Every now and then I’m reminded about the truth of the old saying, “You’re never too old to learn something new.”

Although I’ve motorcycled for over six decades and have spent untold hours discovering hidden gems of rides right here in Maine, I never knew there was an actual name for what I so enjoyed doing.

Just last week I was introduced to a new world of like-minded enthusiasts when it was suggested to me by a friend that I take a look at www.Swooping.Me.

To my surprise, there’s a whole universe of folks who “swoop,” defined on the website as “exploring on motorcycle.”

Who knew? Perhaps it’s been around for a while and I just never knew about it, or maybe it’s a whole new thing. No matter. The fact is there’s a community of people who share their favorite explorations on their bikes in our glorious state, and they post their adventures and photos on this delightful website.

To my pleasant surprise, several fellow “swoopers” (I assume that’s what we’re called) posted accounts of their excursions that replicated some of mine from the past that I had never taken the time to write about but are among my Top 10 favorites. Their narratives captured perfectly the special appeals of some of my favorite rides.

So when I do get around to posting my favorite swoops on the site, here are a couple that will be at the top of the list:


Our summers wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the International Seaplane Fly-In held the weekend after Labor Day in beautiful Greenville.

For the past 10 years or more, my wife and I have combined the fun of the Fly-In with the chance to take one of our favorite rides, from the midcoast up through Newport to Greenville, across to Jackman, and back down through The Forks and Skowhegan. It’s about 250 miles of beautiful scenery, combined with the knowledge that we’ll nearly always spot a moose, especially between Rockwood and Jackman.

The Fly-In itself is truly a spectacle, with the thousands of attendees treated to organized fly-bys featuring vintage, modern and home-built aircraft, as well as competitions including takeoffs, spot landings, accuracy bomb drops, and two-person bush pilot canoe races combining paddling and piloting skills.

Once you’ve been to this event and have enjoyed the cruise through the Maine woods, I’m sure you’ll put it on your yearly schedule, as many of us do.


Two heroes (some say founders) of the “back to the earth” movement – the iconic Scott Nearing and his wife Helen – moved from Vermont to this idyllic piece of the Maine coast in the early 1950s. Wanting to escape the booming ski development in Vermont, they bought a homestead where they eventually built a stone house, now open to the public.

In 1954 they co-authored “Living The Good Life,” the best-seller that became the bible for folks seeking a primer on how to live off and appreciate the natural world around us.

You’ll get to Cape Rosier by heading south from Bucksport on Route 175 to its intersection in North Brooksville with Route 176, where you’ll turn right and follow the well-marked directional signs to the Cape and the Sanctuary. I suggest that when you arrive on the Cape you bear left so you can head around the seaward side, past the Nearing Homestead, through the village of Harborside, ending up at the spot to launch your kayak for the paddle to the island.

You’d better saddle up soon and spend a summer day exploring on two wheels. Check out the website or better yet, plan your own swoop and share it with some of your fellow bikers.

John Christie is an author and year-round Maine explorer. He and his son Josh write in Outdoors about places to enjoy the beauty that only Maine has to offer. He can be contacted at:

[email protected]

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