MAINE: my final frontier. These are the voyages of the Scooter Vespa 250 i.e. Super. Its continuing mission - to explore America's most heavily forested state - to roam the vast coastline, numberless lakes, and mighty mountains. To boldly go where no scooter has gone before!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What's for Dinner?

One of the joys of my life is employing the skills I developed over decades as a chef and cook to prepare meals for my dear wife Kathy. She works very hard, I must say. Kathy works in a psychiatric hospital, creates and sells art, tends to a large garden, and runs an efficient home, keeping four demanding animals content and quiet. (Three of these are cats; one is a husband.)

Without question, her favorite meal is lobster. Kathy loves lobster. I can't stand the sight of the hideous bug-like creatures. Nevertheless, on occasion, I do my part, which is to procure said beastie.

STEP 1: 

Follow lobster boat to dock


Visit Bayley's Lobster Pound in Pine Point


Pick out very large lobster


Relax in chair made from lobster traps

STEPS 5 through 12: 

Give living thing to dear wife, who plays with her dinner, kills it, and eats it, while hopeful husband rides Vespa while listening to Boston Red Sox, who crush hope by losing - again

Kathy has eaten lobsters at many restaurants, cooked lobsters bought from many sources. She says that Bayley's lobsters are the best.

Google: Bayley's Lobster Pound

Friday, September 16, 2011

In the garden

On those unhappy days when riding is not on the menu, I consider myself immeasurably fortunate to have a special seat in my wife's garden. Surrounded by flowers, vegetables, fruits, comfortably reading in a reclining chair - it's the next best thing to the road. And except for a few threatening birds, it's safer.

On one side of Kathy's garden sits my chair amid a wide assortment of flowers. She always plants a few pansies so there is at least flower I can identify.

The other side contains enough green beans, tomatoes, snow peas, cucumbers, and more, to keep us well fed from the middle of summer until early fall. And Kathy always prepares a couple dozen jars of tomatoes as well.  

On this particular day, when a ride seemed unrealistic early in the day, I actually got in a quick jaunt north. Pleasant Mountain in Bridgton is one of Maine's most popular ski resorts in the afternoon.

I haven't skied here - or anywhere - since the day in the late '60s, when, to impress a girl named Betsy, I, well, let's just say I tried to ski above my ability.  

After running into and over the lovely Betsy, I found myself unable to stop, so I too quickly and very unsteadily continued to the ski lodge.

The next day at school, I discovered that I would most certainly never have a date with Betsy, because, as the story was told, "the fool ran up the back of my skis, rolled over me, steamrolled me into the snow - then left me there to die!"

Moving on - say, isn't this a pretty lake. It's Moose Pond, at the foot of (un)Pleasant Mountain

Kayaking has become extremely popular lately. Time says that the sport has grown from 3.5 million to 8 million kayakers in just ten years. It kooks like fun - but that's what I thought about skiing once upon a time.

Now this is my idea of a good time. Note the couple in the center of the photo, relaxing on their dock next to the water. If they rode a scooter to their cabin, they're my kind of people.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What's for lunch?

It's been a week since I've had a decent ride. The weather has been poor; my body wants to sleep - nothing more. And I ran over a nail, requiring a tow and a new tire.

But this morning, I felt pretty good, the weather was great, and I said to myself: "I think I'l pack a lunch and ride to New Hampshire."

"Good idea," I replied. (When my father was caught talking to himself, he'd say that the only way he could have an intelligent conversation was to talk to himself. Sometimes I do that, but I'm not as smart as my Dad was.)

"What's for lunch," I asked.

"Chicken Salad, fresh cukes and tomatoes from Kathy's garden, and Diet Moxie."

"Perfect," I said. "Just make sure you secure the lunch bag to the scooter."

I looked angrily at myself, and said, huffily, "Don't worry - this isn't the first time I've done this!"

After a marvelous 74-mile ride on uncrowded back roads, including a short jaunt into New Hampshire, I entered the cozy park at Woods Pond in Bridgton. A single picnic table was left, and I parked right in front of it and raised my GTS on its center stand and took a picture.

"Beautiful!" I exclaimed.

"What's for lunch," I asked.

Back home, I'd securely tied down my lunch bag on the seat, right in front of my top case.

"I don't see the bag," I cried

Sure enough, there was no bag! The bungee cord net with which I'd tied down the bag was in place, but the lunch was gone.

A delightful aroma floated from another picnic area. "That smells good," I said. "Burgers!"

"I guess somebody over there knew the right way to pack a lunch!" I said, as my stomach growled.

Hopping back on the Vespa, I headed south. At Naples, I stopped to see the Songo River Queen II. Next to her berth were several picnic tables.

Named for its great length, 11 eleven miles, Long Lake is rarely wider than half a mile.

Here sits the Songo River Queen II, ready for its famous fall foliage cruises on the Lake.

"Oh, look - picnic tables, right by the boat. Too bad someone didn't take an extra second to completely secure my lunch."

"Shut up," I replied.

Just down the road a piece is Raymond Beach on Jordan Bay, a part of Sebago Lake. "Wow," I said. "Another great place for a  pic ... Oh, I forgot ..."

"Are you going to do this all the way home," I asked. (Arguing with oneself has a big advantage - no one gets hurt!)

"Really? What am I - chopped liver? Just one more thing for you to not tie down - weren't you a Boy Scout?")

Monday, September 5, 2011

Here's something you don't see everyday

While I am not a Facebook person, my wife Kathy is, and she sent me these links to something I wouldn't mind finding under the Christmas Tree this year:

Saturday, September 3, 2011

TS Irene

By the time Hurricane Irene reached Maine last week, she'd been downgraded to a tropical storm. Here on the coast, she did very little damage; further inland, the damage was far worse.

Although I considered riding to the coast for some photos, the smart side of me (named Kathy) decided to stay home.

On Monday, I rode out to Higgins Beach to watch the surfers who always gather there following - and often  during - big storms. I found only a few of these brave souls. One told me that because of the location of the retreating storm, "the waves are too close together."

Looking at the surf, I saw that indeed, this surf was different from the typical rolling waves. Another surfer said that the best waves happened at high tide - 2 AM Monday!

Only a handful of sunbathers were left when I visited.

This little band of beach combers packed up and headed home as one of the last surfers rode a final wave.

With the sun setting, the sweatshirts and hoodies guarded against the quickly chilling air.