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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by popscycle, Apr 24, 2014.
Epic ride. One of the best ever.
Best breakfast I've ever had and the wall of accolades indicates others share a similar opinion. I had 2 eggs, 2 strips of bacon, 2 sausage links, 1 ham patty, 2 slices of heavily buttered toast, 2 large and thick/dense pancakes, and lots of coffee. Needless to say I was full. Thankfully the engineers at BMW make it easy to adjust the load suspension on the GS from "light" to "heavy".
I couldn't tell. Often, these old stations end up as quasi-museums, private homes or property/offices of a local railroad club or historical society. I found that same railroad line (B&M) had another station in Harrisville, shown below.
This station, like the other in Chesham, was well maintained; however, there was no signage indicating its current owner(s) or use. The flowers might suggest a residence.
I could find no old photos or postcards of this station. It was on a trunk line that went to/from Keene, NH.
Monday Train Fix: Some UP action coming out of Chicago.
He was moving at a speed that suggested heading toward Clinton, IA, rather than the Rochelle yard that is just around the bend.
Addenda & Errata: I happened by this lovely (seemingly old) country church of classic, early design that had an interesting (to me) feature.
That feature was an outhouse. You don't see many places of worship with an outhouse these days. Outhouses were a feature of early country churches. We suspect this one's been updated since the old wooden one- or two-holers. My memories of outhouses are not the most pleasant (grandparents had one, as did the Canadian lumber camp I spent some weeks at).
Located somewhere between the Kinzua bridge and Kane, PA; I didn't do any research on the structure. The adjacent graveyard suggests there was a community here at one time. Today, the church stands pretty much alone in the country.
Some Older Church Structures: While on the subject of church buildings, I have some recent pics taken of an older 1700s church and two that date back to the 1800s. The oldest of these, dating back to 1743, is below.
The next, newer church shown below is 100 years newer, dating back to 1844. There was a service of some sort going on so I didn't park in front of the building.
The newest one of the group is an 1891 stone church that sits abandoned at the water's edge of a reservoir. With no windows, the church is maintained as a historical site and is the scene of many weddings.
Soon, each of these scenes will see autumn color and hopefully be more photogenic.
The General Store Chronicles - Bernardston Corner Store: It's no secret that we like old, general stores. This particular store is located on MA Rt 10 (Church Street) at coordinates 42.671362, -72.550179. The location is perfect for me as a stopping/jumping off point when riding the back roads of the northwest part of MA or the lower part of VT. Just off I-91, it is also a great stopping point when taking the interstate north to get farther up into VT.
This store is a gem, offering everything a general store should (i.e., food, drink and sundry items). It has a thriving deli where you can get a good sandwich made to order.
IMHO, every good general store should have a front porch where you can hang out, hobnob with locals and/or just relax for a bit while letting the world go by for a short spell.
Back in cruiser days, many of that group of 'riders' wanted to ride to places where they could eat or drink. By contrast, these types of stores are a means to riding farther rather than a destination - sort of like the stage stops of old.
I could not readily find any historical information on the building but would guess it to be mid to late 1800s vintage. As always, we've no affiliation with or interest in this corner store.
Stepping Back In Time At A Mill Pond: Add some people to the picture and it would look like it did back during the industrial revolution.
Train Traction Inaction: We was coming over the McLelland Farm Road bridge that leads into the Pan Am railroad yard when we saw this odd coupling all fired up and thought, "Goody, we going to see some switching action."
Giving the redhead a goose, we pulled into the yard just off the road to see the action. (Note: So far it's been OK with the RR police if we just pull in, staying closer to the road than the tracks).
The train driver was in the cab of the leading GP, making me think something was about to happen. It didn't. With riding being more fun than waiting around, I gave Pan Am another 5 minutes to move something before they lost my interest. They didn't.
Smallest Town Center? Is this the smallest town center ever? In passing through, as I did recently, one might ask as the building below is 50% of what's in the town center.
Leaving the bike sitting where it's at, you can move to the other side of it and take a picture of the other center building - a church.
Leyden is a small town of around 600, give or take a hundred, that has no state or federal highways running through it, no stores and no discernible industry. It's good riding country, though.
Color In The Wetlands: I ran across this autumn color in the wetlands and stopped the bike long enough to take the pic.
Warmer riding weather is starting to disappear.
An Interesting House: I happened by this place and thought it looked an awful lot like a colonial that had been added onto several times to serve as a tavern/inn. Located at coordinates 42.556595, -72.067458, the sat view seems to confirm there are three or four distinct additions.
Also, the place looks like a typical mid to late 1800s inn. I am guessing it is now apartments.
A Vermont Covered Bridge: We crossed this bridge while wandering the backroads west of Bellows Falls, VT. Snotty mud and traffic kept me on the bike while I took this pic. The bridge is located on Hall Bridge Road at coordinates 43.137343, -72.487316.
This bridge is a 1982 replica of the original 1867 covered bridge destroyed in 1980 by an overweight truck.
An Older One-Room Schoolhouse: There are still a number of these one-room school houses around and this one's at coordinates 42.501345, -72.851679. The pic was taken on yesterday's ride.
The schoolhouse was built in 1874, replacing a log building built in 1777 in an area known as Spruce Corners in Ashfield, MA. It was abandoned in 1939 when various schools consolidated.
The General Store Chronicles - Saxtons River Village Market: Back when I was a student pilot learning to do cross-country flight planning, part of the task involved locating airports along your flight path where you might have to put the plane down if in need food, use of porcelain facilities, escape from weather, repair, etc. 50 plus years later, we similarly locate general stores where we might land for food, drink and/or access to the pissoir. There's always those chain gas station/convenience store combos but we like village/country stores where the place has personality and folks still talk to each other. Another one of these is the Saxtons River Village Market located at coordinates 43.138898, -72.507120.
We stopped here on our way across lower VT to get to the Green Mountains. We wanted to get coffee and Kevin wanted to shed a layer, as it was warming up from the early morning chill.
This particular general store has it all - groceries, sundry items, coffee, deli and lunch items (soup, sandwich, pastry, etc.).
There's also some tables up front and on the porch for customers. Being an old mill town (ca. 1783), Saxtons River is on our list for further exploration as they've preserved a number of old buildings. The town, per se, has not been economically or industrially active since the 1920s.
A Rare Vista: Normally, the NH gravel backroads we ride don't offer much of a vista. They are usually more like a tunnel of trees. Yesterday, however, I stumbled into a rare clearing that offered a great view of the area. I had to stop and take the picture shown below.
An Interesting Inn: When we were in Saxtons River VT recently making a stop at the Village Store, we noted what seemed to be an old inn just across the street. Well, today I got out of the shop long enough to convert the pic from RAW and do a little research. Shown below is the Saxtons River Inn, located at coordinates 43.138836, -72.507583.
The first inn on that spot was erected in 1817. That structure was torn down in 1903 and the current structure built when townsfolk decided a bigger hotel and inn was needed. At that time, the small town was alive with a woolen mill, sawmills and a variety of prosperous small industries and stores. That all changed around 1920 and the inn eventually fell into disrepair. Sometime in the 1960s, the inn was purchased by an eccentric Englishman who came to the U.S. to study the economic system and he filled the rooms ceiling to floor with mountains of books and papers. After he died, the building was emptied and put up for sale. A local family bought the place and set about fixing it up. The in opened again for business in 1978 and has seen a succession of owners and ups and downs.
Out Of The Yard: Below are two pics of UP 5785 pulling intermodal containers out of the Rochelle (IL) yard and over the diamond toward Chicago.
I saw that UP ordered more of this model (i.e., GE AD4400CW, manufactured from 1993 -2004) than any other railroad. Many were ordered with CTE (Computerized Tractive Effort software), as was this unit.
The General Store Chronicles - West Townshend Country Store: Sometimes you run across a country store that mostly isn't. Such was the case with the West Townshend Country Store on Rt. 30 in W. Townshend, VT, at coordinates 43.084249, -72.711810. This store is mostly a luncheonette with tables and a grill on the first floor and a thrift shop on the second.
Simply put, this is a community cafe and thrift shop. Back in the last century we'd call it a "one-arm hash house." The name "one-arm" stems from the one arm chairs found in quick lunch places. Less-than-comfortable seats and chairs discouraged lingering.
John; I rode up to my sister's place in Lindsay Ont. (east of Toronto) on Monday so that my BIL and myself could do a couple of days riding north of their place. On Tuesday we rode 264 miles and took in some nice roads and Hwy. 60 through Algonquin Park. It covers 2955 sq. miles and has been a park since May of 1893. I grabbed a pic of this mural in the town of Wilberforce before we got to the park and the next five pics are in the park.
After we rode through the part of the park on Hwy. 60 we headed back south towards Lindsay with a stop at the lookout tower at Dorset. The original fire tower on this site was 82 ft. high and built in 1922. It was decommissioned in 1961 and torn down, when fire spotting was taken over by aircraft. The present tower was built as an observation tower for the public in 1967 and is 100 ft. tall and sits on a hill 465 ft. above the village of Dorset and Lake of Bays. Colours were not as advanced here as they were in the park. When peak colours hit in the next couple of weeks it is nearly impossible to get up the tower because of all the "leaf peepers". I had been to this tower once before 38 years ago. At that time, the trees at the tower base were not much more than seedlings. Robinson's General Store in the village has also changed a lot in the intervening years. Back then it was a well stocked general store and outfitters supply for hunters and fishermen. Their sign used to read " if we don't have it, you don't need it." Now there is a full blown grocery store in the lower level and a chain hardware store added at the back.