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CC’s Outdoor Journal; Girls Only Motorcycle Trip
TURNER/GREENVILLE- For the past 10 years, Jackie Dupuis of Turner has been planning and organizing what began as a three-day motorcycle trip, and in recent years, been extended to four days. I have had the pleasure of being included for the last two.
The annual Girls Only Motorcycle Trip to Greenville always begins with a letter of invitation and payment request, along with our recommended packing list and the girls who will be joining us.
This year, those angels included, Suzie Chamberlain, Cathy Hall, Michelle Lazore, Mary Jane Dillingham, Sue Lajoie, Lisa Rodrigue, Lisa Smith, Joanne Audet, Christa Moore, our fearless leader, Jackie and myself.
Each year, the trip begins in Turner with all the riders congregating at Jackie’s house and getting the truck loaded with all our gear, and motorcycles lined up for various photo opportunities, as any trip with us needs to be documented from start to finish.
That Friday morning called for showers off and on throughout the day and it was misting gently as we were putting the final items under cover in the truck. Adorned in our highly-fashionable rain gear, one-by-one we got our bikes going and posed for a few more shots and off we went.
As I was a new rider last year and concentrating intently on the rules of the road and what I needed to do to remain safe within our group, this year I was much more comfortable riding and was able to truly enjoy myself.
Setting out and seeing all those headlights in my mirror and being led down the road by Jackie and our newest rider, Christa, it was truly an amazing feeling to be a part of something that has been a tradition for 10 years. I was reminded throughout that weekend of living in the moment and appreciating the experience.
From the moment we set out from Jackie’s driveway, getting gas, stopping for lunch in New Sharon, taking breaks along the way, each one of us had something that contributed to a safe and enjoyable ride.
Did I mention that we never hit any rain the whole ride until we were 20 minutes out of Greenville? Sure, we came into a town where it had just rained and people would tell us that they just heard on the radio that there were some pretty bad downpours expected on our route ahead, but we never got wet until the last leg of the trip. It was a beautiful ride.
As we neared Greenville, our eleventh angel, Michelle, was waiting for us in the rest area. New to riding just two weeks before the trip, she fell right into place behind Jackie and off we went to our final destination. Our group was complete.
Even though the weather forecast didn’t look promising for the weekend, we had a hike up Borestone planned for Saturday, another short hike up Kineo for Sunday and whatever we wanted to do in between. Which usually means lots of picture taking, laughing, very little sleep and eating some delicious food.
The weather didn’t deter us on Saturday as we enjoyed an absolutely amazing journey up Borestone. With a trail similar to Eyebrow Loop or Tablerock in Grafton, with ladders and a ledge-lined climb to the foggy summit, the experience was gratifying and took a little added courage to climb the slippery rock.
There’s always a lesson to be learned, especially when it comes to climbing in inclement weather. Each of us, with guidance from Mary Jane, climbed the slippery slope on all fours and were cautious to be sure of our footing. Many photo opportunities later and a short video journal by Joanne of each of us ascending the ledge, it was time for a delicious lunch on top.
As the swirling wind cleared the fog for moments at a time, the land below became visible, but we were quick to view it and appreciate how high up we were, for just as quickly as the fog cleared, it socked us back in.
What an amazing hike to take with such a fabulous group of supportive women. I definitely will need to make another trip back to Borestone on a clear day.
Saturday night we enjoyed a relaxing campfire and the telling of ghost stories, and, of course, once everyone was on edge, one of us suffered a practical joke that nearly scared them into sleeping in another’s bed. Sorry, Lisa S.
Our adventures continued on Sunday, as the weather was too wet to venture on the boat over to Kineo for such a short hike, so we enjoyed a little retail therapy at the local shops. With our traditional visits to Mud Puddle Mercantile, Gallery on the Lake, Morrell’s Hardware and the always adventurous Northwood’s Outfitters, we were outfitted with new hats, sunglasses, a little bling and whatever else we felt compelled to purchase.
By the afternoon the sun shone through the clouds and we all split up to spend some time riding the motorcycles to Rockwood or hanging out at the cottage. Those of us who motored to Rockwood were pleasantly surprised that the road has been restored for quite a ways out and is much more enjoyable to ride.
As it was our last day in Greenville, we didn’t let a moment of the weekend slip by. We decided to head to the beach for a late afternoon swim and friendly olympic-style diving. The competition went hands down to Cathy Hall and Michelle Lazore, (sorry Mary Jane) as they back flipped and somersaulted their way into the depths of the cool and refreshing Moosehead Lake.
Before laying our heads to rest on Sunday night, in celebrating the ten-year-tradition, we all shared our stories of how we met our Fearless Leader, Jackie.
Jackie’s motorcycle angel genealogy looks something like this: Jackie friends Lisa R. in 1977; Jackie friends Cathy in 1983; Jackie friends Mary Jane in 1994; Jackie friends Joanne in 1995; Jackie friends Suzie in 2004; Jackie friends Sue L. and Lisa S. in 2007; Jackie friends Christa in 2008; Jackie friends Michelle in 2009 and Jackie and I round out the genealogy when we met in 2010.
After another absolutely amazing weekend spent with 10 fabulous women, we journeyed home under clear blue skies with only one passing shower in Norridgewock, where we got the last of our hoots and hollers from a truck-full of smiling men.
Being a friend to these women has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I know we have many more adventures waiting for us and I look forward to our time spent together. I pray that you find friends you can spend time with that help you step out of your comfort zone and that you help them in the same capacity. There is nothing like the support and guidance women get from like-minded women.
May God bless your life beyond belief, as He has mine.