ELLSWORTH — U.S. Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) burrrrrooomboomboomed into Ellsworth Sunday morning on Day 3 of his more-or-less annual cross-country motorcycle mission to meet Mainers where they live.
Accompanied by four of his biker pals, he’d broken bread the night before at the East Orrington Congregational Church’s bean supper. Earlier Saturday, King & Co. broke donuts at Elaine’s Café and Bakery in Milo, mixing it up, chatting with the regulars.
“It’s a good way to see Maine,” the former two-term governor said of motorcycle travel. “I like it when you can smell the countryside: wood smoke, new-mown hay, tons of manure.”
His travel companions were Dan Wathen, former chief justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court; Glenn Poole, retired corporate energy manager at Verso, and Gary Crocker, who introduced himself as a “Maine humorist.”
“You’d never be able to tell, listening to him,” King said.
Yet humor was part of the fuel mix for the three-day ride.
“It would be very hard to have a serious discussion,” Wathen said.
“Part of it is just laughing,” King added.
The people King encountered on his stops, he said, were not inclined to bring up politics.
“Mostly they talked about the weather … the nice summer,” he said.
He and his buds started out in Augusta Friday and wound through Newport, Dexter, Guilford, Monson, Dover-Foxcroft, Milo (“Great donuts at Elaine’s,” King said), Bradley, Bradford, Hudson, Old Town and Corinth. They spent Saturday night at the Lucerne Inn then continued to Ellsworth, Bucksport (“Beautiful 360-degree views from the observatory,” he later tweeted), Belfast and on home to Brunswick.
King, who is seeking re-election to the Senate, is being challenged by state Sen. Eric Brakey (R-Androscoggin County) and educator Zak Ringelstein of Yarmouth, a Democrat.