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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    Addenda & Errata - Virtual Train Gods Smiled: When interesting trains (e.g., various freight consists and not regular commuter) are scarce in your neighborhood, the occasional bit of non-foamer trainwatching can be done via Virtual Railfan, with its numerous live cam feeds from around the country. I had the cam from La Plata, MO, showing one one computer yesterday PM while working on converting VT daytrip pics from RAW to JPG format. Lo and behold, a BNSF consist of rails pulls up the the station and stops right in front of the cam, giving a very clear pic. Old railfans sans trains just have to grab a screenshot, as I did below, in such situations.

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    Sometime later, the train backed up the way it came and disappeared.
  2. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Seen While Riding: A really healthy thing to do on a warm, lazy day.

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    Years ago, I packed a compact fishing pole on the bike for when I rode by places like this but almost never used it. Riding was so relaxing that stopping to fish seems stressful by contrast.
  3. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    The Fathers' Day Road. The bit of gravel that was our Fathers' Day objective is named Green River Road or, in VT, just River Road. It is a nice stretch of mostly hardpack gravel and sand that runs from the northwest corner of Greenfield, MA at coordinates 42.798269, -72.663437 up into Vermont where ends at Hinesburg Road at coordinates 42.798269, -72.663437. I usually jump on just west of the Eunice Williams Bridge at coordinates 42.645226, -72.624197 to avoid the suburban, southern section of the road. Green River Road is a part of many PDR route maps. The pics below gives you a good idea of what most of the road is like.

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    You can make good time if that's your thing. Personally, I prefer to savor this road, not blast up it.

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    Most of the curves are gentle sweepers.

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    With the road being down in the river valley, there aren't that many vistas, just trees. Although not as famous for fishing as the Battenkill, the Green River is supposedly a decent trout fishery in spots.

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    Most of the area along the road and river is pristine and often posted. There are a few, well maintained private camping areas between the road and the river, such as the one below.

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    I did not go all the way up, preferring to head west on Jacksonville Stage Road at the Green River Covered Bridge at coordinates 42.775486, -72.667197. I only encountered one other (motorcycle) rider on the road. That rider was inmate @Gs-Solitude, who kindly rode with me for a bit. There were a good number of well-behaved cyclists, however. Some pics from covered bridge and on west follow.
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  4. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Long timer

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    "Riding was so relaxing that stopping to fish seem stressful by contrast."

    Awesome line. I'm gonna have to use it or a variation of it. I was thinking something like this, Riding is so relaxing that taking a nap seems stressful by contrast. See how good your line is? LOL
    B10Dave, KMichael, klaviator and 2 others like this.
  5. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Ha, you took that one right to the limit, with no more room to improve. Well done!
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  6. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    The Fathers' Day Road 2. The objective du jour was a ride up the Green River Road , or just River Road in VT, to the 1800s Green River covered bridge, shown below.

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    It was here where I wanted to turn west on the Jacksonville Stage Road and head towards the Green Mountains. Stopping to grab a few pictures, I ran into Jim who was had been some minutes behind me on the same road.

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    We chatted for a bit and I walked through the bridge. Being a very warn day, the place was crowded with picnic people taking to the cool, clear water in the river. I walked on through the bridge to look at the construction (i.e., a covered, through truss) and get some more pictures. The bridge was rehabilitated again in 2016.

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    On the other, eastern side of the bridge, you get a view of a very rare timber crib dam.

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    The area around the bridge was once a small mill village where the river powered a paper, lumber and grist mill on this site. The last mill ceased operation in 1916 and is now, unfortunately, gone. Today, it is just a very scenic spot where families like to visit and wade in the shallows below the dam.

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    More to follow.
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  7. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Seen While Riding - The Florida Elk: I don't think we've ever gotten a decent picture of this landmark. That would be the WWI Elk memorial in Florida, MA, at coordinates 42.687816, -73.020371. The elk was constructed by the BPOE in 1923 and sits atop the Whitcomb Summit on the edge of the Hoosac Range. It is the highest point on the Mohawk Trail. Between WWI and WWII the summit was a tourist hotspot.

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    With afternoon lighting and sky being what it was this afternoon, I pulled off the Mohawk Trail long enough to pull out the pocket camera and take the above pic before some group gets the idea it's socially unacceptable.
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  8. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    On Top Of Things: We rode up and then down the highest point in the state yesterday. That would be the 3,489 foot, Mt. Greylock, which is located at coordinates 42.637305, -73.166147. Named after a famous native American chief, the mountain is now a state reservation with excellent roads up and down both on the north and south sides. The north side road, though, has some excellent twisties and hairpins.

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    The ride up is mostly through a tunnel of trees but some views emerge as you near the summit.

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    There's a lodge and veterans war memorial tower at the top. I grabbed a quick pic of the tower.

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    There are also a limited number of vistas going down.

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    It it makes for a pleasant, stress-free ride, especially if you avoid weekends traffic on hot days. It's cooler up there.
    black 8, zookster, B10Dave and 7 others like this.
  9. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    The Last Of Last Weekend: Below are some remaining, additional pics of last weekend's ride. The redhead and I had taken the PDR as far as the Green River covered bridge and then turned west on the Jacksonville Stage Road, shown below.

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    The route took us through the very tiny hamlet of Halifax, VT, shown below. Elisha Otis, who is credited with inventing the safe elevator, was from Halifax.

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    Down the road a bit is West Halifax, which is only slightly less tiny. It was around here that the road went from gravel to paved.

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    The next place down the line was the village of Jacksonville, VT, which is where we started heading southwest, back into MA. The village, which is part of the town of Whitingham, has somewhere over 200 people and 80 reisdences, making it quite a small census area.

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    The big attraction for riders in Jacksonville is the general store, shown below in a 2019 pic, which makes for a good rest stop.

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    My memories of the last stop there are not favorable, having something to do with having neither coffee in the pot nor inclination to make any. Anyway, we made our way back into MA, stopping at a roadside park. It was noted that both bikes were running brilliantly. Mine was still in the afterglow of having all the fluids replaced and Jim had recently made his happy by adjusting the valves.

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    Those of us who are more senior (e.g., 60 and beyond) find these roadside areas a good place to hydrate, stretch the limbs and work the joints. This particular place, located at coordinates 42.702480, -72.891897, is usually deserted and very peaceful with a nice view of the lake.

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    The only other people we saw were out in the lake partaking in a once-favorite pastime. Once I got off the road sofa and onto the GS, I lost my appetite for fishing and sold my two canoes and trolling motor. Maybe is is an age thing. but the bike is way more fun and interesting.

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    We then headed down to Zoar Road where Jim and I went our separate ways on the Mohawk Trail, him west and me east. This weekend isn't looking as good for riding, with CNC work piling up and some crap weather forecast. With luck, though, we'll get out a little.
    black 8, zookster, B10Dave and 6 others like this.
  10. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    Jim's old Hexhead GSA brings back fond memories of my 2007. Those are some pleasant looking riding areas the two of you are enjoying. Good stuff!
    B10Dave, Gs-Solitude and popscycle like this.
  11. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    While I enjoy all of my different motorcycles, I know what you mean about the GS. It stimulates and brings out a whole different level of adventure and wonder from within. They are a magical machine.
    B10Dave and popscycle like this.
  12. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Up And Over The Hoosac Range: MA doesn't don't have the mountain vistas that you might see in, say, the Smokys, Rockys or Sierras. We have the Berkshires, which is a northern extension of the Appalachian chain that has been considerably smooshed down by erosion over time. One part of that local chain is the Hoosac Range, though which one of the country's earliest RR tunnel was dug. Although some riders seem keen to scoot through that tunnel, the inside of that hole is dirty and smelly. I prefer the more scenic ride over top of the range. Thus, the following pics of such a ride, beginning in North Adams, MA, heading east at coordinates 42.700335, -73.112677.

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    Once out of town, its a nice ride up the Trail.

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    There's one hairpin turn on the way up that has an adjacent restaurant (ii.e., the Golden Eagle - a long standing tourist stop) and viewing area. I've no idea how good the food is but the hairpin is nice.

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    Once past the hairpin and farther up is another old tourist trap known as the Wigwam. Closed for a number of years, the place has been spruced up and repurposed into a wine, fudge, beer and food shop with cabins on the side. I've no use for 80% of their offerings when riding and don't know about the other 20% (i.e., their food).

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    There was a viewing tower here many years ago. All that's left is a viewing platform. Regardless of what the sign says, this is nothing like Switzerland, little or not.

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    The view isn't bad, through. Some days, you can see hang gliders going back and forth trying to catch an updraft.

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    As I mentioned in a previous post, the Wigwam has seemingly redone and reopened its 1940s-era cabins for the traveling public. Not sure about the motoring public in general, but with beer and food nearby, it might make for a good biker rally spot.

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    We rallied on east.
  13. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Yard Report Unsuitable For Foamers: Was within some miles of the PA RR yard yesterday so I swung by before heading home. As was to be expected, nothing was moving and it didn't look like anyone was there. Thus, there was nothing for any avid, hyperactive rail fans to get excited about. The Pan Am Southern units that run to and from Mechanicville NY through the Hoosac Tunnel were sitting by the operations trailer with one or more of the units idling. I seem to remember there's often a mec EMD unit sandwiched between two ns GE AC units, as was yesterday.

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    I thought I needed a good pic of the EMD unit, so a quick sneak thru the bushes (without stepping out into the yard) gave me a side shot.

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    From the same vantage point in the bushes, I got a shot of Pan Am's dash 8 units parked by the sanding towers.

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    Finally I was able to frame the NS unit between two concrete bunker walls. You just can't have enough pictures of locomotives.

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    After that, I looked at the weather radar and decided to cut the ride short and head home. The skies opened up just as we pulled into the garage mid afternoon. It was a frog strangler of a storm that lasted into the evening.
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  14. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Seen While Riding: With the month of June coming to a close, here are some pictures taken on various rides during the first month of summer. With a lot of places shut down, we took advantage and pictures of natural scenes - the flora without the fauna. Especially enjoyable are rivers and streams.

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    An ideal road is one so quiet that you can hear babbling brooks burble.

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    Sometimes, though, you just need to shut the lady down, get off, and enjoy nature to its fullest by stretching your legs and taking a leak.

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    Once in a while you find a nice lakeside park sufficiently off the beaten path that nobody is around except birds and occasional fish jumping a bug in the water.

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    During the month of June, the color along the road can be a treat for the eyes.

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    Just a few small examples of why we like June.
    B10Dave, GAS GUY, bluestar and 9 others like this.
  15. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    IFR: In my more youthful days, IFR was sometimes humorously interpreted as "I follow railroads" when your VFR dead reckoning path came unstuck. Now, the acronym is this rider's substitute for "I follow rivers", which is what many roads, and old native American trails, do in this neck of the woods. Nowadays, IFR is what we like to do because the scenery is restful and my brain has an innate like of rivers. Perhaps that is because we grew up on a river where we fished, swan, made pirate rafts, canoed, floated and jumped off of bridges into. Below are some pics of rivers in MA and NH that were taken in June.

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    Rivers are therapy for young and old.
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  16. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Just A Regular Regulator: You know it's been a bad train-chasing month when the only thing you've seen moving is a ballast regulator and even it was having trouble getting going this morning.

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    Picture was taken on the P&W line while out with the redhead today. That we even stopped to take a pic of this maintenance equipment shows the depth of our train drought. Maybe I need to sneak into Worcester and get some pics of the CSX intermodal yard.
  17. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Not Chasing Trains But Amtrak Chases My Brain When Man Fights Train: I went for a nice ride yesterday. It was about 110 miles mid day. I wasn't chasing trains but knew if I saw one, I would chase it for some pics. The only railroad thing I saw was a well-used ballast regulator that was having trouble moving. I converted one pic for the previous post around 4 PM and then started processing more last evening around 8 PM, EDT. Being a railfan devoid of trains, I had the La Plata MO rail cam on one computer while using Photoshop/Photolab on the other.

    Sometime after 8:30, I viewed Amtrak pulling into La Plata. About 8:45, I happened to notice Amtrak still hadn't left the station. Something was going on and I started to pay more attention. That's when the conductor carried someone's baggage off the train and dumped it on the platform.

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    Following that, another conductor escorts a male passenger off the train.

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    The passenger, who was seemingly fuming as we walked around the platform, retrieves his backpack and then tries to break into the train.

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    He tries pushing, hitting, kicking and head-bumping the door to no avail.

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    At this point, said passenger is so pissed that he shows he's ready to rumble by taking off his shirt and hitting the train with it.

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    Next, he throws his backpack at the train.

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    When the backpack tantrum didn't phase the train, the passenger hopped the fence and began throwing rocks at the train.

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    Shortly after the rock throwing episode, the local constabulary showed up. The peace officer showed great restraint when passenger threatened him with an article of clothing.

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    It was when the passenger began throwing rocks at the policeman and train, that other officers showed up and took him into custody (offscreen).

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    The train then sat for a while until more police and local EMT personnel showed up to board the train.

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    All in all, the train sat for about a half an hour or more before departing. By this time, I just gave up on converting any more ride pics. Bottom line: Man fought train and the train won.
    bluestar and B10Dave like this.
  18. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    Head butting a train. Yeah, that'll work. :fpalm
    popscycle likes this.
  19. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Seen While Riding - Turn Of The Century Building: I passed by this classic older school building several days ago. Built in 1905, it served as a school on the first floor and meeting/performance hall on the second. As far as I know, there aren't many structures like this still standing.

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    Currently used as town offices, the old school building is located at coordinates 42.630447, -72.147176. I parked the bike just down the hill by the village store and used the zoom, rather than shanks mares, to walk back up the hill for the pic.

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    Massabusa likes this.