Saturday, September 29, 2012

Day 12 - Bar Harbor, ME to Portland, ME

Yes. It is getting long in time and I tend to be verbose. You might be getting bored with the Maine excursion, but I'm darn well gonna put it down before my dotage takes hold and I completely forget it all. So on to day 12?  (July 24th)

Last night, we talked a lot about the journey towards home, even though we had planned to stay another night in Bar Harbor, we decided to cut it short and head out today. I just wasn't impressed enough with the area to stay. Not when we could start moving, and maybe spend one last evening with our Portland friends.

The riding gear dried overnight. Thanks to the old fashioned heat lamp/fan in the bathroom. We did get up a few times in the night to monitor progress and change variables, like opening the door a crack to let some humidity out, but it all worked out well.

Oilburner took our stash to the Post Office while I tried to get everything packed up and cleaned. An horrible experience at the Post Office convinced us we were making a good decision to head out. It was quick work loading up the bikes and getting under way.

We were determined to see the Loop Road in Acadia. We found it on the map last night. What had thrown me off yesterday was the lack of clear signage. All signs leading in have arrows pointing towards the Loop Road. But no sign saying "This is the Loop Road". It only read "One Way". Go figure.

No matter. Now we know where to go and have a great time. The drawback today is the weather pattern coming in. A chilly, wet fog is rolling in from the ocean, covering the islands. By itself this was gorgeous; lending an atmosphere of mystery. I loved it. It did hamper overall sightseeing of the waters and islands.

We didn't mind. Word of warning to learn from us. Acadia is not a place for motorcycle touring. It is for hiking, walking, bicycle riding. Its beauty is in the 45 miles of carriage roads and 125 miles of hiking trails. Do not just go and drive through the place and think you know it. Take some time and hit some trails. I would love to go back to explore the trails along the beautiful, rocky shore.

We also vowed to get to Lands End. Unfortunately, we couldn't live out Riepe's recommendation of a bottle of wine at sunset. I'll bet it is spectacular. The fourth best thing of seeing and enjoying it for a few minutes. I would say the first would be living on the house on the island, second wine and sunset, and third to be in a kayak.

The road out to Lands End is phenomenal. Full of ups and downs and twists and turns. So fun! We even had to cross this strange bridge to Bailey Island, called a cribstone design. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and said to be the only one in the world.
 We zig around the lanes just following the GPS. The roads are clear and we are popping in and out of showers on our way south. Rather annoying that just when we decided to put rain gear on it would clear up. And just after we took it off the drizzle started in just down the road. All's well though.

Since we were passing back through Camden we were hoping to go up Mount Battie. Unfortunately the thunder/lightning storms kicked back in and the mountain was closed.

We stopped for fuel, and to once again, don our rain gear, and spotted an x-rated machine. I didn't photograph the clutch and brake levers.

We stopped for bridge pictures after crossing this magnificent structure.

The rest of the afternoon was uneventful, riding between storms, to arrive in Portland and check into a Best Western near Mike and BRW. The ride was uneventful, but certainly memorable as the half clear skies produced the brightest, strongest rainbow. No easy way to stop. So that one will live in my minds eye and you will have to imagine it.

Once again Mike and BRW are wonderful and come pick us up to enjoy Grace. As Mike, from Scooter for Fun, wrote about it much more eloquently than I, I will not repeat.  The evening was over too quickly and it was heart wrenching to say good-bye to such good friends.

More images can be seen on Flickr here.

Mike and BRW are great. And us with our frizzy helmet hair. :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Moose on the Loose

Tttttttiiiiiiiimmmeeeee is not on my side. No it isn't.

It just seems that we haven't had any time to breathe lately. No stopping and smelling the roses, rather pushing forward to fulfill our many responsibilities and obligations. Between work and family and household chores we have been kept busy.

Over the past month we have driven to Ohio (and I have yet to explain that one to you, dear reader). Spent countless hours working on the bikes; installing flashing lights, waterproof power buttons, miles of wire, antennas for radios (amateur radios, also called HAM), everything for attention and communication for the annual Cox Multiple Sclerosis 150 ride in Callaway Gardens. Flown to CA. All while twisting the requirements of work between those spokes of our real lives.

The Multiple Sclerosis event occurred last weekend, Sept 15-16. We rode down on Friday, the better to prepare for that 6 AM duty start time. And we rode the last bicyclist across the finish line at 6:20 PM on Saturday. Same start time the next morning had us packing for home around 2. It was a long, wonderfully rewarding weekend, where the weather was fairly complimentary this year.

We returned to work sore and early Monday, looking at a three day work week since we were flying to CA for an important birthday party. That meant three days of prepping my notes and computers for someone else to try and pick up the fragments of my shattered thoughts and attempt to do my work for three days. Ordinarily not a problem, but since the layoffs and subsequent attrition, fewer people to do all the work doesn't make it easy for any of us. And all of the "emergency" hot fixes to the production environment have to go through me, someone has some mighty difficulty shoes to fill with their own workload thrown in. Good thing this CA trip was approved months ago.

My photography itch has left me for awhile. I just haven't had the oomph to get the cameras out and do anything creative. So the little point and shot was the only one traveling with me this weekend. Another passenger to carry along is Moose.

Moose is a shy, quiet little guy that hitched a ride with us from Bar Harbor, Maine. He was intended to be adopted by someone else, but preferred our company instead. So he has begun traveling with us. I handed Moose the camera this weekend. I still wasn't in the mood to be creative. So here are some of Moose's pictures from his first trip to California.

Moose is a Nerd, packs light, but all electronics

The size and commotion of the airport has Moose a little shy.

Moose's first look at airplanes.

Moose safely belted in.

Excitedly watching the ground movement, packing luggage and fueling planes.

Uh oh!! LIFTOFF!!

Is that what Atlanta looks like from the AIR?!?!?

We're going how far??

OK. Time to get some sleep for such a long trip.

Wow! Sure are a lot of people living in L.A.

Wait!! This landmark looks so familiar! I know! That's the building on that Dragnet show that Oilburner watches.


Such a long and busy day...some relaxation is necessary. Not posting pictures of the bubble bath for discretionary reasons... (a drunk Moose in a bubble bath is quite a sight)

Early morning stroll along Big Bear Lake.

Aww...cute little duck is afraid of Moose!

Breakfast!! Donuts from a great little local bakery.

Hitting the road back to L.A. Difficult driving directly into the sun.

Need a little roughage to soak up the liquor and sugar.

A little more exercise hiking in the mountains.

The pine cones grow big out here. Not like the puny ones at home.

The pretty mountains. Breathing in some fresh air.

San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant

So that is what smog looks like...

Moose was even able to glimpse the last flight of the shuttle Endeavour...

Shutter hoof wasn't fast enough and kept catching the shuttle in trees and buildings and wires.

Unfortunately, something happened and the camera couldn't focus anymore. No more shots from the weekend... Moose did enjoy the parties and visiting with family. Got a little more sugar high from birthday cake. But was very glad to return home to his own bed and cooler autumn weather that is rolling into North Georgia.