Safe in Augusta

Trip Start Jun 16, 2012
Trip End Jun 23, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Maine
Sunday, June 17, 2012

I rolled into Augusta, ME about 6:30 PM Eastern, for a total of about 12 hours on the road.  I was tired and stressed out from the long haul east on I-90 and north on I-95. My budget was already taking a bit of a hit as I had to fill up one time more often than planned due to my stupid mistake leaving my gas cap in Canada.  Getting through turnpike hell in NY and MA was a relief though I didn't appreciate having to stop so often to pay tolls, especially in New Hampshire and Maine. 

In Maine, just across the border from NH, I needed gas.  I pulled off at a station that was clearly flagged as still being on the turnpike because I didn't want to pay another toll.  I pulled out of the gas station and followed the signs to get back on the turnpike.  Suddenly, a toll booth.  WTF?  I never got off the turnpike!

I asked the attendant what was going on, stating I had just gotten gas and the station was still on the turnpike.  The attendant informed me, no joke, that I had taken the wrong exit leaving the gas station and had actually gotten off the turnpike for about a tenth of a mile and since I had gotten off I needed to pay a toll to get back on.  Unreal! Apparently there was another secret exit from the gas station where I would not have left the turnpike but that exit was not flagged as such. No choice but to pay it but it sucked.  I decided to either get one of those EZ pass things or just make it a rule not to ride in New England because those folks will take every opportunity to stick their hands in your wallet, that's for sure.  Then again, the roads were better there than in MI so I guess it evens out.

The ride north into Augusta was COLD.  The temp dropped like a rock as soon as I crossed into NH and it seemed to get colder the farther north I went.  I had expected it to get cold when heading north but it was REALLY COLD.  I had to pull off and put on every single item of clothing I had and even then it was barely bearable.  Getting to the hotel in Augusta was a relief because I could warm up.

After checking in at the Best Western (no preferred motorcycle parking) and taking a few minutes to warm up, I headed across the street still cold and hungry to a Red Robin for food.  Sitting at the bar, I realized everyone around me was talking funny and it was hard for me to understand anyone except the bartender.  The bartender asked me "are you from MI?"  Surprised, I said "yes, how did you know?"  He told me he was from MI, too, and could tell I was "from my accent".  LOL  That was the first time anyone had told me I had an accent.  We had a nice chat and I learned he had come to Maine for school and stayed.  Dinner was OK (standard Red Robin fare).  I left feeling worn out but no longer hungry and made my way back to the hotel where I used the wi-fi to plan the next day's travels before crashing.  Total miles on day two:  628.  Total trip miles: 881.
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