Goodbye Cruiserface, Hello Happyface: The (old) Long and (new) Short Of It All

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by popscycle, Apr 24, 2014.

  1. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Intriguing and terrifying are two of the words I would use for what came next. How to reconcile these two feelings was the crux of the battle. It's hard to describe vertigo to those who don't have it. It's a funny thing. I have it standing close to the railing of a balcony but not while hanging in a seat from an ultralight. It has something to do with being tethered - or not. I turned around to go back and view the bridge from the psychological safety of the center, taking the picture below as I went.

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    Then, a voice said, "Aren't you at least going to go out on it and take a look?" More to follow as I get pics converted.
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  2. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    The General Store Chronicles -Bakers General Store: Located at coordinates 42.508482, -72.701968 in Conway, MA, this is a favorite lunch spot when we're heading west. There are two main ways west in MA, the Mass Pike and Rt 2 (Mohawk trail). Once past the CT River, there's a third way between the two - Rt 116 which is popular with riders. As it turns out, If we head west mid-morning to go west, we hit Bakers around noon and grab some of Helen's grub. Once in a while, we stop there for a late breakfast of eggs, hash, sausage, bacon and toast.

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    It's a popular breakfast and lunch stop for locals and I always enjoy chatting with the locals, who've given me some good info on the condition of the back roads.

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    Aside from the luncheonette, the store stocks basic staples, canned goods, fresh baked goods and fresh vegetables in season. I generally like a good burger or turkey club with curly fries, but they usually have a 'blue plate special' for lunch. Unlike most of the general stores we've visited, bakers also has regular and diesel gasoline.

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    They don't sell beer so you almost never see pirates here. You are likely, however, to meet some really good people. Good people and good grub are the reason we stop here.
  3. andredl

    andredl Sold my K Bike for a Deere

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    I served 10 years in the Air Force as an Avionics tech, and worked another 10 in the real world as an aircraft electrician. I worked big jets, B-52s , C5s, 747s, yada, yada. Spent lots of time working in high places with never a care or concern. Then I had a head injury. I recovered just fine with the exception that my left ear is not quite in the same place it originated. I was working on 747s a few years after the accident and noticed that I'd look out an aircraft door and see the curves and angles of the airplane and slowly lose my relationship to up and down. So yeah, I can understand your being ok in an utlralight.
  4. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Appreciate the response and, BTW, thank you for your service!
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  5. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Funky Cheese Note: At the end of a long ride, a cold beer and some cheese and crackers seems to go down well. So, when in the neighborhood, a stop at the Grafton Village Cheese Company on Rt 30 in Brattleboro, VT (coordinates 42.863959, -72.568169) is usually in order. They have tasting samples of most of their offerings and I recently found one that was very good - the Special Reserve Cheddar. I'd show you a picture of it but the entire brick has been eaten. Should have bought several.

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    Just an FYI and a pic of the place for recognition if you're in the area and want to get some good cheddar. You can also watch it being made if that's something you are interested in.
  6. Shaggie

    Shaggie Unseen University Supporter

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    What is a ‘blue plate special’?

    S
  7. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    "Blue Plate Special" is a term used in U.S. and Canadian restaurants, especially diners and cafes, to describe the special plate meal (as opposed to sandwich fare) of the day. It might be meatloaf and gravy, pork tenderloin, chicken salad plate, etc. Back in first half of the last century, the term would refer to the low cost meal of the day. Below is an example - a plate of tasty, diner meatloaf. It was the special of the day at a (slightly) reduced price.

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    FYI, most diners in the U.S. have this on their menu and it is a standard fare. I personally like meatloaf and order it to judge a diner's merit. If the dish doesn't have rich mushroom gravy, such as the one above, I don't go back, except perhaps for breakfast. On long riding days, we tend to frequent area diners for breakfast.

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    Note: We've no affiliation with the above diner and it's off our list.
  8. Shaggie

    Shaggie Unseen University Supporter

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    Thanks John :-)
  9. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Pilgrimage To The Diamond: For the second year in a row, we made it to the Rochelle Railroad Park. That would be the Rochelle, IL, "diamond" where the UP and BNSF cross. There's a nice pavilion where rail fans can watch the action and listen to the radio, which is piped in. We got there early in the morning.

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    Just prior to taking the above picture, I caught the tail end of a BNSF train that had passed by.

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    Once up to the pavilion, we saw that it was going to be a long morning if we wanted to get in some train watching.

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    They had shut just down the diamond to work on both sets of tracks.
  10. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    An Allegheny Restoration: I happened by this once-stately mansion sitting on the banks of the Allegheny River in Couldersport PA, at coordinates 41.773095, -78.020723.

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    This Italian Villa style house was built in 1880 for Frank W. Knox, who was well-known local lawyer and president of the Coudersport and Port Allegheny Railroad. Knox apparently died before living too long in the house and ownership passed to his children. The house later became the Old Hickory Tavern where travelers could stay and drink after a long day on the road. In 1987, it was purchased to be converted into a B&B for guests of Adelphia (a corrupt communications company that was the forerunner of Time Warner Cable, Comcast). After Adelphia collapsed, the building sat empty for years. The villa cycled through a number of owners up until purchased in 2016 by an area family intending to restore the old place. The house sits on the bank of the Allegheny River, shown below, which is little more than a stream at this point.

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    According to some historical records, Coudersport derived its name from a Dutchman named Couder who was a primary funder for the surveying of the future town as a "port" on the Allegheny River. Judging from the size of the river here, one might wonder if the word "port" referred to any village sitting on the bank of a river and not necessarily a place where boats docked.
  11. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    Murray City Train Depot - (Ohio)

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    On my way back to camp one evening during the Waylin' Wayne Weekend - I'd blasted by this small piece of history. It sets back from the road, so I just barely caught a glimpse of something. My spidey sense started tingling, so I whipped around and found this old train depot.

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    The Murray City Train Depot, established between 1890-1900, was for many years the only way in or out of coal mine camp town Murray City, once stated as having the "LARGEST COAL MINE IN THE WORLD". Goods and people were shipped to Murray City aboard the Hocking Valley Railroad. Coal was shipped in and out of the Murray City Sunday Creek Coal mines #25, #5 and the New Pittsburgh #7and before that the Greendale #29. The train line was so important because of a lack of any other transportation or roads. Murray City was called the end of the line depot because the railroad track ended here and the train had to turn around at the depot. The Murray City Depot is one of only three original historic train depots left in the state of Ohio.

    The doors were open to the engine compartment. Look inside .... closely.

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  12. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Love seeing those old depots preserved. Recently found a couple up in NH that I'll post later. Thanks.
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  13. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    The Kinzua Battle With The Demons Of Vertigo - Part 2: I had ridden across PA 6 numerous times prior prior to 2003, usually riding the bike to and from IL to visit family and friends but never stopped at the Kinzua trestle. After all, it was just a railroad trestle until partially destroyed in 2003, after which it became a state park and tourist attraction. A week or so back, I stopped to take a picture and vertigo kicked in big time when I got closer to the bridge. I was in a full state of panic when a woman's voice said, "Aren't you at least going to go out on it and take a look?" Not wanting to wuss out in front of some women, I got closer.

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    At this point, it seemed like I had enough wherewithal to go stand on the abutment and take a picture looking down the bridge. Go or no go?

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    It took everything I had to walk down that thing to the end, but I did. I could not look anywhere but down at my feet as they carefully made their way down, staying as far away from the railing as possible. After what seemed like an eternity, I came to the end, leaned up against an inner hand rail and took the following picture looking back.

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    After taking time for the dizziness to abate, we did get some pics of the end point, looking out and down. I'll go through these, convert and post the better ones and not talk about the scary walk back.
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  14. Shaggie

    Shaggie Unseen University Supporter

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    :thumb
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  15. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    The Diamond Opened: After several hours of being shut down, we heard dispatchers over the pavilion radio telling the work crew they had to be finished and off the tracks by 11:15. About that time, this came through but not everyone had their stuff put away.

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    You can see the welder's chair is still on the diamond. It was removed once the BNSF went through.

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  16. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Scene While Riding: Pumpkins with a view. This was taken three days ago but I was riding around in the hills shown in the background today.

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  17. jeickerman

    jeickerman Full of it.

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    Sure sign that fall is quickly approaching.

    John
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  18. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Yup. The leaves are just starting to turn around here but are probably a little farther along up north. God willing and creek don't rise, we'll be riding up into NH and VT tomorrow to find out. I was talking some folks in the Berkshires yesterday and they said morning temps were 32 degrees with frost in places, signalling it's time for all things autumn.

    Will post up some tree color pics tomorrow night if we ride.
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  19. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    The Kinzua Battle With The Demons Of Vertigo - Part 3: After what seemed like an eternity dizzily walking out on the trestle, the end was reached and I grabbed for an inner hand rail, holding on for dear life. When the dizziness subsided, I got this pic of the end platform.

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    There was no way I'd walk out on that glass or even get near it. I did manage to fire up the camera and zoom out to get pics of the end point across the river valley.

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    The final act of courage was to get close to the outer railing, and shoot a picture of the debris around the river. There was no way any part of my body would get out over the top of the railing to take the picture.

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    At that point, the limit of vertigo endurance had been reached and I managed to get back across and off the bridge. Had I been tethered, there'd have been no vertigo and no problem. As it was, this was an experience I probably won't repeat. For others not so afflicted, the Kinzua park is a great visit and the visitor center is very clean and interesting. That will be the final post of this report.
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  20. spokester

    spokester Long timer

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    Heck, I'm dizzy just from looking at the pictures! What caused the destruction of the trestle?
    popscycle likes this.