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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    A Gentleman Of No Small Talent: Storm clouds and the threat of rain cut my ride short and had me heading for home. Taking the most direct, yet somewhat scenic, route, I happened by a house where a man was doing some chainsaw carving. I stopped and asked permission to photograph his work. Some work!

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    The gentleman's name is Ryan Meader who is on Facebook as Meader Built Chainsaw Carving. Ryan carves these out of his head with no plans or drawings. After asking if he needed work and getting a telling look, I asked how big his backlog was. He said it was around 45 carvings to be done. When you see his more complex work, you understand the reason for the backlog. Ryan was kind enough to open his garage door and see a piece he did for himself. Shown below, it blew me away looking at the detail up close.

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    Note the use of the potentially dangerous, high voltage, fractal burn patterning on some of the wood surfaces. There's an art to that also.

    Good fortune rides with those who are open to see new things. I am honored to have met Ryan and view his work.
  2. KMichael

    KMichael Go Explore

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    Wow. This is incredible. What a talent. Unbelievable find!
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  3. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    I'm not a train watcher although I pay attention more now because of this thread. There does not seem to have been any decrease in train activity around here. Maybe because our economy never slowed down very much around here due to Covid and is really booming at this time. I would expect train activity to pick up with a huge new manufacturing plant getting ready to open soon. I'll have to go see if they put in any new rail lines to service the new Toyota/Mazda plant.
  4. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Indeed! This is what Ryan was working on when I first rode up.

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  5. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    An Interesting House: As I was wending my way home after seeing the sky fill up with storm clouds, I stopped to grab a picture of this house. Interesting architecture.

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    In looking at the place, I remembered that this area was a big, summer tourist town back in the 1800s and early 1900s before cars totally replaced the horse and buggy. The reason was elevation and cooler summer temperatures. Anyway, the house has the look of a place that perhaps took in summer boarders as homes did back in that day. After I taking that picture, I turned 90°, saw these two park benches, remembered what was once here and snapped the following picture.

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    Supposedly now a park, the plot of land above was once the site of locally-famous (at the time) resort hotel - the Wachusett House, shown below.

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    The house was built in 1822, given new additions over time and burned down in 1910, as did many of the hotels/inns in the area. This is what someone wrote about the place:

    The ridge on which the Wachusett House stands is all offshoot of Wachusett Mountain, the second highest elevation in the state, and as we stand on the hotel piazza we are 1,130 feet above the level of the sea. This elevation secures exemption from morning fogs and from mosquitoes; the air is singularly dry and bracing; even in the hottest weather there is always a breeze across the ridge, and the thermometer rarely indicates a temperature above 85 degrees. Source: Worcester Columbian.​

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    There are still a few of these priceless old inns left in New England.

    Edit Notes: The first two pictures were taken at/about coordinates 42.447952, -71.876545. The last two came from the Princeton Historical Society.
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  6. KMichael

    KMichael Go Explore

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    What talent it takes to free-style these carvings. Just amazing. I couldn't even make wood chips as good as he does. Incredible.
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  7. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    I got an invitation today from Ryan to come back any time. Might want to build that into a ride next time you get back this way.
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  8. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    More Than Just A Pose: This isn't just a redhead pose, it is the intersection of a dual-personality road with itself, same name but one paved and one gravel.

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    It's not something you see that often.
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  9. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    A Very Nice Launch Site: There is a very nice boat/canoe/kayak launch site for Leverett Pond on Depot Road. Shown below, it is located at coordinates 42.451001, -72.502448.

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    Often busy on weekends, nobody was there when I rode by. Less scenic was this once-proud, old colonial across the street that I happened to notice. I noticed somebody had propped up the porch roof that was once falling down.

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    I got the impression someone was living there given some cars out back of the place.
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  10. Ohio Rider

    Ohio Rider Adventurer

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    Is that a T6 Texan? My dad was an instructor in the T6.
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  11. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    You're quite right, it is an AT6 in pristine, supposedly-flying condition. I've several other pics of the bird:

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  12. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Two Water Scenes: Taken on a ride last week, I spent some time trying to get these to look accurate. Both were too underexposed with chromatic issues, suggesting a problem with a camera setting.

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    I think these brief stops by water lower my blood pressure.
  13. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Here's a close up of the raptor with a fish.

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  14. Offcenter

    Offcenter On The Road Again!

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    Yes I am, Pops. I'm roughly and hour and a half away, and I'm looking forward to seeing it again when it's done and looking pretty again.
    Meanwhile....another story....
    I met a guy down here near me who is a volunteer out there at Steamtown.
    He told me that some years ago, they hired a guy to paint the Big Boy.
    He slapped on whatever paint he could get cheap, then took their money
    and ran. The paint started peeling off within a few years.
    Another story....
    When the Union Pacific decided it was time to restore a Big Boy, they
    sent a team of their machinists and engineers on a secret "vacation".
    Posing as tourists, they traveled the country to visit all eight remaining
    Big Boys to evaluate their condition.
    They decided that the one in Pomona California, and the one in Scranton
    were in the best shape mechanically. They ultimately decided on the one
    in California because it had been stored in a dry climate.
    I'm kinda glad that they didn't pick this one because it is the only Big Boy
    east of the Mississippi River, and the only one that we could ever get
    to see in person.
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  15. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Thanks for the info. I doubt if the government will every pony up the money to get Steamtown's Big Boy running again but hope springs eternal (that some donors and corporate sponsors help). At least it should look better on display.
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  16. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Just Up The Road: Below are two pictures taken just up the road from where we live.

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    I think the area is especially attractive in early spring and I take photos every spring and fall. One of these times, I might get it right.

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  17. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Once A Mill Site In Slab City: The redhead is sitting on an old mill site, the area around which used to be an early industrial village called Slab City.

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    The village gradually disappeared after 1873 when people and industry shifted to areas that had both water power and railroad access. Other than the dam above, there is virtually no evidence that a thriving city had been here.
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  18. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    The Village Green: While riding through Grafton, MA, I stopped in the town center and took this picture looking across the common.

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    Things are greening up nicely now.
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  19. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    A Walk In The Park: Well, I really wasn't walking. I was riding the redhead and stopping in a few places to take the following pictures without getting off. There was a good amount of foot and car traffic in the park.

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    These pics were taken in the park near where we used to live before downsizing several years ago.

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    At each point, we just pulled over, turn on the flashers, grabbed the camera, too the shot and moved on, riding to the very north side of the park by the pond.

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    Geese are late this year, as there are a gaggle or three that land and park here every summer, much to the chagrin of the town's animal control officer.
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  20. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    A Bit More Moving and Shaking: While riding through the back roads, I took another picture of large, Shaker house in Harvard. Known as the south family house, it is shown below.

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    Constructed in the early 1800s, the house is now privately owned and located at coordinates 42.529812, -71.559546.
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