Thursday August 17 thru Sunday August 20 saw the Riders of Southern Maine gather at the Group Campsite and Pavilion at Lamoine State Park in Lamoine, ME, for our second biggest gathering (behind the DownEast Rally) of the riding season! In keeping with this summer's tradition, it rained Friday, Friday night and Saturday night. But Saturday and Sunday days were perfect for camping and riding.
Riders started to arrive Thursday afternoon and evening, getting ready for the great weekend ahead.
For the first ride of the weekend on Friday, we met up at The Dunbar Country store in Sullivan, a great little place that seems to stock everything. There is a large pullout there that overlooks Frenchman Bay with terrific views all the way to Acadia NP (on the days when visibility exceeds a few feet). Took off up Rte. 200, crossed Rte. 182 to Georges Pond Rd., then right on Macomber Hill Rd. which degenerated into dirt and rough in places with a few flooded sections where the swampy areas overflowed across the trail. ‘Someone’ managed to get the water up to the windshield. Turned right on Molasses Pond Rd. then into the gravel roads through the wind farm, Bull Hill section, which is about 88 MW of generating power. The additional Hancock and Weaver sections add another 107 MW. The 3.3 MW towers are enormous, hub height is 450 feet and the blades are 206 feet. The flatbed trailers to transport the blades are 230 feet long! Definitely no hairpin bends with those things! Second section runs across some blueberry barrens, very open, not a tree in sight as far as you can see. Got slightly lost here with a bridge out over the Narraguagus River but backtracked and popped out at the back of the fire station in Deblois. Took Rte. 193 to Cherryfield and a neat lunch stop at the Paisley Loon Cafe, right on the river. From there it was Rte. 182 (Black Woods Hwy), a great twisty section between lakes and mountains with very little traffic, which dumps out on busy Rte. 1 and back to the campground.
Friday dinner was a Pit Barrel feast with ribs by Don and Ballistic Chicken thighs by Nik, along with a great salad followed by delicious brownies by Donna! It was odd that she managed to cook the batch without corner pieces, much to Thom's dismay! 🙂
Saturday morning started with some low clouds and fog, but that quickly burned off leaving us with one of the nicest days of the summer! Riders left Lamoine at about 9:30 am, and the group headed east into Washington Co. on Rte. 1, then south on Addison Rd. to Addison. We wandered down some back roads until we came out to Rte. 187, and then and headed to Jonesport and Beals Island. After a short break on Beals Island, we headed back up Rte. 187 to Rte. 1, and continued east to Machias. We had a nice lunch at Helen’s in Machias before continuing east on Rte. 1 to Rte. 191, and then inland to Meddybemps and Meddybemps Lake. Rte. 191 had recently been completely repaved, and it was nice to be in such a rural environment with such smooth and excellent pavement! After another break at the Lake, we cut over to Rte. 9 (the Airline Rd.), then south on Rte. 193 to Cherryfield, and then back on Rte. 182 (Black Woods Hwy) to return to Lamoine State Park.
Saturday's traditional lobster fest was “nearly” a great success. Thom and Don handled the cooking of lobster and corn on the cob. There was also potato salad, and afterwards, dinner was capped off by fresh blueberry pie from Helen's and vanilla ice cream. The evening was "nearly" a great success because a mis-count of participants left Wendy and Gilly without a lobster. 🙁
And in addition to the RSM Members camping together this weekend, we also had a couple of very special guests! A couple of “stinky kitties” paid a visit to the pavilion every night we were there but it was Saturday night when Bryan, Mike, Dan and Nik were sitting around late after a spirited game of Eucher chatting about how they could fix the world's problems when a couple came in and joined them. They seemed to pay the foursome no mind and went about cleaning the floor of the evening's dinner droppings. One even made his way over to the group at one of the picnic tables, waddling right behind Nik’s chair. They are obviously quite familiar with humans and did not appear frightened, thus everyone remained unstained.