Ever notice how, if you go for a hike on a sunny day, it rains?
How, if you plan a great (alright, good) scooter trip, you meet all the construction crews in the entire state?
And how the best laid plans of mice and scooter riders Gang aft agley?
Okay, I overplan. Can't help it. It's my legal training.....
Thursday looks good.
How's this sound....
22 to South Gorham where Mitchell Hill Rd. comes in on the left.
Left on Mitchell Hill Rd. to Holmes Rd. (a T).
Right on Holmes Rd. to McKenny Rd, which comes in on the right.
Right on McKenny Rd, which turns into Old Orchard Rd, which takes us to the Saco River at a place called Bar Mills.
But first, we turn left on Rt. 202, for a short distance on Pinkham Drive where we turn left and go to
Tory Hill Cafe....
Back up to Rt. 4A and turn left to cross the river.
Into Hollis Center and take Rt. 4 to Deering Ridge Rd. which comes in on the right.
Then Follow that to Townhouse Rd where we left and follow that down to Rt. 5 where we should find...
Cowabunga Ice Cream...
And the lake...
We can take Rt. 5 back all the way to Saco, then
Rt. One back to home territory.
How's that sound?
But, you've got to admit there's no uncertainty here, eh?
So, on Thursday, off I go to meet Tom of Scooter by the Sea fame
at the appointed place at the appointed time - 11 in the AM, at The County Farm.
I get there a bit early, so I spend so a few minutes looking the place over. Not too many farms in mid-town Manhattan.
Long about 11:10, I started looking up the road for Tom - he's hardly ever late.
So, I look at the note he sent me...... "11's fine. Let's meet at the County Store on Route 22..." THE COUNTY STORE? NOT THE COUNTY FARM?
So, that's how I went from 15 early to 15 late. Of course, Tom was there, patient as ever.
And off we go....
Not too far. The first turn on the route was being guarded by a tall, chunky, bearded Dude (no other word), with a very deep scowl, wielding a big STOP sign, while his compatriots, in big, mean-business machines, were gleefully tearing up the street.
We huddled, miniature football players, helmet-to-helmet, working out a solution. Got it! Straight ahead for 9, left for four, then left again for a bit and right back to the road that lays wrecked before us.
Missed the first left, made a left further down, there was no second left, but we did turn right, and wandered ever forward, until.... we came upon a field forlorn; devoid of all but one lonely tree.
You may wonder why anyone would take a less-than-three second video of a tree. The answer is simple: I thought the switch was on P instead of V. Not too swift.
A look at our map showed us that we were on our own. So, we saddled up and moved out. And it was fun.
Tom took us right. Then left, left. Then right, left, right, right, then left (or was it right again?), AND.... we had a blast.
We were on some great little country roads that, I'm willing to bet, aren't even on the map. They curved and butted into other roads, which, in turn scampered over the land willy-nilly.
And Then We Were In Hollis Center – just like we were supposed to be.
Of course, being in Hollis Center is being in Small Town USA. Population, just over 4,000, spread-out over 39 sq. miles, means a population of about 107 folks per square mile. Not bad, when you consider that Portland's population density is roughly 2,971 per square mile.
But, the important thing here, is that at the crossroads of the major highways bisecting Hollis Center, stands Your Country Store.
It's got everything you'd want. Hungry? We've got a spot for that.
Need some groceries? We've got a spot for that.
Want some candy? Gum? Smokes? Dodads? We've got spots for that.
Not looking to spend much? Take a look...
For $14 bucks, we stuffed our selves, and staggered out to our scooters. Onward to the lake!
We never made it.
We did make it to Alfred: which is not far from Sanford: which is not far from Biddeford: which is not far from my house, AND is only 10 miles due south of Little Ossippee Pond: our destination.
Undaunted, we headed north and found West Road.
A true country road: curvy, but not too curvy, nor too sharp. Scenic: enough to make you say "oohoo, ah, wow, son-of-a-gun" and other things like that. It was paved and smooth, kept going up and up and just about made both the day and the year.
It ended at a Tee, where we stopped and looked at a map. Tom, knew just about where we were, and planned our route out and home. And so we started back.
Along the way, we were headed passed a building that had, what to me, were loads of blue stringers; almost like blue ribbons strung all over the place. Tom pulled over and introduced me to
The up-to-date way to collect maple syrup. Lots of tubing stretching from trees into the collection vat....
You can see the tubing running right into the "Sugar House".
Well by this time, the sun was headed for the other side of the world, and we both were getting tired, so we started our engines and ZOOM! homebound we were.
All in all, we traveled over 100 miles with an average speed of 50 mph. Not too bad for a day's outing. Stand by. We'll do it again.