Friday, October 12, 2012

Day 13 - Portland, ME to Matamoras, PA

The day dawned brightly, and we dreaded it. Who wants to acknowledge, nay face, the end of a wonderful vacation. Pointing the bikes south meant that it was real and we were heading towards home. Sure we had a few more things to see on the way down. But the excitement is always tempered by the weight in the back of my mind that real life will soon be intruding. (Not to mention that I also get a little paranoid of heading towards home after this great an excursion, knowing how many accidents occur on the way home. I don't want to end up a statistic in that table.)

Today was going to be a long day. Best just to get it started.

Of course, the quickest way out of Dodge (Portland) is by toll charged Interstate 95. Taking any other road would have meant traffic and stoplights. You are kinda stuck paying that toll. Sigh. To boot, we paid that toll for 10+ miles of "dangerous to motorcycle" grooves. What fun!! (Not!)

All too soon we crossed the Maine border once again and traipsed into New Hampshire. We have officially entered New Hampshire more times than Maine on this trip. Were you aware that I-95 is only in New Hampshire for 15.38 miles? In the blink of an eye we are into a completely new state, a state that we haven't ridden in! We are now traveling along in Massachusetts. Many times on this trip we have had people warn us about drivers from Massachusetts. They have been non-affectionately called "MASSholes". Our experiences luckily did not reveal any to us (on this trip). But with as much as we wanted to spend time in Boston, neither of us wanted to ride our motorbikes in that city. ;)

Soon enough we reached another border and another first state: Connecticut.

In all, this was a rather humdrum kind of day. We managed about 335 miles (540 km) of boring interstates to get us well on our way towards Shenandoah National Park. The GPS made a couple great recommendations around some cities. Seemed to save us some downtown construction zones that I didn't mind missing.

Our only excitement came in the form of an older gentleman that joined our riding party. He was returning to his wife in Florida after visiting his brother in New Hampshire. He came with crutches and a handicap plate on his motorbike. We probably rode together about 150 miles, he even called it a day it Matamoras with us. However, he wasn't inclined to spend the money on the Best Western that we had chosen. We said our good byes and good lucks and discussed the possibility of running into each other on the morrow. However, given that we were thinking if taking some backroads in the morning, we didn't think it was likely.

Statisics-wise this was a most interesting day. We rode in 6 states today, and two of them were for the first time: Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and Pennsylvania.  (Yes, we were only 1 mile into Pennsylvania, but it was a border crossing!) We wished we could have found the time and excuse to hit Rhode Island. I think it will be a long time before I can cross that state off the list that have been under my two wheels.

View Larger Map

Please zoom the map out. I can't seem to figure out how to have it show a larger area!


  1. Lori:

    I wished that I could transverse 6 states in one day. If you were to head East from Vancouver, riding on our TransCanada Highway you would be riding all day and not leave our Province. You must have small States on the East Coast.

    Those motorcycle grooves would worry me too. I had to cross grated bridges over the Columbia River from WA to OR and it was scarey.

    I gather that you made it home safely.

    I thought you had a 50D and TS3

    Riding the Wet Coast
    My YouTube

    1. With the exception of Maine, yes, the New England states are small. But you can't lump all Eastern states as small. New York, Pennsylvania, Maine, and Virginia are huge!!

      As far as the motorcycle grooves, Reipe taught me how to ride those: loose grip on the handlebars and 92 mph. No problem.

      No pictures this day. Just wanted to get to the end of the day.

  2. For this leg you have as many pictures as I would have taken. At times it seems to be challenging to stop and take pictures especially if the view at every viewpoint starts looking the same.

    We don't have any grooved freeways but we still have a few steel grate bridges. I'm not sure how large BC is north to south but it took me three days to travel its length.

  3. Wow. Dangerous to grooves to motorcycles whoa! I don't think I've experienced anything like that. In Minnesota we have what is called "road snakes." Rope like tar they fill cracks on roads. Very dangerous on hot days because they are a bit slippery to ride over.

  4. It always amazes me how many states you can travel in one day back east. I think we'd max out at 2 states (including Oregon) from our house depending on how many miles you wanted to ride.

    I am so glad you two were able to get away and have such a great vacation.