Back In the USA!

Epic Ride, Day 61:

I’m home!  Sorta’.  I left Moncton, New Brunswick yesterday morning and rode through St. Johns on my way to St. Stephens and the US Border.  It was a grim-looking morning with rain predicted, but I managed to miss all but a very few drops.  I got back to the US border and proceeded fairly quickly through customs (only about a 5-car backup and they opened a 3rd lane just as I go there, so it was nowhere near as bad as coming back into the country had been at Blaine, WA, back in August.

I rode 9 down to Ellsworth where I was meeting Dan Lux, a member of the NT-Owners Forum.  I had cleverly forgotten the name of the place where we were going to share pie, but could remember that it was a restaurant with a woman’s name.  So I asked my faithful sidekick, Shirley the GPS, and all she came up with was Sylvia’s.  That sounded reasonable, so I went to Sylvia’s.  No Dan.  I ordered a bowl of lobster chowder and a cup of coffee and went outside to try to call Dan.  I got him and he was waiting for me at Helen’s I chided Shirley and waited for Dan.  When he got there we learned that Sylvia’s closed at 3PM.  So, we went back to Helen’s and I enjoyed what Life magazine once called the best blueberry pie in the US.  It was pretty good.

Better was talking to Dan, a geology professor at the University of Maine in Bangor.  We not only share interests in motorcycling, but geology is a fascination with me and we’d both lived in (or near) Houston.  Dan had a meeting with the Geology Club back at U of Maine, so our visit was nowhere near long enough.  He led me down US-1, over the magnificent suspension bridge at Penobscot Narrows and then split back to the north, while I came on down to Belfast to spend the night with my Madawaska riding buddy, NT-Owners Forum member Alex.  He has a lovely and hospitable home and we enjoyed our visit.

Alex runs the soup kitchen here in Belfast, a unique establishment that offers not only food for the hungry, but the even more important ingredients of warm hospitality served with generous dollops of dignity and respect.  We’ll eat lunch there after he gets back from making a food run to Augusta.

Here are some pix from the ride:

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The colors are just starting to change in New Brunswick.  If I’d have been a couple/three weeks later, it would have been spectacular.

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Stats:  Day, 305 miles; Trip, 18,685 miles; Year, 24,686 miles; Total, 76,544 miles.

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