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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    Not all that bad? Ha! That wasn't what you said after you rode it to your place. Also, you never had it almost throw you off with a major ghost shift down into first or have to keep replacing lights, burnt batteries or leaking fork seals.
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  2. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    Good or bad....just memories now John. The replacement motor seems to be treating you well...:ricky
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  3. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    As I recall, there were three locomotives being kept in that roundhouse. First was a rusty 1934 Baldwin 0-4-0, shown below that was missing its saddle tank and other bits and pieces. I couldn't get a good picture of it as there was so much in front of it.

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    The other two roundhouse locomotives were GE switchers, a 44 ton and 45 ton. First is the 44 ton, shown below, which was in the best shape.

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    The other roundhouse loco was this GE45 ton, shown below.

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    Other "yard" locomotives were an old EMD 9A, EMD SW8 and ALCO S4. As often happens, folks there wanted you to leave your moto in the parking area and not ride it into the yard for posing.
  4. KMichael

    KMichael Go Explore

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    I had all those things, and more -- packaged together they are called my Harley Davidson. Remind me again why I still have that bike?
  5. KMichael

    KMichael Go Explore

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    Is the Baldwin being restored?
  6. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    The last time I was there, it was their intention to get it back under steam, but that was 3 years ago. IMHO and given current social and economic conditions, you'd be lucky to ever see a cosmetic resto. Getting it fixed and certified for steam is a pretty big dieal and I don't think they've the skill or tools for that. They're a small operation with a tiny budget and not much of a train ride attraction (i.e., up and down a short section of track). Their train ride, which I didn't take, reminded me of the Lenox (MA) jitney that ran about a few yards down the track from the old Lenox station (coordinates 42.350456, -73.244879). Below are two pics of that adventure.

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    The Lenox train ride was from the platform above down to about where the telephone pole is. The train consisted of a GE 50 ton switcher and a caboose, shown below.

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    As I recall, the train driver got a little upset when we rode into the yard and tried to pose the GS with the above, stationary consist. I had to settle posing the redhead with an engine that wasn't running and promising to quickly move the bike out of the yard and up to the station. Said train driver was happy with that and we got a picture with an engine. The engine I really wanted to post the redhead with was a very toasty, old ALCO RS3. I'll try to find a picture of that in the archive since they've now got it cleaned up and running.
  7. drklynoon

    drklynoon Adventurer

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    I've always had a fascination with trains but it came from some idealic place that I think never actually existed but seeing some of your pictures I think I was wrong and there once was a time when trains looked more like my ol' Lionel sets. These switchers are just awesome. Growing up we had a train that went through my town but no stops. If you were quick, you could time it right and jump up on the train as it went by and slowed down and ride it up to the next town that had a 24 hour diner. Anyway, I love your pictures thank you.
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  8. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Locomotives The Redhead Wanted To Pose With - But Couldn't: In showing your bike with a train or locomotive, there's lots of newer ones to be found around, ranging from GPs to the latest from GE or EMD. Once in a while your ride takes you by something less common, like an old ALCO. Years ago, we crossed paths with this old 1950 ALCO RS-3. It was not in good shape.

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    We had ridden into the yard, posed with another engine and then made the train driver happy by parking in the lot up by the station. We did walk around enough to get a picture of the locomotive above and a few others. In looking at it, I was doubting that it would ever run again. I was wrong. In September of this year, the following video was posted of the RS-3 all cleaned up, if not totally painted, and running.



    How happy is that? The RS-3 was built in September 1950 by ALCO in nearby Schenectady, NY for Alabama's Birmingham Southern Railroad. It was a complete original when received in Lenox by the BSRM.
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  9. drklynoon

    drklynoon Adventurer

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    That is amazing, what a piece of history to keep alive.
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  10. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Not Of Grave Concern: But it was a question. "Where was the village, enterprise (e.g., saw/grist mill) or settlement that populated this cemetery? "

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    I happened by this 1790s cemetery by accident, admired the stonewall and stopped for a stretch. Most colonial NE cemeteries are found near a church or hall but this one had no indication of being near much of anything.

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    Just down the road was an even larger cemetery, a small part of which is shown in the picture below. The sign over the crypt says 1800. I didn't examine any tombstones for dates.

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    I could find no evidence of any nearby church, hall, village or settlement on this road. Thinking that back in horse days, folks generally didn't haul their dead any distance away to be buried, I have another mystery to look into. I did learn that the second cemetery, shown immediately above, is privately owned. This was yet another adventure that lasts beyond the ride.
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  11. KMichael

    KMichael Go Explore

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    Wow. Talk about a redemption arc!
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  12. KMichael

    KMichael Go Explore

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    Thanks for the graveyard report. But, you skipped over the tasty bits about this dirt road in the woods. Looks like a nice ride...
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  13. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Tasty Bits: Apologies for not including pics of the road. I usually only take road shots these days when I stop to look at something more carefully or assuage body functions. Anyway, there's the ones from the cemetery expedition.

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    On this stretch of road, there wasn't much else to see except trees and the occasional track/trail to explore.

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    It was a very pleasent ride, though, with no slime on the hardpack areas or major potholes.

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  14. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Locomotives The Redhead Wanted To Pose With - But Couldn't: When it comes to posing with locomotives, the redhead seems to have this thing for toasty old ALCO units. Once again, our ride took us to another old ALCO sitting in a yard that was off-limits to motorcycles. In this yard, we encountered a rusty 1956 ALCO RS-11.

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    This locomotive was one of 15 ordered by the New Haven railroad with the steam generator option so it could be used in passenger service. Unfortunately, those steam generators proved to be unreliable and the units were reassigned into freight service. You'd think that ALCO, who had been of the country's premier makers of steam locomotives, could have built a reliable steam generator. As best we can tell from a satellite view, this old engine is still rusting away at coordinates 41.397311, -73.445545.
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  15. ShOqUePoT

    ShOqUePoT GS Pot

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    Maybe I'm just speaking for myself, but I believe he was looking for info on where this road is so he could ride it. Pictures are great though.
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  16. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Good thought; however, being committed to a contract out on the west coast, he won't be around here to ride it for a while. When he does get back, I suspect he will head for Green Mountain gravel, which is his favorite. If you or anyone else would like to know the route I took, just PM me. The first cemetery is at coordinates 42.502669, -72.502722 and the next one shortly thereafter going west.
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  17. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Chasing The Ghost Of A Tavern: It was a glorious day with beautiful weather on a great road, shown below. It was so great that I couldn't stand it and had to stop the bike to take it all in (and grab a photo).

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    A little farther on down the road, things got even better when the asphalt turned to hardpack gravel. It was on that stretch where I had a "whoa horse" moment to take a good look at a sign.

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    Two things caught my eye. First was the early date, which was per-Revolutionary War. Second was the town. I was in Ashfield, MA, not Huntstown. I later learned Ashfield was first named Huntstown after some guy named Hunt. As for the tavern, a rod is about 16.5 feet, which would have put the tavern several feet beyond my bike in the picture below.

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    Yet again, the adventure persists long after the ride is finished. Wanting to know more about this place, I found this in chapter 5 on page 139 of the Route 116 Scenic Byway Corridor Management Plan.

    The first tavern and potashery was established near Bellows Hill by Joseph Mitchell before 1763.
    I guess this mostly proves the existence of the place. Back in those days, it was common belief that alcoholic drinks (i.e., beer, hard cider, rum, brandy, , port, sherry, etc.) were healthier than water, which was probably true as settlements tended to pollute. Whiskey didn't appear in any quantities until the 1790s. There were, of course, those who thought alcoholic beverages were the devils work. Below is some writing I found on the subject of temperance in the area where this tavern was located. The source is
    History Of The Town of Ashfield

    The inhabitants of this town, in common with their fellow-citizens located in a region of fruit and distilleries, have suffered much from the scourge of intemperance. For years the wave of liquid fire rolled over those hills and valleys, carrying disease and po\crty and death in its trail, with scarcely an obstacle to withstand its course. Many of the distilleries, first set ui3 for the distillation of mint, by a little additional expense of v-ats could be employed for a part of the year in distilling cider. It is believed that for a number of years there were as many as eight or ten of these magazines of destruction in operation in the towm. It \vas almost as inuch a matter of course for the farmer to take his cider to the still and take home his stock of brandy for family use, as it was for him to carry his grain to the mill and furnish the staff of life for his household.
    Funny thing is, I don't remember every seeing a tavern while riding through Asfield, MA. Also, there was an author named Joseph Mitchell who wrote about McSorley's Old Ale House (est. 1854) in NYC. Coincidence?

    Edit Note: Should anyone want to visit a non-ghostly, per-Revolutionary War tavern and restaurant, there's the Bull Run in Shirley at coordinates 42.584134, -71.646634 that dates back to 1740. Shown below, the old place even has a covered bridge over the stream out back.

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  18. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Old Things The Redhead Wanted To Pose With - And Was Able: From the vault of older photos is this dupe of the redhead in a foundry building that an acquaintance uses to store old trucks and other stuff.

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    Thanks, Jeff, for letting us ride in there. The redhead likes fire trucks, even old ones. Anybody want a toasty, old, Mack, hook and ladder truck? I'm told it runs.

    Edit Note: This pic was a good reminder for me - when shooting inside a dark old building with no flash, it's a good idea to take multiple pictures on different settings so as to get a decent one to use. The other alternative is, of course, HDR bracketing, which I don't care to mess with. Another good alternative these days is using AI on your RAW or original file, which I did on this pic today. The original, non-processed photo had the bike washed out from an open door and most of the foundry dark and dim. Also, a reminder that whatever editing or processing you do on a photo should always be non-destrictive to the original.
  19. red bud

    red bud alky w/motorcycle problem Supporter

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    at least now we sorta got a idea what ya look like
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  20. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Some 6 years ago, in my post-hondapotamus 70s, I looked like this , but still with a bit of residual cruiserface. Now at my more advanced age, LOL, we're not looking any better.

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    Note: Pic was taken in one of the kid's basement shop, which was really something at the time. They've since moved and taken and/or sold all their interesting bikes.