Scoot Commute

Canada Day 1: Providence, RI to Freeport, ME (186 miles)

We didn’t really plan this trip. All I knew was I wanted to get the hell out of Providence and end up in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. I’m not very good with spatial relationships, so when I pull out a map, I point and say “We’re here” and “We need to be here” with no reference to the distances between the first here and the second here.

All we had discussed is that we didn’t want to ride on the Interstate. So we headed off on Route 1. It was hot and getting hotter. At one point I looked over and said over the Cardo, “Ummm, I think we’re in Boston…isn’t that Fenway?” Sure enough, we’re in Boston. I hate Boston. Everyone who knows me knows I hate Boston. And here I am, on a bike packed to the gills and wearing full cold-weather gear, sweltering outside Fenway in stop-and-go Friday traffic, trying to figure out how the hell to get out of Boston. I yell over, “We need to find Storrow Drive; that’ll get us out of here!”

Maine...the way life should be (on Route 1)

Maine...the way life should be (on Route 1)

Like a miraculous vision, a sign appears for Storrow Drive. We hop on and ride over the Tobin Bridge to get the hell outta Dodge. When we enter into Maine, we stop at the Visitor Information booth (yeah, that was fun to find as we were not on I95 but Route 1).

As I’m scarfing down a banana, I ask the gentleman behind the Info desk where the closest state campground is (we’re around Kittery–yeah, didn’t make very good time). We were planning on making Camden Hills, but it was getting late and we really needed to get off the road. I knew we wouldn’t even make Bath before nightfall.

The kindly gentleman behind the desk looks at me and says “Freeport.” I look back at him and say “There’s no state camping in Freeport.” “Bradbury Mountain,” was his reply. “Duh!” I exclaim. I was there as a kid but only on a day hike.

As I turn around, a woman remarks “That’s a bright jacket.” I told her that it was a real sacrifice being safe and fashionable but I don’t think she realized I was joking. Both her and her partner asked me about where we were headed, what were we riding, etc. It felt like Erik wasn’t even there. I thought to myself, these must be the folks in the car with the bumper stickers “Motorcycles are everywhere” and “=”. Sure ’nuff, we walk outside and they’re hanging around their car. I got the feeling they were just sorta hanging out at the rest stop waiting to talk to people on bikes as they were Mainers. Who from Maine goes to the Visitor Information area near Kittery?

Off we rode toward Freeport to stop at Bradbury Mountain. Route 9 was just repaved and a sweet, smooth, and oil-laced roadway. We found the campground entrance and coasted into the grounds. Trying to figure out how to snag a site was another matter. There was a guy in the site “Campground Host” who informed us to just pick any site and someone will be by later to collect the camping fee.

Elsa (DR-Z400SM) and Maxx (F650GS Dakar) at Bradbury Mountain State Park

Elsa (DR-Z400SM) and Maxx (F650GS Dakar) at Bradbury Mountain State Park

The campground was about 1/3 full and quite quiet. There were 3 hot showers(!) and a dishwashing station. Luxxxxxxury. After we got settled, I decided to take a shower and wash out the clothes I wore that day because it had been a long, hot & humid, sticky, nasty day. The shower was really nice. My only complaint about the campground was that Route 9 is a busy road and I could hear traffic throughout the night.

I had cooked up some chicken, brown rice and green beans the night before and froze the meal. When I went to pull out the Ziploc, it was thawed and ready to be reheated over my simple one-burner. We were both very tired from the hot ride and the food tasted delicious. Having access to the dishwashing station made me lazy as I was able to carry the dishes over for a quick rinse. No fire this night as we wanted to get to bed so we could take off early in the morning.

When we awoke, Erik made coffee with the GSI collapsible coffee maker and I boiled up some water for my farina and his apples and cinnamon oatmeal. With a hearty meal in our bellies, we headed off toward Calais, ME and the border crossing.

But would we make it?


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