The Call of the Loon/New England and New Brunswick, Canada

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Nice_Rumble, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. Nice_Rumble

    Nice_Rumble Long timer

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    Location:
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    The eerie calls of Common Loons echo across clear lakes of the northern wilderness. We would hear them many nights while camping on remote wilderness lakes.

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    I was able to capture one of them early one morning as the morning dew was rising.

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    Flagstaff Lake, Stratton, ME.

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    But lets start at the beginning. Myself (Yamaha WR250R), Jim Partin (Husky 620) and Fred Scott (990 Adventure) decided to do a local adventure ride this summer rather than go out west which entails a lot more logistics. We had all read Dockingpilots ride report "The Ultimate 2300 Mile 12 Day Big Duelie Ride Thru VT, NH, ME & NB Canada In The Fall" and decided it really looked fun. First it was right in our own backyards, and had the requisite milage and time frame. We chose August 13th-23rd rather than September as the days would be longer and the temperatures warmer. And when it rained it would hopefully be a warm rain. Let's get started.

    Fred lives in VT and Jim in southern NH so the plan was to meet in Warren, NH at the roadside attraction, a real Redstone Rocket.

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    Jim left home and headed to my place and the two of us would head north to Warren to meet up with Fred. I had laid out as much dirt using Google maps to get us up to Pittsburg, NH where we would camp on Lake St Francis the first night. We would pick up Dockingpilot's tracks in Pittsburg the next morning.

    Jim and his Husky departing for my house.

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    My bike was packed (over packed?) and ready to go.

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    The two of us were off to meet Fred in a couple of hours further north in Warren, NH.

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    It was all familiar dirt roads up through Canaan, NH and then up into the Baker River Valley where we met Fred in Warren.

    Our first stop was lunch in Bath, NH, at the oldest general store in N America.

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    We made quick work getting up to Pittsburg in time to set up camp and find a restaurant.

    Fred had bought a new tent hotel big enough for 5 plus his bike.

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    The campground was not dirt bike friendly. I guess we're not on dirt bikes.

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    It was the first of many nights setting up our tents and sleeping under the stars.

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    The view of the lake the next morning.

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    After stopping for breakfast we picked up Dockingpilots tracks and were off into the wilderness of Northern NH headed for the border with ME.

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    This land is owned by timber companies and you need to keep a look out for logging trucks.

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    We made it into Maine and stopped for lunch at a general store in Andover.

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    We took South Arm Rd along the shores of Mooselookmeguntic Lake. I have friends that live out there on Toothaker Island in the summer.

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    Our goal the 2nd night was Flagstaff Lake in Stratton, ME. But first we needed to ride many miles of logging roads of timber land.

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    The roads go on for miles without seeing any signs of civilization.

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    We needed to get around this blowdown.

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    Dockingpilot had told us about their secret camping spot that was shall we say "off the beaten path". We had to ride a fairly remote class 6 woods road to find it but it was worth it. Secluded and set up as a camp site with wood and a fire ring right on the shore of the lake.

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    This is what adventure bike camping is all about. When it's good it's really good. We all went for a cooling swim which was what we needed after a long day of riding.

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    The wood was wet so we never really got a good fire going.

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    The next morning brought low clouds and the threat of rain.

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    While breaking camp we had a visit from a couple of kayakers.

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    We had a nice exchange and they made sure to remember the camp site to return to someday.

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    Our next days destination was Greenville, ME on Moosehead Lake. After many more miles of logging roads we broke out onto a main road and we found a place to eat right along a stream.

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    We pushed on to Greenville and some of the route was quite technical not evident in these pics. It was an old snowmobile trail that turned into an active ATV trail at the end.

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    Spent the night on Moosehead Lake at Lily Bay State Park and rode into town for dinner. Setting up camp.

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    Moosehead Lake.

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    The next day would be a long day as our destination would be Houlton. The route followed some remote 2 lane tar roads for awhile.

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    We picked up the Maine ATV trail which would eventually take us to Houlton then all the way to the border.

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    Further along the route we came to series of boulders blocking the woods road. The boulders had been there for a long time so we just looked for a way around. Most likely the road was blocked to keep trucks out and prevent illegal dumping.

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    We could see three ways around. One to the left through the woods, One to the right through the brush or straight between the boulders.

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    Fred opted to go to the right through the brush.

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    While we were all consumed with helping Fred get his 990 around Jim's Husky decided to take a dirt nap.

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    Done in by the inadequate Husky kickstand. Jim's Husky kickstand mod which wasn't in place when it fell over.

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    I went to the left through the woods and Jim went straight squeezing through an opening.

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    For the next couple of hours we just followed DP's tracks on all dirt roads and woods roads. Good fun.

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    Fred was stoked!

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    Past a timber operation.

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    We eventually popped out onto a main road and at the top of one of the hills we could see Mt. Katahdin and Baxter State Park off in the distance.

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    We made Houlton at the end of a long hot day and were glad to find a motel with air conditioning and a hot shower with lots of restaurants and gas stations nearby.

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    The next day after topping off our fuel tanks we found the ATV trail and headed north expecting to cross the border early afternoon and make it to Saint Quentin, NB by the end of the day.

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    You can make good time on the rails to trails.

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    Once we got up into Washburn, ME we came across an ATV parade.

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    I'm sure they were wondering whose these aliens were on their trail system.

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    From here it was many miles of flat straight running on the railbed.

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    We did meet a couple of local kids out for a ride.

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    And a couple on their ATV.

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    We made into Van Buren, ME for lunch and fuel before crossing the border into St. Leonard, NB.

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    Once across the border we picked up the ATV trail again that would take us to St. Quentin, NB for the night.

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    We rode onto the NB All Terrain Vehicle Trail. They take their motorized recreation seriously up here.

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    We made St Quentin, NB with plenty of daylight left and found a nice motel that offered a discount if you were on 2 wheels.

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    Our camping gear needed some drying out so we set them up behind the motel to sit in the sun and breeze. They even offered secure storage for our machines in thier locked garage at night on the left behind the trailer.

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    We packed up early the next morning to hopefully make across the interior of NB stopping only for fuel at The Serpintine Lodge for fuel. This would be our longest leg of the trip so making sure we had enough fuel was paramount.

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    We had to stop at the entrance to the private paper company land owned by Irving to get our trail passes needed to pass through. Once inside it was total wilderness. A beautiful day was ahead of us.

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    We did encounter a gate but it was easy enough to get around on the right side.

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    Lots of timbering activity.

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    Perfect day for riding with cooler temperatures and no clouds.

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    As DP said in his Ride Report " you wouldn't want to breakdown out here and have to walk out"

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    Out onto the main road (Renous Highway). we soon would be near Mt Carleton, the tallest mountain in NB.

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    We turned off the tar and onto a dirt road that would lead up us to The Serpentine Lodge where DP and his crew spent the night. We had heard about the owner Allier and he was fun to meet in person. He built the lodge by himself.

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    We had lunch here and chatted with Allier about living in the wilderness totally off the grid. We told him where we were headed and he gave us directions around a particularly deep beaver dam area.

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    We gassed up and said our goodbyes to Allier. He truly loves his dog.

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    Our destination now would be Blackville, NB and if we had enough time make it to the coast.

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    A stop to take a break and check our maps.

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    We soon came into a more remote road that was closed to cars and trucks.

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    Not deep or too technical but still you wouldn't want to bobble going through.

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    We made it to Blackville and stopped at a local Ice Cream shop run by a young entrepreneur. The ice cream sure hit the spot but I doubt he will be there next year. We had made good time so decided to push on to the coast and find a place to stay for the night.

    The Atlantic sure looked good after a long day of riding.

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    Interesting to find Rosa Ragosa this far north.

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    We found this interesting old inn right on the water and stayed here for the night. They have a first class restaurant downstairs and a well stocked bar. The innkeeper was very charming and interested in where we had been. It's in Bouctouche, NB. http://www.vieuxpresbytere.nb.ca/seaside.inn.html

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    The next morning we headed south toward The Bay of Fundy National Park.

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    On the way we came upon a wind farm that we could not resist checking out up close as we could see them off in the distance. Lots of them.
    I had heard from those that disapprove of them that they make noise. I wanted to hear for myself.

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    The towers are massive.

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    The sound they make is a non issue to me although I don't have to live next to one. More of a woosh, woosh, woosh, sound.

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    Finally found the trail head into The Bay of Fundy National Park.

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    A break inside the park.

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    I thought for a minute we were back in Vermont but no there are covered bridges in NB.

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    We stopped for lunch at The Fundy Takeout. Good if you like fried food.

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    We wanted to find Martins Head where we could ride right down to beach. It's beauty did not disappoint.

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    The Three Amigos.

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    Time was slipping away and we needed to make it to St John's that night.
    The next day we hugged the coastline down to St Stephan, NB and the border crossing at Calais, ME.

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    Once back into Maine we picked up the Sunrise Trail which we would ride down to the Bar Harbor area.

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    This was actually one of the most fun parts of the ride and fitting I guess as it would signify the end of the "good" riding as apposed to slabbing it on the highway to get back home.

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    It's obviously easy riding but it's still fun as it's very scenic.

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    Fred took off on his big 990 and it would be an hour before we'd catch up with him again.

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    We finally met up with Fred at an old siding.

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    More than a weeks worth of riding is beginning to show on Jim's rear tire.

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    This mountain rising up out of the flats looked familiar to the mountains of Mt Desert in Acadia National Park near Bar Harbor so we knew we were coming to the end. Once the The Sunrise Trail ended in Ellsworth, Maine we slabbed it back to NH and Vermont. I highly recommend this ride to anyone looking to ride the Northeast and the Canadian province of New Brunswick. Hugh thanks to Frank Reinbold (Dockingpilot) and his NJ crew (and the New Brunswick Dual Sport Club) who had the vision to create this route and to provide the GPS tracks. Made it super easy for us to find the routes. A tip of the helmet visor to all of you.

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    THE END...
    #1
  2. bmah

    bmah Been here awhile

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    Nice job Skip! I was very fortunate to be riding with you and Fredo, we worked well together as a team.
    It's hard not to feel a little smug when thinking about what most folks experience as a "traditional vacation" often no more adventurous than a trip to "Dismal Land."
    This was an epic trip and I hope that there will be many more to come:clap
    #2
  3. DockingPilot

    DockingPilot Hooked Up and Hard Over

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    :clap:clap:clap

    Super fellas!!!! Alaire is a pip eh ? :lol3 Great guy indeed.
    #3
  4. baiku

    baiku Manaical Engineer

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    Outstanding RR Skip!!

    I'd like to do it next year, if I can find riding partners as slow as I am. :lol3
    #4
  5. TOTim

    TOTim Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the great report. I had already read the one by Dockingpilot.
    This only makes me more sure I want to follow along next summer.
    #5
  6. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

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    Nice read Skip-------I mostly enjoy reading about places I've never been---I've never even been close to the Northeast.
    Guess I better get busy !!!! Need to run down that DP guy anyway :D:D:D

    Thanks !!!!

    BigDog
    #6
  7. captain crunch

    captain crunch huckleberry

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    SKIP, nice report. Looks like a great ride. Art, let me know when you want to do it.
    #7
  8. Cromoth

    Cromoth fan of the magic carpet ride

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    Nice RR.
    If the Husky made it thru the middle of the rocks, why couldn't the WRR?
    baiku - you gonna start a planning thread?
    Skip, did you really need the 2 gallon water? How much of it was used?
    Thanks for sharing!
    #8
  9. Nice_Rumble

    Nice_Rumble Long timer

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    The WR could have made it through the rocks but I think it was actually easier going to the left through the woods. No rocks to hit.

    The Rotopax was carrying 2 gallons of fuel not water.
    #9
  10. DockingPilot

    DockingPilot Hooked Up and Hard Over

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    Was the track from Serpintine lodge to Blackville flooded pretty good fellas ?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #10
  11. Nice_Rumble

    Nice_Rumble Long timer

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    Allier said it was so he showed us how to avoid it. We never saw it.

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    #11
  12. whizzerwheel

    whizzerwheel Using Occam's Razor

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    Nice report....thanks for taking the time.
    #12
  13. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv

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    very nice. wish the northeast is that close.

    thanks for the rr.
    #13
  14. BTL

    BTL No more snow!!

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    Great report. I am out west now but have roots in the Maritimes and look forward to taking some of the same trails. Glad to see something larger like the 990 out there, as I plan on taking a GSA in there some day.
    #14
  15. Tonk

    Tonk Broken Adventurer

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    Great State of Maine!!
    Great Ride Report. Just wondering if you could share the entire route you followed or where you found the route. Maps or anything that might help me find it in the spring. Thanks for all the pictures and the inspiration.
    #15
  16. Nice_Rumble

    Nice_Rumble Long timer

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    Our ride was taken from Dockingpilot's original ride back in '09 when he and his crew from NJ rode it with help from fellow adventure riders in Maine and the New Brunswick Dual Sport Club. GPS tracks are available in his ride report.
    If you are going to ride it let me know as I would do one section differently next time.

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=530858
    #16
  17. Tonk

    Tonk Broken Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Great State of Maine!!
    Thanks for the link...... Looks like an amazing trip. I'm looking for a ride to do this spring but only have 3-4 days to fit it in. We're planning on the TLH in September and can't get another week or two of vacation to pull off the whole trp in 2013. I live in Maine and it looks like I could do part of the trip in the time I have available in the spring and maybe the entire trip the following year. I'll check out both RR's in detail and the gps coordinates. Thanks for the great pictures and I appreciate all the information.

    Thanks
    Rob
    #17
  18. Rubicon

    Rubicon Been here awhile

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    #18
  19. Nice_Rumble

    Nice_Rumble Long timer

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    #19
  20. Racer111v

    Racer111v Long timer

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    That was great to read. I grew up in Maine (Orono) and spend time at our family camp in Elsworth. There is nothing more eerie than hearing loons screaming on a rainy summer night at camp.
    The more time I spend on this site, the less time I can see my self working.................Now I have to add an other ride to my list.
    #20