nautilus spiral of bookcases into his "man cave". I want to see that.)

Tom, Oilburner, and I sit down at the table (in front of the fans since the mercury is already climbing) while Mike and BRW whip us this phenomenal breakfast. I can't tell you what half of this stuff is, just that it was GOOD! I didn't get pics of the toast and fruit bowl. You will just have to imagine those. Needless to say we were stuffed. Good thing we sat around and discussed books, geography, Sea Dogs, and the like.

After a couple hours of bs'ing we suited up to hit the road. Our first stop was a mere 6.4 miles down the road, and that was the long, scenic way. Believe me when Mike brags everything is so "close", he isn't lying. As Mike has showboated, we went to the Portland Head Light first with Tom leading the charge. I could sit there all day! The only drawback is not being able to reach the water. Tom says the average water temperature is 54F. That's doable, right?

Heard tell that this old light house was possibly being purchased for private use.  Nice!
The arrow points to the Observatory from the last post.
Nearby forts on islands.  I would love to be able to walk around these.
Portland Head Light is located within Fort Williams Park. Though we didn't take the time to tour the park itself it contains the ruins of military fortifications and the walls of the Goddard family mansion. This is a perfect setting for any running, walking, cycling, photography, outdoor activities. Tom also informs me the winter storms are particularly enjoyable. We have already started coming up with ways to invite ourselves back in January.

We saddled back up and headed south. We made it another 20 miles down the road Tom's Landing (no relation) and the Pine Point restaurant. These are lovely roads through marshes and wonderful neighborhoods. They beg for a slow ride to look around and see everything.

Being a bit peckish, we ordered a couple calamari appetizers. Though Tom went for the full meal and allowed me to steal a few fries that I was eyeing. Again, the conversation was great. Did we have more fun wagging our jaws or riding??

Yep. Tide was way out.
Look closely to see the crab
I have to laugh now looking at the GPS track. We've managed about 50 miles in 5 hours, but geez it was fun and beautiful. We continue making our way south and we get to ride through Kennebunkport, land of the summer wealthy. The houses, if you can call some of them that, are beautiful. Everything is so clean and well kept. Want I am coming to think of as typical New England coastal town. No pictures, didn't stop.

Continuing our tour, we started stepping our way back towards Portland. One place we discussed going for dinner is a well known biker bar near Kennebunk called Bentley's Saloon. The pictures on the web look a little wild and crazy and I had my concerns of a scooter and two BMW's showing up at a leather and patches type of place. (Not really, but it sounds good.) Mike and BRW would fit right in with their leather chaps. Until they removed them to reveal white knees.

Ultimately, Oilburner was slowing down and we opted to go to a local joint in Portland. As I've said before, we like to go where the locals eat, not the tourist chains. I don't think you can get much more local than Ruski's. Mike describes it properly as a 5 star dive. The food wasn't bad, the beer was good (though the waitress never brought me mine after the sample glass), but the companionship still won out. Conversation ultimately turned to where Oilburner and I were headed next. Since we didn't have much of an idea they offered up a couple of great ideas.

 This was waiting outside Ruski's for its owner.

Time was closing in... We jumped on the bikes and toured around downtown for a few minutes. Oh the joy of cobblestone streets! (It wasn't that bad.). We only rode a block or two on the "new" cobblestone streets (stopping in a downhill, thanks Mike!) but he did lead us over the original cobblestone/trolley tracks we went over yesterday. Check that one of my list. My tires dared tread where peoples of the past centuries had walked, stepped onto the trolley, and driven the first automobiles.

Then we were lead back to our!! :(

Tearful hugs, wishes of good journeys, no ideas on what the future might hold.


  1. Beautiful scenery. Love the lighthouses and the rugged rocky coastline. Looks like a great ride with lots of fun exploring.

    1. We had never spent time on the Maine coast. It is gorgeous!! Wish I had set aside more time to sit and enjoy it. Or hike and enjoy it. :)

  2. Portland? What a minute, how did you make it so quick to the other side of the country... than I looked at the rock formations, I thought no way, that must be yet another Portland. Great scenery, I so want to travel to the New England states, especially Maine where one of my favourite writers (from early childhood on) reside.

    1. LOL. Sorry! Yep. Still in Maine. As far as your favorite writer...wait for a couple days. I took a picture for you. ;)

    2. Sitting on the edge of my seat...

  3. Lori:

    I love the New England charm that is evident in your photos. I think I would have just stayed a couple of more days and relaxed. I've never been there before but it is on my short list to visit.

    Mike tells me it is only 48 hours away

    Riding the Wet Coast
    My Flickr // My YouTube

    1. Bob, I would agree with you, the area just appeals to me: water, waves, architecture, and mostly the people and pace of life. I have yet to experience the winters though. ;) I think it would be an excellent idea to go and spend a week.

  4. I had to google Portland, though it was in Oregon....., great trip Lori. Although you guys seem to be always eating!

    1. Portland, Maine... ;)

      And what is wrong with eating?? You have to sample to local fare, right? ;) Smaller portions or leave what wasn't eaten since we couldn't take it on the bikes. And sharing! Sharing was good. Samples.

    2. Oh yes. There are Portlands in Oregon, Maine, Texas, Tennessee, and Connecticut...within the US. And at least one in England near Dorset. ;)

  5. BeemerGirl - I love the Maine Coast, it is just so photogenic and you captured it's charm. I especially loved the weathered old bird house.

    1. Hi VStar Lady! Have you been to Maine? I guess probably you have given where you live. I will agree. I love the Maine coast. I enjoyed the birdhouse too. I was right next to the lighthouse. I wonder if birds would get any respite in it? I think it was more for show.

  6. Beautiful - reminded me of Portland, Dorset!


    1. I will agree...Portland, Dorset seems to have quite a bit of the same charm? Do you travel there often?

  7. What fun. Gorgeous photos too Lori. There is something about pictures of and near the ocean that are always so beautiful to me.

    1. Thank you Trobairitz! I agree. I love the ocean, just watching the waves, feeling the breezes, listening to the waves crashing. Aahhhhhh....sigh.

  8. Wow! What a great trip! Wish I were there! Wait! I was, along with my BRW and good friend Tom.
    It was fun, wasn't it? And why not? You two are the easiest folks to get along with. We had one hell of a good time with you both, and are trying to figure out how to get you up here in January.

    I'm glad you enjoyed the breakfast. Here's what you eat.
    Eggs over easy, cooked in butter;
    Fresh Asparagus, gently softened in olive oil;
    Fresh tomatoes, heated in olive oil the sprinkled with an Irish cheese and a few clips of green beans;
    Tomotillos, lightly fried in butter until soft-crisped, paired with thin slices of soppressata - also coated with butter, and
    Crimini mushrooms, just lightly heated with the leftover butter.

    I'm glad you enjoyed the meal. BRW and I certainly enjoyed the time together with you two.

    What more can anyone ask for?

    1. What a sec!! When did you tag along? Oohhhh that's right...while Tom was leading. ;) Then you had to take over leadership responsibilities. Hehe

      Thank you for the kind words. And thank you for making some of those decisions on where to go. ;) Easy to be easy going when everyone is, but someone can still call the shots.

      So that was Irish cheese with the tomato. I thought it was a cheese, but forgot to ask. That and the tomatillo. BRW told me what that was, Ive just never eaten them before. Thank you for listing everything out, it was all very good and I will need to figure out how to recreate down here. Seems simple enough. But a chef would be nicer. ;)

      We are working on that January thing...