We had been riding for several days and had been fortunate with the weather. It’d been absolutely gorgeous, and clear days and perfect temperatures had welcomed us to the Northeast. But this particular morning, that warm welcome came to an abrupt end. We woke to find the mercury in the mid-30s, fat low-hanging clouds in the sky, and falling mist.
The crisp, overcast September morning in Maine ensured that I was especially thankful for the excellent coffee and hot fresh bagel at our breakfast stop, Moosely Bagels in Rangeley. This local shop—now unfortunately closed for good—knew their coffee and had a delicious option no matter what brew you prefer. I could feel the wonderful bean nectar warming my insides and I savored that feeling as I prepared myself for the day’s long and inevitably cold ride.
We enjoyed our breakfast with our friends Florian and Manuel before departing in separate directions. They were headed back to the responsibilities of normal life, but Marisa and I pointed our motorcycles towards Boundary Pond in New Hampshire, near the Canadian border. Mist gathered on our visors as we made our way north. After a short ride on Hwy 16, a paved road that heads west toward the border of Maine and New Hampshire, we turned onto Old Maine 16, a road that doesn’t seem to have been maintained in quite some time. We carefully navigated around wide ruts and giant wheel-swallowing potholes in the asphalt as we made our way along the abandoned road.
A few miles of attentive riding brought us to a deep six-foot gap, where the road had been washed away. We were thankful to be traveling on motorcycles as we were easily able to circumnavigate the missing section and continue on our way. The abandoned road eventually led us back to Hwy 16, which we followed until it turned south just before the New Hampshire state line. Here, we got off of the pavement once again and headed toward the northernmost point of our journey, Boundary Pond. Since neither of our bikes were equipped with heated grips, we stopped a few times along the way to warm our frozen hands on our mufflers.
Motorcycles & Gear
The riders in this story used the following motorcycles and gear, which worked well on this tour.
To the Border
Boundary Pond is a small body of water nestled in the White Mountains that’s a short hike from where a gate blocks the road. We walked back to the secluded area and enjoyed the serenity of the wilderness for a while. As we took in the area’s natural beauty we reflected on our journey thus far. We listened as the cold breeze caused the water to gently lap the shore and the wildlife, seemingly oblivious to our eavesdropping, carried on their daily conversations before we decided to continue on our way. This time, we headed south, back toward home.
From Boundary Pond, we backtracked down the forest service roads and logging roads that brought us there, heading out of the spattering of fall color that had just begun to ignite in this part of the world. Eventually, we made our way back to Hwy 3, where the surface turns to pavement, and we crossed into Vermont. The road led us to the town of Canaan, where we turned right on SR 114 and traveled due west for a few miles along the U.S.-Canadian border.
Along these two-lane country roads, often forgotten by the general population, we passed through small town after small town. In many of these hamlets, locally owned general stores serve the residents and I encourage you to stop when you pass through. The stores offer delicious food and stock fresh local products, such as produce, cheeses, honey, and maple syrup. These and many other small businesses rely on your patronage to stay afloat in the turbulent seas dominated by big biz.