It wasn’t as scary as the name implies. No zombies were sighted — if you don’t count the staggering, vacant faces gathered ’round the coffee pot Saturday morning, waiting for the perk to begin. It was just a motorcycle campout on the Dead River in T3R4.
It was a record turnout for these loosely organized, recurring gatherings of three-wheeling sidecar adventure seekers. On Saturday, we had 11 bikes, 33 wheels on the ground, 14 people and one dog rambling through the golden woods. The leaves were all kinds of gorgeous. Rusting reds, glowing yellows and burning oranges clung to the branches or scattered in the dust we raised on the gravel roads around Flagstaff Lake. It was chilly, but not cold. In the morning, fog arose on the river next to our campsite, engulfing the fishermen standing knee-deep in the water.
Arriving after dark on Friday night, I was greeted with a welcomed bowl of much-needed beef stew courtesy of Navy Mike. He came all the way up from Connecticut. Thermos and Scott cooked us bacon, eggs and pancakes each morning. Navy Mike and Keith slung the java. For our evening meal on Saturday, Thermos brought tacos and all the fixings. Pete made spaghetti and garlic bread on Sunday. When camping with these guys, I’ve long since stopped bringing my own food. They never disappoint.
My buddy and BDN co-worker, Darren, joined us for Saturday’s ride. He rode in the monkey chair and took lots of great photos, as you can see. We jaunted through the forest south of our campsite and eventually circumnavigated Flagstaff.
On Sunday, I led the group to Grand Falls on the Dead River. A gate across the track obliged us to walk the last mile in, but it was worth it. The falls are kind of a mini Niagara and quite impressive. I bet they’re spectacular in the spring. While admiring the rushing water, a couple named Becky and Brett tied the knot. We clapped and wished them the best.
Camp broke up Monday morning. Tents and sleeping bags were rolled up and bikes scattered down the road. It was my birthday and I meandered home. On the way, I stopped at Ira Mountain. It appears to be a housing development in the Carrabassett Valley on the side of said hill. They cut a road to the summit and invited folks in for free. Just a ways up, they’ve started to build a strange piece of art. It’s a deep hole, big enough for cars to drive into, lined with house-sized rocks. There’s giant-stepped walkways and a kind of half fortress, too. It defies description, really.
I made it home by dark. My wife ordered me a pizza and gave me a card that sang and played a banjo tune. I thought, “Who could complain about a weekend like this.”
So, I didn’t.
(Way more photos down below)