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June 1, 2006

I awoke this morning to the sight of geese outside my tent - geese with babies. It was a nice sight, admittedly. I took a few pictures and then took down my campsite. Once the motorcycle was all packed up I wandered back up to the Lock, seeing how close I could get to the geese along the way. I took a few more pictures and then went back down to my motorcycle and began driving once again.


For the first part of the day things were great - it was warm and the scenery was beautiful. New York looks a lot like Michigan on the West, but as you move farther East you get more hills/mountains. Vermont was equally beautiful. New Hampshire turned back into Michigan for the most part. I rode SR-7 most of the way through both states (it takes on different names at points, but it's the same road). It was really a nice change to not be driving on the interstate most of the day. Maine is nice. I like it a lot. However, as time progressed it began to get grey and finally it started raining. That was unpleasant, to say the least. I put my raingear on in haste and so it accomplished very little in terms of keeping me dry. Things got pretty bad at some points as well. I pulled under an overpass for a little while, but realizing that the storm probably wasn't going to stop I decided to try and make it through it. You haven't really ridden a motorcycle until you've done so in a downpour of rain on grooved pavement with half of the traffic pulled off to the side of the road with hazards on because they can't see through their windshield. *shudder* I made it through the storm though and the rain let up on the other side.

The rain finally letting up, the rest of the drive was okay (it never stopped raining completely, but a little rain is something easily dealt with). I decided to modify my route into Acadia towards the end so that I stayed on the interstate as long as possible. It's easier to drive on an interstate in the rain than random highways with variable speed limits, conditions, and turns. As time went on it began getting dark, but I knew I was close to Acadia so I kept driving. Finally after it was completely dark I started to get concerned that it was going to take too long to get there and I decided to stop for the night. I pulled into a couple of campgrounds that both wanted way too much money for the night. So, I kept driving. Finally I saw a state police outpost and asked them where I could camp. The officer mentioned that I was only 30 minutes from Acadia and so at that point I decided just to finish driving there tonight. It turned out to be more like an hour.


Anyway, after an hour or so I made it to the island. It was really interesting entering the island - it looked like something out of a scary movie. There was translucent fog covering a lot of the island and the smells were intense and foreign. Don't get me wrong though, they were good smells. At one point the road Y'd, so I pulled into the gas station at the intersection and asked which way to Acadia. The attendant pointed me in the right direction and I continued on. I drove through what I would later learn was Bar Harbor and found the visitor center. It was closed but had a map showing where the Blackwoods Campground was. So, I drove down there and followed their late check-in procedure. Getting there actually involved some additional effort due to a lack of clear signs showing which way US-3 goes after a sharp right turn, but I figured it out eventually. I found a campsite and pitched my tent in the dark to my motorcycle light and a flashlight that spent most of it's time crammed in my mouth. It was drizzling out and I was cold. I got things setup fairly quick and climbed into the tent. As I unrolled my sleeping bag and stuff I discovered that the waterproof bag I'd gotten from Dick's was, in fact, not waterproof. But the water hasn't seeped through everything yet, so I'm able to find a position that keeps me mostly dry - and so it's off to sleep.

June 2, 2006 11:32 am


Today I woke up around 6:30am, not really feeling too tired. So, I ate some breakfast and setup a clothes line to try and dry out some of my stuff. The sky is pretty grey and I guess the forecast for today is light showers, but I'm hoping they'll hold off for a while. Once I was done with all of that I checked in to my camp site (nobody was here last night around 10), purchased a National Parks Pass, and then headed off to the visitor's center. When I asked them where to go if I only had a day to spend here they suggested driving around the park loop drive. I have yet to do that (I'm going to do it after I pack everything up here on my way out). But, I did hike to "Bar Island." It's an island that you can reach at low tide, and it's pretty cool. I hiked to the summit of the island (which isn't that high, and isn't really a hike as much as it is a walk). I also wandered around the shore for a while checking out the sea life and such. Everything smells different around here. It's nice - in some areas it smells a lot like sea life (kind of the way a seafood restaurant smells).


Regardless, I like Acadia National Park. It's located on an island - "Mount Desert Island," which makes it even more interesting. Supposedly there are seals around here somewhere. I haven't been able to find them as of yet. There are also apparently crabs all over the place, but I've only been able to find the leftover shells of dead ones so far. I want to see a live one! Maybe I'll be able to find them when I drive around the park in a bit. It's about 11:15am, and the ranger said I should try to get out of my site by 12pm (I'm not sure why, the park is pretty empty right now). Once I get everything packed up I'm going to spend a couple of hours driving around the park checking things out and eat lunch. After that it's off to Boston. Hopefully it isn't raining along the way :-/.

June 2, 2006 11:30 pm

So today ended up being another rather ridiculous day. It's 11:30pm and not 30 minutes ago I was driving in the rain. It was an interesting experience, that. It almost tops the one from yesterday. Regardless, I'm now about 10 minutes out from Boston in a Marriott Courtyard hotel. I actually went in to Boston by accident (it cost $3 to cross the magical bridge). It's a pretty impressive sight, even in the rain. I'm looking forward to exploring (hopefully) a little tomorrow and seeing the Boston Pops (definitely).

Anyway, earlier today I took the Park Loop Road around Acadia National Park. It's a really fun road to drive - especially on a motorcycle. There were plenty of places where I stopped and wandered around for a little bit (a beach, some scenic overlooks, the summit of Cadillac Mountain) and took pictures. Once I'd finished driving around Park Loop Road (I didn't see any seals) I quickly wandered back up the visitor's center. One of the rangers suggested some places on the West side of the island, so I departed and headed over there.


The trip to the West side of the island was interesting, and provided some more good sights. Sadly, none of them included seals. According to one of the park rangers, the seals don't hang out in easy to find places that much anymore (probably because people like me want to take their picture, or people not like me want to kill them). Oh well. I did, however, get lost a couple of times. The roads on the island can be confusing at times. Eventually I found my way off it, just as the weather began to improve from grey and cold to warm and sunny. I was, admittedly, a little disappointed that I wouldn't be able to enjoy the sights of Acadia under the illuminating glow of the sun. It was, though, still well worth the visit.

I departed the Island around 4:00pm fully expecting to drive into the night to make it to Boston. The initial part of the journey, maybe the first two hours or so, was great. The road I was on (SR-3/US-1) was beautiful. It ran along the coastline of Maine and it had quite a few curves to it. It definitely beat the interstate driving I'd been doing a lot of the day before. I eventually made it back onto I-95, and as time progressed the skies once again turned grey, and then the rain came. This time I spent some extra effort putting on the rain gear, so only my feet and lower three inches of my pants ended up getting wet. It was well worth it, and it allowed me to drive a lot longer. The rain wasn't that bad this time, but it eventually grew dark which made things worse. At one point an SUV drove by and some lady shouted something out the window at me. I couldn't understand it because I had earplugs on, so I just ignored them. I wonder what she said...

As I continued along I started hitting toll booths. Those were fun. They involved taking off my gloves, which were wet and difficult to deal with and then opening my raingear to get at my wallet. Thankfully only once did the car behind me blow its horn out of irritation. The other ones seemed to be fairly understanding, at least as determined by their lack of horn blowing. I kept driving and driving, I thought I'd never make it to Boston. I'd been driving in the dark for so long though that I'd stopped caring. I had decided that I would make it to Boston that night - in part because I knew that I'd find a hotel room that would provide a nice break from camping in the rain. Finally I made it. I stopped at a gas station to ask how far I was from Boston once things started looking busy. They said about 15 minutes, so I hopped on my bike and kept driving. I stopped at a hotel along the way and they wanted $100 for the night, which I thought was expensive. I continued South until I hit a bridge with a $3 toll. The slope up to the bridge, though, provided an awesome view of Boston. It was stunning. The cityscape at night, even in the rain, is just amazing. The tall buildings light up the horizon, and the entire city glows. That alone was worth the $3.


As I paid I asked the attendant where a good, cheap place to stay was. She indicated that it was probably behind me, since everything in town cost over $200. So I asked her how to get back on US-1 North, she explained, and I turned around. There's no easy way to change directions on US-1 - the median is a concrete barrier topped with a fence. So, once I was Northbound again I stopped at a Marriott that wanted $130 for the night and decided that I'd had enough driving. I checked into my room, and sat down to some typing. It has been a long, long day. Nevertheless I made it here safely and am now getting ready to head off to sleep. I'm not setting an alarm this time, so how much time I have to explore before the Pops concert depends on when I wake up. I'm guessing I'm not going to have a lot of time to explore.