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!

Friday, December 23, 2011


I am envious of the photography of two scooter sites in particular: Living Among Tourists at and Scooter in the Sticks at Both sites feature amazing photos, and superb writing.

My specialty is baseball photography; no way to get the GTS onto Hadlock Field in Portland, home of the Sea Dogs. I cover the team for several local weekly papers.

It's hard to take a bad photo of a baseball game, whereas the sky, and objects in it, pose challenges beyond my skills:

The moon in actually in this photo. 

I was sent the collage below, but don't know who created it. It's so original that I want to share it.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


As my family prepares to gather for our Christmas party this coming Sunday, I thought I'd post a few photos from our Thanksgiving dinner with Kathy's brother and sister in Massachusetts.

The best of all possible meals: Diet Moxie and Roast Turkey!

Our elder son Daniel, left, entertains our newest nephew, Parker, while Timothy, the youngest, watches the rest of us clean up. Andrew, the middle son, had to work. (I was unable to help with dishes, etc., since I assigned myself to documenting the day photographically.)

As Kathy holds Parker, I said, "What a good Grammy you're going to be!" Tim's wife, Meredith, as well as Tim and his mother, react with less enthusiasm than I'd expected.

Kathy enjoys beating her sister, Sylvia, at cribbage. She always wins, and a less noble husband might say that she wins too easily. Notice that the wine bottles are nearly empty, while the fruit bowl sits untouched. They claimed that they were sipping non-alcoholic drinks ...


Kathy covers her cards, believing, she said, that I was going to take pictures of them and share them with her opponent. "Never!" said I, indignantly. "I've learned nothing about you in 37 years?" she said.

I put my camera away and sulked.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Warm, Gray Day

The sun never fully emerged from behind the clouds today, yet the temperature reached 60 degrees, 21 degrees above the average for this date. Once the rain stopped in the early afternoon, I rode out to Falmouth, then around Baxter Boulevard.

I stopped in Falmouth Foreside and was about to snap a photo when a gentleman came out of a nearby home and offered to take a photo of me on the GTS. He told me that when he lived in Boston, he rode a Vespa. Those who've driven in Boston understand his courage; driving a tank would be daunting on the streets of that "Rules? We don't need no stinking RULES!" city.

A view from the Boulevard, across Back Bay, to downtown Portland.

This is as almost as bright as the day got.

If I'd parked here during the summer, I'd have been the object sneers, taunts, evil looks, and raised digits, and perhaps rightly so. You see, the Baxter Boulevard walking/jogging track is one of the safest, most scenic
places in Greater Portland, and is fiercely protected and maintained by those who cherish its 3.6 miles around Back Bay.

Look, I said to myself, I see shadows. The sun broke through for only a moment, for it had disappeared by the time I turned to take the picture below.

This is the beginning of the Baxter Boulevard path.

Birds of a feather flock together...

...except this one, who preferred the mucky mud of low tide.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Beach Fun Never Ends

I won't lie - the beach is more fun in July than in December. But there's still a lot happening. This guy jogged by, with a smile on his face. When I turned the GTS around and tried to scoot on out, I understood the smile: "Good luck, scooter boy. First ride on beach sand?"

Yes - and definitely my last ride on this or any beach

Para-sailing looks like fun, doesn't it? 

I don't know what this is called, but those on the beach gave the driver all the room he needed!

This poor little dog was shivering: he was likely thinking, "We've got a perfectly lovely back yard - why am I being forced to do my duty in a gale, on a beach, without a tree in sight?"

No trip to the beach would be complete without a horse

Note the houses on Pine Point Beach. Only the tippy-top of the "One Percent" can live here. But all the rest of us get to play here, all year round. And that is a very, very good thing.

Looking south, the hotels of Old Orchard Beach shimmer in the late afternoon sun

To the north, fine homes and ammonphia (beach grass)

And in the middle, one scooterer who learned a lesson the very hard way: Beaches are for people, and horses and dogs - but never for scooters.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Warmest November On Record

It's official - the month just past was the warmest November on record in Maine, with an average daily temperature of nearly 45 degrees.

On a delightful November 30th ride to Old Orchard Beach, I forgot all about my ill-advised 120 mile Thanksgiving Day ride, during which only my layers of baby fat kept me from becoming a balding, bearded Popsicle.

Riding a bicycle on the beach may seem silly, but Mainers do silly things on late November days on which they have historically been too cold to venture outdoors unless dressed like a Siberian hunter.

My GTS thermometer read 60 degrees as the bike rider rested on a bench.

Early winter waves pound the pilings of the OOB Pier, which long ago extended nearly a quarter of a mile into the sea.

The Amtrak Downeaster thunders through the deserted town without stopping. During the summer, hundreds of people take advantage of the stop at the Beach, coming down the coast from Boston and up from Portland.

Back on the beach, a couple sits, likely without speaking: those waves drown out any sound softer than a bellow.

During the summer, the screams of kids - and timid adults - can actually top the sound of crashing surf.

A bit nippy for shedding the sweater, but this young lady posed for a photo that I'll bet will be sent to envious friends in a frozen place. One of my uncles who retired in Florida used to send pictures of himself wearing shorts and a T-shirt on a golf course whenever he read of a blizzard or cold snap back in Maine.

This jogger was certainly warm, even with the wind blowing off the ocean.

But I can't believe this surfer - the only person in the water along the length of the beach - was within 100 degrees of toasty. Is it just me, or is this guy nuts?

According to the National Oceanographic Data Center, the water temperature along the southern Maine coast when I took this photo was 48.2 degrees. I rest my case - this guys is dedicated - but nuts!