Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Maine to California ... via Florida

This trip came about somewhat on a whim ... I was headed out to North Carolina to shoot some production stills for the Hearing Everett film (some of the shots are on the H.E. blog). Seemed like a good idea to retrace the original route the Everett's took from N.C. to Baja, filming & shooting stills along the way.

Only time ... and the next 4000-or-so miles will tell if it was indeed a good idea :)

Step one was to find a used bike to make the trek with. Craigslist came to the rescue and I found an '06 BMW GS Adventure with well under 3000 miles on it! The service interval on these things is 6k miles ... this thing is barely broken in. The fact that it had no modifications to it other than the addition of the exact luggage I'd need for the trip sealed the deal. When I showed up, it was everything the owner made it out to be, PLUS I found a nice set of gloves in one of the boxes that he gave me! Very nice extra as I didn't know I'd encounter 200 miles of North East rain in just a few hours...

At the previous owner's place - moments before rolling out.

Less than a mile from the house, the pavement ended and I rode into the twilight along the picturesque Vermont backroads ... completely forgetting the directions I was told just a few minutes ago. God Bless GPS...

The first night I would stay in Springfield, VT (hometown of the Simpsons). Not quite what I expected - no nuclear plant, it was quite nice in fact. Took care of the DMV paperwork here ... never been in a DMV before where I could count everyone in the office, employees and customers both, on one hand.

The next day I didn't shoot too many photos. The ride from the owners house to Springfield was AMAZING. Vermont is hands-down among the most beautiful places I've visited. So it was a little surprising to wake the following morning to POURING rain (the gloves included with the bike turned out to be fantastic for rain!). I was headed to New Hampshire to stay with a friend off the adventure rider website. Along the way I had to stop once or twice to get my bearings. Lot more turns in the roads around here than the freeways I'm used to back west...

I arrive at Nate's place - great guy, great family. We stay up looking at potential routes on the computer:

Next morning I head out through a bit of the New England forest:

Then back to the highway and toward the shop where I'd pick up some tires to last me the rest of the trip.

The shop HIGHLY recommends Nancy's diner just down the road. I haven't eaten yet this day, so figure it's a good option - their recommendation turned out to be spot on :)

That's Nancy herself on the right:

While sitting in the BMW shop, there was another customer also waiting for their bike and he gave me all sort of routes to check out. Also informed me that I was only about 20 minutes from Maine. Had no idea. Being so close, I headed north for 20 minutes, entered Maine, then headed east to the coast to make my way south.

Arriving at the Atlantic:

Met another couple there who have been married & riding motorcycles together for 35 years! They gave me all sorts of insights into various roads in the area.

This road provided a good opportunity to do a bit of filming, so on went the camera rig. This will see much more use from North Carolina, south and all the way west, but this area is so scenic it makes for a perfect spot to work out the camera techniques with this bike.

Weather might not be cooperating tomorrow, so the plan is to get as far south as is reasonable & hopefully get out of any potential weather systems ... from there it's onward to Florida, hang a right, then back home to California!