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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    Two Road Shots: From yesterday's ride, the first below was taken when I stopped to stretch my knees in Leverett, MA, heading towards the CT River.

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    The second, below, was taken just over the CT River west on River Road. I had stopped to see if there was anything interesting on or near the river. There wasn't.

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    What you see in the picture above is a sod/turf research facility. Seeing greenery in the hills brought a smile to the old cruiserface.
  2. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    I’ve noted the green emerging in your photos. Not so here yet. We’ve had absolutely no rain whatsoever. In fact there’s a fire ban in effect. I’ve don’t ever recall such this time of year.
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  3. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Yes, things are starting to green up here for the reason you noted. April showers have been late but they're here now with warmer 60 -70 degree weather in between rain days. The trees are green up nicely, as shown in the picture below on the big hill they call Sugarloaf Mountain. The intense green in the river bottom land below Sugarloaf is a bit artificial as it is a lawn/sod test farm that's regularly watered and pampered.

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    Just as an FYI, native Americans thought this big mound was the carcass of a giant, human-eating beaver or something like that.
  4. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Train Fixes Harder To Come By: With all due respect to the limited exposure I have to trains going through the state, it seems train activity is way down. It used to be easy to ride to one of three or four places and see some train moving or about to move. These days it is none, keiner, ninguna, aucun . . . ! My usual train haunts are deader than the good folks in the graveyard down the road, so I dug this old image out of my photo graveyard and propped it up here for some nostalgia.

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    This was taken at a time where trains were more plentiful and had nice livery, as opposed to the unkempt look of Pam Am as it slouches and creeps across the state. P&W, as you may know, went the way of other shortlines bought up by G&W. The trainwatching memories, if not the present, are pleasant though and this makes a decent "bike by the train" picture.
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  5. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    John; I feel for you on the lack of train activity but with five active rail companies ( CN CP two shortlines and a tourist line) all within a 30 minute drive of my house I do not have to suffer the withdrawal symptoms you do. Keep looking; I'm sure rail traffic must be destined to pick up soon..:nod
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  6. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Well, I am certainly happy to hear someone's got trains and I hope you are right about things piking up. Just as an FYI, when I criticized Pan Am in the previous post for being unkempt and slouching and creeping across the state, I was referring to these units.

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    I'll bet your 5 actives don't have power looking this sloppy.
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  7. jeickerman

    jeickerman Full of it.

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    Looks pathetic with number boards missing. CSX will be overjoyed to get these units back. :rofl

    John
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  8. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    ROFL, I wonder if PA was hiding these in the weeds the day CSX came shopping.

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  9. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Just Riding: Below are just a few riding/road pics taken for the future when I can no longer ride. Nothing spectacular - just happy time.

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    Below is not what you'd call a train but with my current train watching deficit, anything on tracks is nice to see.

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    Below was a pee break taken while stopped on some pea gravel.

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  10. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    A Dying Village: Below are three pictures I took riding into a village (now officially a designated population center) that has been slowly dying since the early to mid 20th century. That would be South Royalston, MA. The first pic was taken on Main street riding toward the center of the village.

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    The village sprang up in the early 19th century due to the proximity of a rail line and water power. A cotton and wool mill started up around 1812 that was destroyed by fire twice before folding around 1930. Below is a picture of a S. Royalston mill that appears to be that one. The buildings were eventually torn down.

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    Below is a picture of the adjacent river, Millers River, looking downstream. There is a stone and earth flood control dam just upstream.

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    Chair manufacturing started here in the 1830s, with a number of small shops and factories that eventually joined larger concerns. They are all now gone. Below is the final pic, which is of the village's downtown or what is left of it (i.e., a general store).

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    Just up the hill that is back and to the right, is the old village school, Whitney Hall, that now houses town offices. Below is a picture of the school I took last July.

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    South Royalston is at coordinates 42.630464, -72.148319.
  11. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Caught One Napping: I stopped on the bride over the tracks going into the Pan Am Deerfieold yard. It looked like on of their unkempt dash-8 units was about to9 pull out with a consist of ballast. There was already one man in the cab and the second was climbing in just as I was about to take the picture below.

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    Thinking I was about to get some shots of it moving, I mounted up and rode down to where I could catch the engine just coming past the tower. When it didn't move for about 5 minutes, I rode farther dfown the yard to see if there might be a better shot. I got off and waited there for a bit.

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    When the engine didn't move after 5 minutes or so (I was itching to get back riding), I grabbed the following shot, rode on down the yard road and then hightailed it out of there.

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    It was somewhat encouraging to see people, if not trains, moving, even if it was only two guys in the cab chatting.
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  12. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    More Cover Blown: Another spot that once had sufficient junk, shrubbery and vegetation to give you cover (for sneaking up to but never entering the yard) for getting photos by the sanding towers has now been mostly cleared.

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    I don't know if this a good or bad thing yet. Prior to the clearing, you had to go through a lot of brush and crud to get up close to the concrete pilings. Now it looks easy.
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  13. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    A Nice Place To Relax: Unfortunately, the cafe here has been closed whenever I've been by. The walkway overlooking the Saw Mill River has been open though and is a nice stop.

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    All of this is located by the old mill at coordinates 42.537839, -72.537487.
  14. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    The Bookmill: Below is my best picture of the scenic bookmill referenced in the previous post.

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    This is a marvelous place to stop on a springtime ride but it gets crowded on weekends.
  15. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Inside The Bookmill: There are a lot of UMass people out this way who like to come here on weekends, browse the books, drink coffee, schmooze and virtue signal.

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  16. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Montague Center: A nice view of the north side of Montague Center, taken on the town common at coordinates 42.535054, -72.532891.

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  17. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    No Steamtown Big Boy: Steamtown's UP 4012 Big Boy is still off display getting a cosmetic restoration. That locomotive really needed it, as shown in an earlier photo (recently run through AI) below. We were thinking of going there soon but may hold off until the restoration on that beauty is finished.

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    Seeing and photographing Big Boy is about 25% of the reason for spending 8 hours going to and from Scranton.
  18. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Bring Out The Big Guns: It's that time of year when the American Heritage Museum puts on its spring shindig by opening up and bring stuff out to see and drive.

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    There is always the price of a ticket to consider ($20 - $25 for adults). I expect riding in or driving a tank will cost a bunch more. ($125 up)

    Note: I have no affiliation with the Collings Foundation or American Heritage Museum .
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  19. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Bring Out The Big Guns 2: The Collings Foundation has three museum structures on its property: The American Heritage Museum (AHM), the car museum and the hanger. Below is a previous view of the hanger on their grass runway where, in the past, they pull out new stuff they've collected. The hanger has been the home for all kinds of stuff that moves, shoots or flies.

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    Note: I have no affiliation with the Collings Foundation or American Heritage Museum .
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  20. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Bring Out The Big Guns 3: If you like things that ride, move, fly or shoot; the inside of the hanger should be of interest as it always contains a collection of such things.

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    Note: I have no affiliation with the Collings Foundation or American Heritage Museum .