It happened. I’m not proud of it. But I can’t deny it. Don’t judge me, OK?
Instead of camping, I went “glamping” last weekend. I stayed in a log cabin with central heat and running water.
I’m so ashamed. It had a TV and a coffee maker, too.
I’m the guy who sleeps out in all kinds of weather. In 2013, I rode my motorcycle through a blizzard, sleeping under 28 inches of snow. A few years later, I survived night-time temperatures hovering around 15 below. Last month, I slept on a frozen pond. Once, as a kid, in 1985, I camped through a hurricane with the Boy Scouts.
But I’m not sure any of that means anything anymore. I may have ruined it, bringing my 40-year run to an end.
At least I did it with friends.
I call them friends but they’re also the ones who led me astray. They convinced me to sleep in the cozy cabin. I guess I should be mad at them. But the blame falls on me. They didn’t twist my arm.
We stayed at the Great Pond Outdoor Adventure Center in Great Pond. It’s at the end of a long, dead-end road off Route 9 or, the Airline, east of Bangor. It’s a campground for folks in the military and employees of the Department of Defense. They have tent and RV sites as well as cabins.
Bill, one of my sidecar motorcycle buddies, works at the shipyard in Kittery. So, he got us in. It’s a great place, right on the pond. Built in the 1950s, it used to belong to Dow Air Force Base in Bangor.
I left Portland on Friday. It wasn’t raining when I started. But it was pouring by the time I got to Gray via Route 100. I met Poacher Bob as he limped his bike into the McDonalds’ parking lot. But later, I rode on alone. His bike quit right there. I left him waiting for a tow back home to New Hampshire.
From Gray I took Route 202 through Lewiston and Augusta. Then, I snagged Route 3 to Belfast while the rain continued to lash the road ahead. Route 1 took me to Bucksport where I caught Route 46. It led me up to the Airline as darkness fell. With the dirty spray off the road pelting my helmet visor, I couldn’t see a thing. I had to creep along with it flipped up. I ambled east down Route 9 and hit the Great Pond Road in Aurora. I followed it to the bumpy end and found the cabin. It was pouring cold rain again by then.
It had taken me over eight hours, including waiting for Poacher Bob and pee breaks.
When I got to the cabin, I found out I was the only one who’d ridden in. The weather scared everyone else off. So, they’d towed their bikes to the cabin.
I was soaking wet. But Sue, whom I can’t ever repay, filled me up with turkey pot pie. I had a couple of beers and snuggled down on a couch to read and fall asleep.
In the morning, Thermos whipped up breakfast. He cooked his usual spread of bacon, pancakes, bacon, homefries and bacon. This time, he did it on an electric stove instead of leaning out over a campfire.
He and I, along with Sue and Sputnik, went for a lunch ride. We hit some fun roads in the thick fog. Thermos got stuck. I got muddy. We had lunch at a diner down the road. Some guy started giving us a hard time about riding motorcycles in the winter. I told him to stuff it and became a temporary hero.
Back at the cabin, we gathered for supper. It was spaghetti all around. We yakked for a while. One by one, folks drifted off to bed. I finished my book and a few more beers.
We were up early on Sunday. Thermos made more breakfast. Then we parted. The rain and fog was gone, but it was wicked windy and a little cold.
I took Route 46 back to Bucksport and Route one to Belfast. I followed Routes 52 and 235 to Waldoboro. There, I had lunch a Moody’s Diner. Then I just followed Route one back to Portland.
It was above freezing all day, but the headwind blew right through me all day. I was beat by the time I got inside my house. I took a hot shower and had a nap.
When I woke up, I thought, was it a dream? Did I really go glamping? It just doesn’t sound like me.
I sat down in front of my computer and downloaded pictures from my camera. They confirmed it. Yep, I’m a glamper.
I’ll need the rest of the year to atone for it.
This is the secondinstallment of a yearlong project where I will report on a motorcycle camping adventure at least once per month throughout 2017.