It is Thursday and we are in Montreal and have to get to the Hamptons today. It has been pouring all night, but at 8 am it was dry out finally. We are trying to get 500 km to Max BMW in New Hampshire before they close at 6 pm today. That way they will have the bikes for first thing Friday for the valves.
The first step is to get the 89 km to the USA border. This is usually not a busy border and should only take a few minutes, but we are a bit concerned that they will make a huge deal out of our Iran visas. We have a riding friend that was detained 4 hours when he landed in the USA after riding thru Iran. We made good time to the border and in fact there was only a 15 min wait.
Dan was up first and the first question was where are you going “Ben and Jerry’s headquarters of course”. The agent then asked Dan right away about why we had Iran visas, but was totally reasonable and was interested in the trip. He did spend 10 minutes asking him questions. The only question he asked me was what flavor I was going to get.
We then set off on the interstate south, but decided to take the time to go on the back roads to Waterbury Vermont via Stowe. This is a curvy road thru to the ski village.
The rain started not long after this. We arrived to B&J after 221 km and almost 3 1/2 hours because it had started to rain heavily again. The place was packed and we had to line up for our ice cream treats!
It is now raining harder and we headed for the Interstate again. We hit several back ups for construction, but finally pulled into Max at 415. They were super welcoming and immediately went over the list Dan had emailed and discussed our other concerns. The 650 had had no issues with oil since we left the severe heat in Borneo. In fact they had Lulu up on the lift and had started the work before 5.
We are getting the fluids all changed, new tires, valve check (will be terrible), battery check and likely change, brake pads and spark plugs, new rear sprockets, and also replacing all the screws we are now missing. The guys at Motowerks Technica in Kuala Lumpur said they did the valve check and we paid for it, but they did not. I am surprised we made it here with out blowing up an engine. We also found out later just how many things they messed up on.
We have been lucky to be invited to the home of Rich and Karlene the pedal bikers we met in Costa Rica in 2012 and in New Zealand in 2018. They live an hour from Max and came to pick us up. We are so happy to have a few down days and to be so relaxed with our friends.
The 800 has a broken cam shaft end cap (Motowerks technica again) and the part did not arrive from Fedex on Saturday and so we are imposing on our friends for a few more days until BMW reopen on Tuesday. We managed to get a lot of rest, get in a big hike, spend an afternoon in Concord, and shared a lot of tales of adventure.
Note the gold dome that designates the state house in a state that has produced a president.
Tuesday we headed back to the coast via car for a tour of the Hamptons, some great seafood for lunch, and then Rich and Karlene dropped us at BMW. We had a few last minute items to deal with for the bikes and then the bill! They threw in some t shirts, stickers, and some fuel line cleaner.
We set out west on the 101 and then on the toll 95 to get back to Concord in a hurry. From here we rode north on the 3, which winds thru small New Hampshire towns. We managed to get as far as Plymouth by 630 and found a small family run motel for the night.
Today we have a route that includes 3 of “the best motorcycle roads in NH”.
We headed first into Plymouth town and to UPS to get our cancelled Carnets sent back to the Swiss Motoring Association so we can get our bond funds back! Then to the car wash for a quick spruce up.
We rode west on the 25/ 118 to Warren and then onto Lincoln. This is a cute town with several souvenir shops and an old general store. We then did a detour north on the 93 to the Old Man of the Mountain historic site (the natural “face” has apparently eroded and fallen off the mountainside) .
We backtracked on the 93 and then hit the famous Kancamagus highway. This is a windy swerving road thru the White Mountain Forrest. Then it was another side road detour on the Bear Notch pass to Bartlett.
From there we had another back track to Passaconway and across the Alton covered bridge to the Passaconway road.
This is a small narrow back road with no traffic.
We ended up north of Conway and then went onto Intervale. The road east from here is the narrow steep curvy Hurricane Mountain Road.
Now we were back to the secondary roads to Freyburg and then we made our way south east to Portland and onto Cape Elizabeth.
We are staying tonight at the home of Peter who had messaged us from our ADV Ride Reprt. He was kind enough to offer us a place to stay, but also to have a few things shipped to his house. He is a super nice guy who is a new rider , but a keen ADV member! It was great to share some stories with him and to listen to his adventure plans.
It poured rain all night, but the sun was out in the morning. We are headed today to the Maine cottage of some friends we met on the Camino in 2015. We set out from Peters the 4 miles to the famous Fort William lighthouse.
Then the plan was to go north on the 1 to Camden and then loop up to Embden.
We abandoned this by Wiscasset as the “coastal route” is a 4 lane road and not ON the coast. We stopped near Farmington at the Hi-Hat Pancake house and drive in for a good old hearty American lunch (Sara milk shake and fries) and then made our way on the back roads to arrive at the camp on Embden Pond by 3 pm.
This was just in time for a swim and cocktails on the dock. We had a great time meeting old friends Bart and Lisa and new friends Sarah, Hillary, Jim, and Larry.
The forecast for today is cloudy and cooler and so we had an hours drive 9 miles past Monson to the trail head and then a hike up Borestone mountain for a panoramic view.
Back in Monson is the home of Spring Creek BBQ. We had to wait for the fresh batch of ribs and brisket and then we devoured it!
The forecast is for it to pour rain and it stared just as we arrived back to the cottage and continued heavily all night. We have just over 800 km from here to our friends cottage on PEI and we have to be there in 3 days time.
It is still horrific outside, but we all have to leave today as Bart and Lisa have rented out their cabin for a week starting today. We decided to just head an hour away to the capital of Augusta and wait out the storm.
There is a hurricane warning in Massachusetts so we need to get inside. We hid out in a hotel and by 4 pm the rain had stopped. By 7 it was blue sky and this is the forecast for tomorrow as well.
We are hoping to get as far as Bar Harbor today, but plan to take the scenic route so you never know.
Initially we will make for the coast of Maine at Camden in 66 km via the secondary roads. There is very little traffic even though it is Sunday. Camden is a quaint village on the sea famous for their wooden tall ships and boat building.
From here we mostly stayed on the 1 north which passes thru scenic green hillsides and small towns, but we did take a few detours on some country lanes. One was to see the lighthouse at Lincolnville. Here there is a nice harbor where we got some lunch to enjoy with a view of the sea.
This route is true New England with the seaside town and the wooden houses.
On the way north from here we again tried to get off the main road and stick closer to the coast.
We arrived to Ellsworth and hit the Mc D to use their wifi to find a place for the night in the town of Bar Harbour.
Bar Harbor is a super picturesque village on the sea that is full of tourists and LOBSTER! We checked into an inn and headed into the village harbor. There are lots of shops and treats. The place is mobbed with people and so we walked up the side streets to find a place for a drink and some shrimps for happy hour. We had also reserved a table at a classic lobster place with a view for later.