Friday, September 28, 2012

Stand Back!

I'm Dangerous!

Anything can happen when I plan a trip, and usually does.
First, I look at the map hanging on the basement door...

Then, I figure-out where I want to go: Fryeburg.  Then get an idea of how far away it is....

Hmmm, not bad, about what? 2, 2 1/2 inches?  Easy stuff.

I fail, yet again, to remember that this is M...A...I...N...E.  Big.
That little blue water between my fingers is 12-miles long and 126 miles around.  A big space, you know?

Turns out it's 60 miles direct to Fryeburg.  But when did I ever plan a direct route?

Let's see.... go left, then right, then left and left again, and so on and so forth.
Good! Just about 80 miles to 
Fryeburg and the 
Fryeburg Fair!

Ahh, but this was a dry run, just to see how it goes.

So, I grab hold of Tom of Scooter by the Sea fame, and talk another Tom, whom we met through our local scooter shop and meet at our usual place, to take the plunge with us, and
so off I will go with Tom-Tom.
Neat eh?

First I arrive, then New Tom arrives and......
he's got a Cancer Pink Vesper 150.

It's really classy looking, and certainly gets attention.  Tom got it for a song and its a special edition, so there are only a few in existence.

Within two minutes, Tom showed up.  Sounds repetitive no?

The two bond instantly, and for the next couple of minutes, the two Vesper owners talk Vesper, leaving a poor Honda owner to stand and gaze...

That done, we saddled up and headed out.

Didn't take long to figure out that we were lost...

Was it this bridge we were supposed to go over?

Or, this one?

Is this thing safe?

That water doesn't look inviting....

And so it went.  However.  By dint of shear intelligence, many wrong turns and false starts

We, by ignoring signs,

 All signs,

And, following our map,

We finally arrived in

 Whereupon we went straight to the local BBQ joint, and chowed down.

Bellies full, we were able to focus on the foliage.

Unfortunately, only a few trees are starting to turn, so here and there are sprinkles of red.  Otherwise, it's still green.

At this point we all were dragging a bit, so the original plan of meandering back was put aside and, zooming right along, we took the straight and fast route back.

Stand back!
I'm planning another Trip!

Monday, September 24, 2012

We are going



But first, of course, it's breakfast time.

You can do breakfast two ways:
stay in Portland and scoot right over to

Hot Suppa,

or, ride up and have breakfast at

Brunswick Diner.

There are a great number of eateries in Portland, but for one of, if not the best spot to feed the morning hunger, Hotta Suppa is where you want to be.  But.  Ya gotta get there early.  For two reasons: First, it's on Congress Street, which is metered and they start ticking at 9 AM – not that 2-hours of meter change will set you back a great deal.  It's just the principle of the thing.  The second, and more important reason is: it's a very popular place, and being a small joint, the booths fill quickly.

Their menu is eclectic, spanning the range of standard breakfast fare, right through some really exotic dishes.

Take a gander at who they are and what they offer:

However, if you want to get on the road early, and are looking for a unique experience, then you want to go to the Brunswick Diner.

But!  Pay attention here.  This is a real diner: small, and narrow, one cook, limited staff (otherwise no one could get in) and... serving diner food - fast, good, enough, but NOT gourmet.  AND it's CASH on the barrelhead as they say.  No credit cards.  Cash only.  So, if you're not willing to eat with your new buddy sitting right beside you, and/or you're cash poor, stay with Hot Suppa.  Otherwise, crank 'er up.

Brunswick Diner does not have a website, but you can find out all about them at either, or Facebook.

On The Road

You could take the interstate to Brunswick,

but you'd have missed some beautiful roads, hosting some gorgeous homes, surrounded by spectacular vistas.
Instead, ride across the Martins Point Bridge onto Route 1, and when Route 88 veers off to the right, take it, settle back, and enjoy the view and the ride.

Route 88 will take you back to Route 1, and after you pass Delorme, perhaps the world's most exciting map store, (although you may not want to pass it without stopping: its home to a hugh, stunning globe of the world, and the store's inventory can hold you fast for days and days),

you will cross the Royal River (just passed the Muddy Rudder restaurant) and soon thereafter South Freeport Road will veer off to the right.

South Freeport Road "T's" at Bow Street, where you turn right and get set to see some serious front yard work.

Of course, no matter which way you come into Brunswick

you'll be greeted by a church spire, and, within a very short time frame, you'll find yourself on
Maine Street.

And, it almost doesn't matter how you enter
 Brunswick, once you do, you will KNOW you're on
Maine Street – it's LONG and WIDE,

and sports a soft, green mall its entire length.  Just the place to sprawl out and enjoy the day.

Brunswick sits right alongside theAndroscoggin river, where the river tumbles down its last falls before heading toward the sea...

And spanning the river, one of the few (very few) remaining cable foot-bridges invites you to walk to Thopsham and back.

The bridge was designed by John Roebling, who designed the Brooklyn Bridge and is of the same wire rope design.

Looking downstream toward the falls, you can see the massive ex-factory building.

It anchors one end of Maine Street.  It's called Fort Andros after the original fort that was built there in 1688, although most of the folks in town know it as the Cabot Mill.

As  you stroll along Maine Street, you will pass many restaurants, ice-cream joints and coffee shops,

but the place to stop is right here.

Donuts to die for.  'Nuff said.

At the other end of Maine Street is Bowdoin College.

Steeped in history, alma mater to many prestigious men and women

By now the Sun was sliding downward, and legs were getting weary, so we saddled up and headed home.

A good day.