Over many summers of outdoor fun in Maine, the Christie family has developed a few annual, and never-missed traditions that have survived year after year.

One of our favorites, not only because it’s so delightful, but because it always marks the end of our summer motorcycling excursions, is a scenic loop of a little less than a hundred miles (long enough in November’s cold, even with our ski gear on) that includes spectacular inland and ocean vistas, working harbors, one of Maine’s most photographed lighthouses, and a unique piece of the state’s history.

Oh, and a sumptuous breakfast at a true Maine treasure.

From our home on Route 220 just north of well-traveled Route 17 between Augusta and Rockland, we head south for no more than ten minutes to tiny North Waldoboro where a revitalized Morse’s Sauerkraut and the “Kraut Haus” restaurant await.

Since 1910 when Virgil Morse delivered his first barrel of pickled cabbage to John Gay’s store in Waldoboro, Morse’s has been the name synonymous with sauerkraut throughout Maine and far beyond.

Three successive owners since 1988 have added products to Morse’s line, but the real transformation began on September 25, 2000, when Jacqueline Sawyer and David Sweetnam purchased the property and the business.

In 2002 they opened the restaurant and in 2003 added the “Bavarian Pantry” offering a huge array of specialty foods, available not only on-site but by mail order.

Our stop is for a very specific purpose: a sumptuous breakfast of German puffed pancakes filled with ginger-sugared apples, nitrate-free natural bacon, and steaming coffee.

And, to fill our bike bag with summer sausage, cheeses, and tubes of European mustard for our skiing lunches just over the horizon.

Stuffed and happy, Marty and I are back on the bike headed south on 220, past Moody’s Diner seven miles along, and onto Route 32 in Waldoboro for a trip down the west shore of the Medomak River.

That’s one of Maine’s most scenic drives through Bremen, Round Pond (where Bob Reny sold lobsters on the dock from his pound when he wanted a break from his bustling store in Damariscotta), Chamberlain, and New Harbor.

Although the downside of a late fall trip is that Shaw’s Wharf and the Pemaquid Co-op are both closed, going by them reminds us of some wonderful summer seafood feasts, in the past and yet to be enjoyed.

At the junction with Route 130, a left turn takes us in just a couple of miles to Pemaquid Point Light with its crashing surf and views of Monhegan, Ram Island Light off East Boothbay, and the open Atlantic.

Retracing our steps to New Harbor, a left turn in the village leads us to the Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site and Fort William Henry.

The site, managed by Maine’s Bureau of Parks and Lands, offers a glimpse of what life was like at an English frontier settlement during the 17th and 18th centuries.

Open to visitors from Memorial Day through Labor Day, the site, which gained recognition as a National Historic Landmark in 1993, is still a great place to wander around even in November.

Leaving the Fort, we travel north on Route 130 toward Bristol for a couple of miles, then skirt around the end of Pemaquid Harbor on the Harrington Road to join Route 129 for a trip south of less than five miles to picturesque South Bristol with its quirky little drawbridge leading to Rutherford Island and another gem, Christmas Cove.

Heading north again on Route 129, we keep our eye out for Clarks Cove Road on the left and follow it up the Damariscotta River until it rejoins Route 129 in Walpole. Damariscotta awaits a few miles north.

Back on the bike, and after crossing the outlet of Salt Bay into Newcastle, a quick right puts us on Route 215 headed north through Damariscotta Mills and its rebuilt alewife fish ladder, and the first view of Damariscotta Lake.

Then its north a couple of miles to Route 213 on the right for a trip up the west shore of the lake, stopping at Bunker Hill for the view east over the lake and the surrounding countryside.

It’s then north to Route 126 in Jefferson, and on to the intersection with Route 220 just south of Stickney’s Corner on Route 17 in Washington.

Then it’s home, to a hot bath with a head full of memories to last us ’til we crank the bike up again in the spring.

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