Where Is Maggie Mae?

Blasting Away....


To Friends We Met

Maine Photographs start on page 12 of Photos 2007

 

Monday June 25 we pulled into the drive.  17 days and 4,414 miles later we ended yet another expedition.   The Blast once again held out, got me to Maine and home without any mechanical problems.  Not bad for a 500 cc engine with over 36,700 miles on it.   The FJR performed flawless as well. 

 

 

This is a plea to Ron Garrison's wife: Please let him have a bike!!

  Happy Trails, see you out on Centerville Road sometime!

Also - a send out to Dennis Eason & Jon Wynn who we met on the
Cedar Island Ferry - great talking with you guys.  Jon - I see an FJR
in your future!!

A Special "Thanks" to Doug from Buxton, NC who helped Thumper
plug my tire at the Kitty Hawk HD - damn screw!

Hello to Stephen "Uncle Steve" Diaz - enjoy the rest of your journey.

Steve & Janet - Thanks againf or a great addition to our adventure.

Maine to Florida

Kennebunkport was undoubtedly one of the most beautiful little towns we have passed through.  Lush seaside mansions are abundant along Ocean Drive where we pulled off just for a moment to have a look at Walker’s Point.  This peninsula is home of the famous “Bush  Compound” where George and Barbara live.  Stopping along this route is allowed only in one spot and only for 15 minutes.  Not long after our arrival, which certainly was not unnoticed, we were visited by several “runners” who happened by to check us out as they made their way around the perimeter of the compound.  A couple snapshots and we were on our way.   I think we saw George. In my imagination he waved a greeting to us.

 

Getting away from the Maine coast is not easy if you plan to avoid the big cities.  Making our way south, then west, then south again we skirted past Boston, New Jersey and New York, getting no closer than exit signs proclaiming “New York City”.   With the way traffic was moving about on these interstates, the first interstate riding since we got off the big road in Lake City, Florida, I can only imagine what it must be like to ride a motorcycle around New York City.  Imagine is all I will ever do.  I am much more into the laid back small town way of life.

 

Charlottesville, Virginia is a college town and home to The Buddhist Biker Bar & Grill.  We had happened upon this place several years ago while traveling and could not pass through the area without stopping in. However it was not to be, as they were closed. So we settled for a nearby sandwich shop and then retired for some much needed R&R.

 

The ride into Newport News was beautiful and relaxing.  One exit away the rain found us.  We had managed to outsmart the rain clouds for nearly two weeks but could not avoid this shower.  I took my rain pants off a little too soon and the 2nd shower soaked me.   Thumper however was saved by the fairing on his FJR.  Lucky guy.

 

We had a great visit with Mya & Jon.  Amara and Tayani were sure happy to see Grandpa and gladly entertained us while we babysat that evening.  Will miss them all very much.

 

We departed Newport News and headed south towards Kitty Hawk & Nags Head to see more of the Atlantic coastline.  My only bad luck of the trip came at me in Kitty Hawk.  When I was pulling into the Kitty Hawk Harley dealership to score a couple shirts for friends back home, I picked up a two inch screw in my rear tire.  Thumper, always cool under pressure, simply started the process of plugging my nearly new rubber.  The plugs however were not holding air and Doug came to the rescue. One heavy duty plug later I was back on the road. Thanks Doug, if you ever get down to Florida I owe you one.

 

Route 12 is an amazing ride.  Sand dunes, beaches, tiny fishing villages. The Cape Hatteras National Seashore should be on every motorcyclist’s must do list.   The Oracoke Island Ferry provided us with our 2nd boat ride of the trip taking us over to Oracoke Island. There are only two ways to get off this island. The way we came, going back across the Oracoke Ferry, which is about a 20 minute ride, but hundreds of miles away from where we were headed, or by the Cedar Island Ferry, which requires reservations.  Heck, we didn’t even know till we got here that we were gonna be here, reservations? We didn’t have any reservations.  We parked our bikes in the “stand-by” line and went looking for a bite to eat.

 

While grabbing grub we met Stephen Diaz from Orlando, Florida.   Steve had been on the road for several weeks, sort of a sabbatical after loosing his wife of 35 years to cancer.  We traded road trip stories and shared a few laughs then headed down to the ferry to see what luck had in store for us. You gotta love motorcycles, they can fit just about anywhere.  Even a loaded ferry boat has room for a couple of bikes. We all made the boat and started the two hour ride over to Cedar Island.  I never would have imagined the beautiful ride once we got off the ferry.  We still had about an hours drive to make it to New Bern, North Carolina and the ride was more than expected.  A two lane road curving through the mangroves and picturesque countryside, I did not want it to end.  That’s what I love about riding. No matter how tired you get or what difficult conditions you may come across, a two lane country road can cure any woe and energize your spirit. 

 

Steve – we hope the rest of your journey was safe and enjoyable.  Look forward to hooking up when you return to Florida.

 

While on the ferry we also met  Dennis Eason and Jon Wynn.  Thanks for helping pass the time away and putting up with my endless chatter about motorcycles.  Jon – we wanna know when you get that FJR!

 

Further south in Georgetown, South Carolina we found a hotel right in the marina.  To my delight when we looked out the window of our room I found the dock to be lined with jet skis of nearly every color.  I have always wanted to ride one of those motor-scooters on the water.  A dip in the pool to cool off and then I was headed out for some speed on the water. 

 

I believe you could visibly see my disappointment when I discovered the jet skis were not for rent. More and more people began to filter into the pool area, laughing, drinking and generally just having a great time. We eventually struck up a conversation.  Turns out they owned the water scooters.  To our amazement they told us of their journey.  They had ridden those scooters over 150 miles to Georgetown from somewhere up the coast.  Ride, party, ride, eat, ride – have a party, sleep and then ride the 150 miles back home.  WOW – how cool.  They do this a couple times a year. They had even been to St. Augustine, Florida on one of their water adventures.

 

Hey ya’ll – it was great meeting you, chatting with you and learning of your escapades.  Maybe we can ride up one year and join you on a tour.

 

We made a little side trip out to Hilton Head Island but chose to push on towards the south. 

 

Now, all we have to do is start thinking about where we are headed next year…

 

Happy Trails to all, The Magster

Lobster

I don’t even know where to begin.  We have covered so many roads and seen so much.  We made our way from Rutland, VT on Route 100 north to pick  up HWY 2 – which carried us east into Bangor, Maine.  

 

Even though the signs were everywhere warning us of “Moose Crossings” – we did not have any close encounters.  Which is surprising, since if anyone knows me well enough they know I always seem to have animal encounters.

 

We did run into a group out for a ride that did see moose, had the pictures to prove it.  I will call them the “Moose Group” – look for their picture in the photo album. 

 

Moose Group – it was nice having a little chat with you.  Hope you enjoyed your “cool beverage”.  Thanks for the Ride Maine book – it was great reading and gave us options for the road ahead.

 

We hung out in Bangor for the night and then headed towards Bar Harbor. Checked in, dumped the extra baggage and headed out to discover Acadia National Park.  There is a road that goes all the way around the park called Park Loop Road. It was amazing.  A 27 mile loop on a curvy, cliff-side road. It took us over three hours to ride.  There was no traffic – but we had to keep stopping for the many awesome views of the Maine coastline.

 

Bar Harbour was very nice but we wanted to enjoy a little of the local flavour rather than the tourist kind of joint.  We headed inland and found a lobster pot on  the edge of the Atlantic Coast. 

 

As soon as I took my helmet off I heard the unmistakable sound of bagpipes.  Sure enough out on a rock ledge that jutted into the bay stood a man, dressed in a highland kilt – playing.  The sound of his bagpipes will continue to echo in our minds as we make our way south.  We don’t know why he was playing, maybe to honor those who never returned from sea, maybe in homage to the sea itself.  No matter what the reason, it was most impressive. 

 

Just as impressive was the sight that next beheld my eyes. Thumper had ridden over 2,000 miles to Maine for the freshest lobster he could find. And he found it.  A 3 pound lobster will net just over a pound of meat.  They will actually do the hard work for you (they call this the lazy man’s lobster) and bring you a plate full of lobster meat soaked in butter. Thumper ate every last morsel.  Plus some of mine.   He still has not had enough – I imagine before we leave the coast behind, there will be more little red guys that meet their fate at Thumper’s hand.

 

We left Bar Harbour on US 1 heading south. 

 

Along the way we passed through Rockport, Maine and found age old kilns used to fire limestone to make lime.  The largest producer of lime until the great fire of 1907 destroyed the buildings around the kilns. 

 

Tonia & Kevin, Whit & Kim – be sure to check out the boats pics – we took them just for you. Also threw in a picture of an old & new bridge for you Trent.

 

Hello to Marisol, Bobby in the Dale, Amy, Jameson, Bobby, Seka, Phil, Mya, Jon, Amara, Tayani, Khris, Toshia, Matt & Hunter.  Hi Mom, Dad & Donna, Sherrie, Eric, Jonathan, Elainnie, Bruce & Barb, Chelsea, Kyle, Mike, Karen & Ryan I hope not to have missed anyone…

 

The rains have threatened and we have sought shelter in Saco, Maine.  Tomorrow we head towards Kennebunkport to see George – we hear he is very biker friendly.  Wouldn’t be prudent to miss out on that opportunity!!

 

Happy Trails – Mags

New York & Vermont

WOW – how do I even begin.  The journey to Adirondack Park in New York was amazing. 

 

Somewhere along the way we stopped for a cold beverage at Piggy’s Club in West Virginia and met Mary Lou – thanks for the hospitality.

 

Our journey then continued to the north. 

 

Close your eyes for just a minute – think about a line of young men – marching south.  They are strong, dressed in the best of military garb and unsure of their destination..  But one thing they are sure of – their beliefs.  At the same time a similar group of men are marching in the opposite direction. With beliefs of their own and pure determination they march north – and right into the battlefields of history.

 

We took the same route these brave young men marched – Hwy 11.  This road meanders north to south along the same route soldiers marched during the civil war. Reminders are everywhere and you feel a part of history as you ride along this historic route. Battlefield markers, towns founded and built in the 1700’s.  History if everywhere. An incredible ride.

 

When I think of New York I always think busy, noisy, lots of  traffic and way too many people. 

 

However the west part of New York is much more quiet and laid back than the New York in moves and TV dramas. Beautiful woods, lazy country roads and peaceful small town cafes. 

 

After a long day on the road we pulled into Caroga Lake, NY in the southern part of Adirondack Park and find our destination. What a welcome – a beautiful log cabin and two Bud Lites –  Steve and Janet –you know how to greet two road weary riders!!! Our hats off to you.

 

For two days we were treated to first class service. A warm bed, great meals, ice cream and warm camp fires.  A paddle around the lake and great company – we couldn’t have asked for more.

 

Don’t miss the pictures of the cabins and Rick’s beautiful flowers.

 

This morning we had a great breakfast at the Red Store at Caroga Lakes and then started our journey towards Vermont.  Jim, Donna and Katie – you know how to make strangers feel welcome – just put a fresh made donut in front of them!!

 

Along the way we met Michael “Angel Mike” and Dougie,  They are from Maryland and were on their way to Laconia Bike Week.  We met again when we boarded the ferry to cross Lake Champlain  at Fort Ticonderoga. 

 

We stopped briefly for sandwiches at the Vermont Sandwich Shop and then ended our ride at Rutland, Vermont. 

 

Tomorrow we head towards Bangor, Maine.

 

Thanks to Steve & Janet for a great stay in the cabin.

 

Hi Dad, Donna – miss you.

 

Mom, Sherrie, Eric,  Bruce, Barb, Mike, Karen….miss you all. 

 

Hello back home to Tonia and Kevin, Amy & Jameson who are taking care of Bonnie & Clyde.

 

Hi to Trent & Marisol, Bobbie and Seka, Bobbie In The Dale, Jeff, Whit & Kim – see you all soon.

 

 

Col Alto "on the high"...

Highway 221 – a dream road for a motorcycle enthusiast.   Wide sweeping curves mixed with hairpin corners.   Picking up from where we left off last night in  Spartanburg, SC we rode 221 all the way into Roanoke, VA.

 

Once in Roanoke we took a slight detour on 419 to bypass downtown and picked up HWY 11.  This is the road we plan to ride all the way into New York.

 

HWY 11 takes us into the town of Lexington, VA and we found the Hampton Inn Col Alto. This building was originally constructed in 1827 for James McDowell, former Governor of Virginia.  General Stonewall Jackson and Robert E Lee once roamed these halls.  Although I would gather to guess they did not sit in the same hot tub that Thumper and I soaked in.

 

Tomorrow we continue on HWY 11 – hopefully finding the Susquehanna Trail – the area where 11 travels along the Susquehanna River.

 

Don’t know how long it will take us to get there or ride along it – so will let you know tomorrow where we are.

 

Hello to Tim and Chris from Maryland – have fun!!

 

Happy Trails

 

 

The Beginning

The road to nowhere.  Well not exactly.  We did finally make it to Spartanburg, South Carolina.  Friday we left Wesley Chapel and rode the big road to Lake City, Florida just to get close to being out of Florida. 

 

This morning we picked up 441 out of Lake City and started our north easterly trek.  Eventually in Douglas, Georgia we turned off on 221 heading north.   At least we tried to.

 

221 is a tough road to stay on.  Especially if you are enjoying the ride so much you miss the turns.  The small towns were picturesque and historical.  In Louisville, Georgia  we found The Broad Street Bistro.  It is just off 221 on US 1 in a town founded in 1876.  The building that houses The Bistro was built in 1914 and Connie made a huge sacrifice to get this place. 

 

She sold her HD Fat Boy so that she could open The Broad Street Bistro and I think it will pay off. She has a great menu and took great care to decorate the place herself.  Keeping with the “old town” feel mixed with a little of her biker heritage, it makes for a great place to stop and have a cold one. 

 

Thanks Connie for the great lunch and company.

 

On down the road we finally wound up in Spartanburg, SC and thanks to William – got a Jacuzzi suite to sooth our worn out bodies. 

 

Tomorrow?   Heck, who knows.  Hopefully we are headed towards Adirondack Park.

 

 

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