My original plan for today (August 4) was to ride straight east to Atlantic coast in Maine from Vermont, but a tip from FuzzyGalore sent me off on a different adventure.
She had suggested I visit Mount Washington. I took her suggestion since it was on the way, but I didn’t expect to be bashing down a dirt road on a fully loaded sport bike!
Along the way I got my first glimpse of the presidential mountain range. I was stunned. This is the scenery I was looking for in the Adirondacks, but didn’t see. I love looking at mountains. They weren’t as impressive as the alps or the Rockies, but I still stopped and enjoyed them for many minutes.
I enjoyed riding in Vermont. Twisty, empty roads, with beautiful scenery. It was a great day to ride.
The GPS told me to turn off the main road, so I followed it. It appeared to be taking me on a shortcut that would save a few miles and “be faster” I did not have the option selected to avoid dirt roads.
I ended up on a minimum maintenance gravel road that was sometimes paved, but cleared had not been maintained in years. It wound through the edge of the national forest. The asphalt had cracks, frost heaves, and potholes. The road had something else which made it very interesting to ride on, it large upheavals in throughout the road the side of large footballs. It was an exciting game avoiding all of the road hazards while trying to stay upright. The SV only has a few inches of ground clearance! I found myself standing on the pegs for most of the nearly ten miles. The forest was distractingly beautiful which made the ride all that more difficult. The road ended, and I was back on a freshly paved road. I think my bike sighed in relief.
I took the auto-road to the top of Mt Washington. It’s a private road and it cost me $15 for my motorcycle. It was a great alpine road with lots of twists, turns, and a steep grade. The lack of guard rails meant the view of the scenery was unobstructed.
Here is a view from the top looking back at the start:
Most of the cars pulled over to let me pass on the way up except for one smelly, black Mercedes. He just kept puttering along at 10-15mph. I think he was scared. I kept pulling over to let them get some distance as I admired the view. The car smelled like a overheating engine and the fumes were making me gag. This sequence repeated itself several time during the eight mile climb to the summit of 6288 feet.
It was foggy at the top, so the view wasn’t as stunning as it could have been. Many people took the hiking trail to the top which I was told only took about two hours. I think it would have taken me two days unless sherpas carried me up.
Mount Washington is has a couple records to it’s name. It has the oldest hiking trail in America (laid out in 1819) which has been in continuous use since. It also has the highest recorded ground wind speed of 231mph.
The views were great on the way down, and I stopped frequently to take photos and video. I’ll likely be posting the video after I get back to MN.
From there, I headed east towards the coast in Maine. I stopped at this roadside rest (Snow Falls) to put on my rain gear. There were two waterfalls and a few picnic tables. It was a relaxing place to have a snack with only the sound of the occasional motorhome roaring past breaking the sound of the water flowing over the rocks.
Many hour riding in the rain and trying in vain to dodge the dark rain clouds, I arrived in Bar Harbor, ME. It was full of tourists on foot walking everywhere. The traffic was also very backed up.
My original plan was to camp in Acadia National Park, but the thought of setting up the tent in the rain and enduring the overnight thunderstorms sent me seeking a motel. It took me quite a few tries before I finally found one. It seems the effort to flip on the “no vacancy” signs was too great for many establishments. I stopped for dinner, and then continued my search. The rain took a breather for the short time I was looking after dinner. I eventually found an over-priced motel and checked it. As soon as I parked the bike, the skies opened up again in a massive downpour. I unloaded the bike in the pouring rain, hung up my wet gear, and fell asleep listening to the rain.
Mount Washington and the ocean view were two of the highlights of the entire trip so far. Thanks Fuzzy!