Getting Lost in Maine - on a CRF250L

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by trepidhawk, Jun 1, 2018.

  1. trepidhawk

    trepidhawk Adventurer

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    Day 1: Mt. Blue St. Park. June 11th, 2018



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    I woke up and had a had a hearty breakfast of a bagel with egg, ham and potatoes and finished packing up my gear and loading up the bike. It was a bit daunting figuring out what should go where, trying to load the bike as even as possible. My new nelson rigg panniers and monting racks were clutch and did the job just right. After an hour of packing, checking my list and re-packing. I snapped a picture all loaded up and hit the road. I headed north in search of dirt roads and adventure. To conserve battery life of my GPS I memorized the first 30 or so miles of the trip and just cruised down the roads with not a care in the world. (except if my memory decided to take a vacation and I was goin the wrong direction. Within 45 I turned on my GPS and realized a fatal flaw, it refused to tell me what road to turn on and only gave me a straight line pointed in the direction of my first waypoint. Mt Blue state park. I figured I could manage navigating by making sure I was always headed in the right direction. That worked untill I hit the west paris area fillled with large hills and mountains. You can’t just assume that a road headed north will continue north all the way, typically it goes around the mountain. Much to my shagrin I spent quite a bit of time reading the map and conulting my gps and my general knowledge of roads, Triangulation? On rt 17 near mexico maine, I realized my tank bag was sliping and sliding in between my legs so I pulled over and it had melted right in the middle where it passed underneath the tank. I guess the engine heat melted it, first gear casualty and I had barely gotten started, hopefully this wasn’t a bad Omen. Shortly after that I started a knarly hill climb, it was asphault but none the less steep I was hoping there would be a view as a reward and I was right, I pulled over to take in a glance a the mountains. While navigating on the fly I saw a road that ran by a river appropriately called river road, and for a change of scenery and speed. After a mile it turned into a glorious dirt road, I had not been expecting a dirt road untill the Mt. Blue Area. The road quickly turned remote and I was loving it. After 5 miles I came to a bridge and sure enough it was closed. Closed Bridge.JPG

    There appeared to be a way around, but after scouting it out I opted to check out the bridge. It was only blocked off to vehicles but there was enough room to squeeze thhe bike through. After passing by the bridge I realized I was on an ATV club’s roads, signs began popping up with directions which was a welcome change, I knew now that I wasn’t aimlessly wandering in the forest. Now back to the GPS problems, my garmin struggles finding less major roads and I had to take a road untill it stopped turing north the find the next road. I would up locating Weld road off of RT.17 which led me right to Mt. Blue St. Park. The roads were very well maintained and free of large rocks and debris but they still moved with the land. I was cruising along as fast as the roads would allow, being sure to slow down for the bllind turns and slowing down to soak in the peak-a-boo views of the mountains. After checking in with the rangers at the park I headed out in search to appease my hungry stomach. I was reccomended to the only store iin Weld that sold prepared food, SkoolHouse Variety. With a BLT and an Arnold Palmer I set out for the scenic overlook so I could snap a picture of my bike infront of the mountainous backdrop. 20180611_143420.jpg I noticed a sign from the parking area for muli-use trails. I decided to check them out before heading back to set up camp. I quickly realized that this trail was not to be taken lightly, I couldn’t go faster than 10 miles an hour. At one hill climb, there wwas a 40 foot hil that was layden with old cinder blocks imbedded in the ground remeniscant of mayan ruins, it helped quite a bit with grip, I was surprised at how easy the CRF250 took all the terrain that Mt. Blue could through at it. The suspension was smooth and because it’s a 250 very agile and happy on the trails around 10-15 mph. After completing that trail I headed back to set up camp for the night around 5pm. The campsites were less primitive than I had expected, they had fire pits and walking distance to toilets and showers, but more expensive than I expected at $28 a night. Lucklily for me this will be the only Campsite I will pay for on the trip. Other than that the red squirrels drove me nutz during the evening the mosquitoes weren’t that bad but the owls kept me up at night, one of them would yell out whoo whoo, and all the neighbor owls would start singing whoo-mbaya. It was still a great way to end the day. 20180611_180705.jpg
    #21
  2. trepidhawk

    trepidhawk Adventurer

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    ACTP0112.JPG Forgot to pack a spoon, so I carved one, best part of it is, I don't have to wash it ;) 20180611_182919.jpg
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    Washed it down with some whiskey and a cigar.
    #22
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  3. trepidhawk

    trepidhawk Adventurer

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    180 Miles Down 500ish to go.
    #23
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  4. trepidhawk

    trepidhawk Adventurer

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    Way to much happened over the last few days, I will post the RR over the next few days time permitting. Also editing video and need to do some maintenance to the bike. But here is a pic of the bike Tuesday AM after breaking camp. The steam coming off the lake made me feel like I was at a much higher altitude than I really was. It was a beautiful morning and the start to an adventurous "Lost in Maine" kind of day 20180612_060121.jpg
    #24
  5. boulet_boulet

    boulet_boulet Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Looks like a ton of fun. I’m near Ellsworth and have learned a bit about trails east of there. PM me if you are looking for input for that neighborhood.

    Also, this could be obvious, but the state puts out an ATV map showing trails that are approved for use. It’s a good resource for off-road trip planning and can be requested for free from the Maine ATV program. If you don’t have a copy and want to use mine, PM me.

    Good luck
    #25
  6. trepidhawk

    trepidhawk Adventurer

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    Day 2: Mt. Blue to Elephant Mountain and Sebois Public Land Ressereve

    I was shockingly awoken to 34 degree temps at 3am. I put on my sweatpants and a long sleeve shirt and attempted to go back to sleep. After fighting for 2 more hours I decided my best option was to break camp and go find a diner to warm up in, charge my batteries and get some coffee. There was no way I was making a camp fire just for some coffee with how cold it was. On my ride into town around the lake my breath was taken away by the fog lifting off the lake. I felt like I was at a much higher altitude, it was a magnificent sight. I found a resturaunt in town, the only restraunt in town. I found out that there used to be two but only one of them lasted. It was in the old school house which upon riding up seems kind of tacky, but once you are inside it brought back the nostalgia of being back in grade school. I ordered breakfast and coffee and sat down for an hour or so to let my batteries charge and listen to the locals gossip about the towns people. For those of you into reality tv, this beats it by far. I was laughing and smiling the whole time. They were talking about the new gender neutral licenscing, the new voting laws and one of the local mom’s checking up on her son’s new girlfriend next door. I am always appreciative of the locals being friendly and having a sense of humor.


    After leaving the Skoolhouse Café’ I headed out towards Mooshead lake, I had a general sense of direction, but was in search of more dirt roads. About 10 miles after heading out, I saw a hung up by its rear wheel in a barn and two guys working on it.
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    I had to turn around and find out what they were up to. Turns out the chain had snapped and he (Lets call him Arnie) was welding a housing piece that it broke off. I asked Arnie if he knew of any Dirt roads that headed in the direction of Moosehead lake area. After 5 minutes of hmming and hawing, he broke out his map of Maine. When all else fails, go to the paper map, lesson #1 of my adventure. In the coming days he would not be the only person to open up ther gazette to point me in the right direction. This happenstance meeting with Arnie ended up being a pivital moment in my trip. He sent me up rt27 almost into Canada in search of a road called “Gold something rd”. After I pulled out of his driveway all I could remember was Gold something road. Now with my GPS not being the best at finding no name roads, I started to doubt I would even find the road when I was nearing the border. About 20 miles from the border I decided to take a right onto a dirt road that I remembered from the map connected to the GoldSomething road. After 5 or so miles It came to a dead end and there was a friendly border patrol agent that so happened to be there to greet me. I asked him if he knew about road named golden something road and he said he did and it was called the GoldBrook Road, and it would lead me all the way to Jackman. With a renewed sense of confidence I set back out in search of the Goldbrook road. As soon as I found the road I felt a sense of accomplishment and a wave of peace that 2 locals now told me that this was the road to be on. I was rewarded with one of the most beautiful dirt roads I’ve ever been on. With climbs and turns, and vistas that made me stop and gawk. I did get nervous at times when the road seemingly turned further and further north more so than it did east. At a fork in the road (with no signs) I veered to the right, which was a straighter line than going to the left that headed farther north. In about 10 minutes I came to a dead end town with one way in and out called Holeb Maine. There was a few houses, a train depot and a landing strip interestingly enough. I had a half a tank of gas left which should have been plenty to get me to Jackman but not if I kept taking 20 or 30 mile detoures, so I said a quick prayer that I would find someone to ask directions from and sure enough there across the train tracks was a red Chevy half ton that might as well had a superman sign of the hood.
    SupermanTruck.png He generously offered to show me the way back to the road I needed to be on that would take me to Jackman. It was at this point in my journey that I questioned why I didn’t get a $800 gps or at least buy one of the Maine maps, but this way kept me humbled and I was able to stop and meet some of the locals who were always more than happy to help. These interactions became the highlight of my trip and I will remember them for years to come.

    After safely making into Jackman to refuel I decided to take the main route over to the Moosehead lake area to find the B52 Crash site. Once into Lilly bay there were signs everywhere leading me to Elephant Mountain; however, I was stuck behind two cars that apparently had the same Idea as me, not wanting to eat there dust I pulled over until the dust settled and then made my way up the mountain which was strewn with ATV trails that I wanted to explore, but another day. When I arrived at the parking site there were actually quite a few cars there for the middle of the week. I was a little annoyed at how may people were there but I hiked faster then them and got the site to my self for a while. It really was a great experience to see the wreckage. B52.png Knowing how big those B52s are it was incredible to see parts strewn throughout the forest. Once I was satisfied I had seen enough I headed back down the mountain and loaded up to find the Sebois Public Land reserve and camp out for the evening. The rest of the ride to the camp site was uneventful but again the weather was perfect and the roads moved and flowed with the land, it was just a perfect evening ride. I arrived at the campsite to be greeted by Alan and his cat Rambow. He turned out to have quite a story and was touring all the public land in Maine, camping and fishing with his cat. We had quite the evening of conversation and after setting up camp for the night we put our fishing lines in the water, and Alan showed me how to filet and skin a Catfish that made for a tasty fish sandwich cooked over the fire. 20180612_183119.jpg Another perfect finish to a perfect day of riding.
    #26
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  7. nk14zp

    nk14zp Long timer

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    Not sure if it's noted on the maps or not but motorcycles aren't allowed on all ATV trails.
    #27
  8. trepidhawk

    trepidhawk Adventurer

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    I have an ATV Sticker on my bike. As far as I know that covers you doesn't it?
    #28
  9. nk14zp

    nk14zp Long timer

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    Paper company land will have a sign saying No motorcycles. If you don't see one that says that you are golden.
    #29
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  10. boulet_boulet

    boulet_boulet Been here awhile

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    Trails are divided into different categories: green signs / lines on the map = all ATVs including motorcycles; red signs / lines on the map = no cycles; purple = access by club members only. The Maine ATV map will explain everything. I think there is a link to the 2011 version of the map in Maine Riders on this site. Trails have changed since then but you'll get the idea. Most of the trails east of Moosehead are red :(. From Greenville Junction there are some great options. See also the Maine Riders thread for some info from @Grinnin about some of those trails.

    Have fun.
    #30
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  11. trepidhawk

    trepidhawk Adventurer

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    1st Episode!! Day 1
    #31
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  12. trepidhawk

    trepidhawk Adventurer

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    2nd Episode!! Day 2
    #32
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  13. trepidhawk

    trepidhawk Adventurer

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    3rd Episode!! Day 3 - Final Episode :(
    #33
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  14. trepidhawk

    trepidhawk Adventurer

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    Day 3: Sebois to Passamaquoddy Reserve and Down Eastern Sunrise Trail (D.E.S.T)

    My routine worked out so nicely the previous day of breaking camp early and finding a place to get some hot coffee and local entertainment.I figure I might as well stick to it. After wakin up around 6 and packing up camp I headed out onto the road access road. About a mile after I saw a moose just standing in the water. I coud barley see it through the tree line and tried to get it on film but after reviewing the video, no such luck. As soon as I turned my attention to the road there was another, much smaller moose standing in the road. Thank God he was facing the right direction. I chased him down to get a better picture but he disapeared just as fast as he appeared into the woods. It was a great way to start the day.
    Moose.png
    I rode into Millenocket and wound up at the only breakfast place in town that I could find open (that wasn’t Mcdonalds), the Appalachian trail café. True to its name there was a brood of famished hikers that were about to head off to Mt. Katahdin. I found a small table next to an electrical outlet, started plugging in my devices and ordered some coffee. I am an espresso and coffee snob and brought some Starbucks via roast for emergency, but desperate times call for desperate measures. After sleeping in a tent and eating a catfish for dinner the previous night, It doesn’t hurt to let someone else make the coffee and just appreiciate the fact that it is hot and the service Is friendly. I was again rewarded with the hilariou banter of the locals. Three people walked in and sat at the breakfast bar. They appeared to know eachother, one lady in particular was very vocal, boistrous and talkative. As soon as she paid her tab and left, the one of the guys said, “She is Crazy, I thought she was never going to leave, wah wah wah, wah wah” everone in the café laughed, and I couldn’t help but laugh out loud with them. Soon as it settled down I said aloud, “I wonder what you guys will say about me when I leave” they all laughed.
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    “1000 Mile Oil change at mile 800”

    I had planned on riding around the roads around Mt. Kathadin but realized that I would hit mile 1000 on the bike on day 3 and decided in the interet of warranty it would be best to change my engine oil and filter, so I sacrificed an hour and a half ( the half hour was spent cleaning up the tarmc and tools) to change my oil on the fly. It was a bummer but neccesary in order to make sure I preserved the engine life for future adventures.

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    “Jack’s Snack Shack”

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    Lucnch


    I headed south towards Lincoln which would be the last tow to fuel up in until I hit the Passamaquody trust land and the dirt/off road section for the day. Located in the trail/logging roads of th PTL, is Jack’s Snack Shack, this was an obvious way point and a perfect lunch stop for me. I had only read good reviews about this stop online and was eager to try the food seeing how you can only get there via dirt road. I got the special which was a Jalepeno cheese steak and man did it hit the spot. One of the owners was there and she was incredibly hospitible and helped me get a log under my kick stand so my bike didn’t roll down the hill. It was a highlight of my day for sure. I was glad that I stopped and payed homage to such great cuisine, service and got some great advice as to what trails to take. I had pre-loaded some GPS way points while using Google Earth to make my trip a little less uncertain. I had a blast on those roads and didn’t run into any logging trucks on the secondary roads, but when I hit the main road that runs west to east-ish through the cener I had to pull over a few times to let them by. Pulling aside isn’t the issue, it’s the dust trail they leave behind and encapsulated me in when passing. It comes with the territory. I measured my route on google earth and knew I had enough gas to make it to a gas station at the end but after being turned around a few times I was cutting it close. While about 20 miles from my gas waypoint , my gas light came on. Now I am relatively new to this bike and am figuring out all the nuances but I know that when the light comes on I have about .3 gallons of gas which in theory should get me 30ish miles. Even though I had 1.75 gallons on the back in a Rotopax, I didn’t want to take all my gear off if I didn’t have to. Besides running the tank down can be exciting to see how close you can get. It reminded me of the epiode of Seinfeld where Cramer went past the E as far as he could go on an adventure. After filling up 1.8 of my 2 gallon tank, I realized it was only 12:30 and I was 30 minute ride from my camping spot for the evening. It was supposed to rain througout the state that evening and I am not a big fan of camping in the rain if I can help it. So I decided to hit up the Down eastern sunrise trail instead and camp either in Cherryfield in an Inn, I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do so off I went. After riding on the dusty and squrrely gravel roads of the Passamaquoddy land, the DEST was a welcome relaxing ride on perfectly graded gravel roads through lush forests and swamp lands. I planned on counting all the bridges and water crossings but lost track after an hour or so. It was quite boring, knowing where I came from over the last few days, but like I said it was relaxing and it sure beat riding with traffic. When I hit Cherryfield I stopped to get some food and had a delicious haddock burger with french fries and you guessed it, moxie. You can’t go down east without drinking the elixir. It hit the spot for sure. I decided it best to get back o the trail and see how far I could get. I looked down at my odometer and saw 974! I was about to hit 1000 and I was glad that I didn’t miss it! I remembered from my research that there was an old trussel bridge just after cherryfeild and I was hoping the picture might be on that.
    #34
  15. trepidhawk

    trepidhawk Adventurer

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    20180613_134953.jpg

    As I closed in on 1000 I reminisced over the passed few days and wondered how I could ever go back to life the way it was. Between the people that helped me along the way, the challenges I faced and overcame, I just knew that this would not my last getting lost adventure. I came up on the bridge and was still a distance away from 1000 but took some cool pictures anyways. At this point I had been riding since 8am and it was nearing 5 oclock, I had some serious monkey butt, but I kept on going and loved every minute of it. Sure I spend some time standing (that is what adventure bikes are for right0 but there is only so much I can take of that and my tank bag impeeded it quite a bit.I came across a section of road where I must have run into 30 snapping turtles in the course of 10 minutes and I was afraid they might bolt in front of my path. Don’t laugh they are actually pretty fast when scared.

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    "Mile 1000”

    I was so concerned about keeping an eye out for turtles that I almost missed mile 1000, but sure enough I pulled over and took a picture of my bike all loaded up, dusty, dirty and in the middle of the woods on a gravel road. I honestly can’ think of a better place to ht mile 1000 for a photo op. I knew that me and my bike would be going places.
    As I approached my camping destination for the eveing, Schoodic mountain, I looked up the weather and there was a 70% chance of thundershowers and the skies started to look ominous to the south. I wasn’t so sure at this point I was up to getting dumped on and I had planned on a nice easy ride the next day on Rt. 1 on the coast just cruising along.
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    #35
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  16. Schmokel

    Schmokel In desperate need of a nap.

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    Nice report. I have a 1000 mile trip or so planned through Maine in a month or two. Nice seeing some of these places beforehand .
    #36
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  17. trepidhawk

    trepidhawk Adventurer

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    20180613_163934.jpg
    "Snapping turtle"

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    "SChoodic MTN"
    It was 5 o clock and I was not looking forward to tent camping so I made the executive decision to hop on 95 and cruise home. That is one of the benefits of solo riding, you can go with the flow and make decisions on the fly, not so much good when you are in need of assistance or picking up your bike if you dump it. I made it to the end of the down eastern sunrise trail, smarter for riding it and put that notch in my belt, nothing too exciting.

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    "End of the DEST"

    That’s it there was no welcoming party, no pomp and circumtance, it felt strange just leaving it all behind and rolling out. The emotions were quite odd, I said to my self, well, you did it…… what next? I realized that what is most exciting bout setting out on an epic adventure was just as much about the planning and he hype of doing it as it is putting your let over your bike and just riding. It makes coming home that much of a let down, but that’s not al so terrible I made it home safe and am alive to ride another day.
    #37
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  18. trepidhawk

    trepidhawk Adventurer

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    Thanks. I only planned on 600 or so miles but that Goldbrook Rd. North of Eustis was worth the extra time and mileage if you plan on venturing that far north.
    #38
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  19. Schmokel

    Schmokel In desperate need of a nap.

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    Rangely. To Millinocket. To Aroostocook. To Camden. Then back home to the White Mountains. Four days. Would have like to have gone north of Mt Katadhin, but it looks like a toss up whether I can do some roads or not on a motorcycle.
    #39
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  20. ArdenLoneWolf

    ArdenLoneWolf Adventurer

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    I just rode the long way home from my parents house in Millinocket through Rangley, Sugarloaf along Rt 16 to Mt Washington, Kamcamagus back to Boston during the last two days. Hell of view the entire way! I may post a ride report in a few days. IMG_20180626_114737594.jpg
    #40
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