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. bobw

    bobw Harden the phuck up

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    Not snarky at all, nor sarcastic, a bit more sardonic perhaps or just a witty response that regardless any definition was well done.


    Cheers
    #81
  2. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    One of our (numerous) failures is getting so wrapped up in riding (these GS things are a lot of fun to ride) that we often pass by a good number of photo opportunities. Sometimes, the only pictures taken are those when we stop to stretch. Sometimes these places are interesting and sometimes not. In any event, here are some non-destination stopping points in the last month or two. The first of these is an now-abandoned private girl's academy. Having sucked most of the water out of the hydra-pack at this point, the bushes came in handy.

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    This little church provide another relief stop. Somebody had forgotten to latch the door and it was flapping in the breeze. Relief for the bladder and soul in one stop.

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    Then, there was this place where I stopped to ask direction from a fellow across the street.

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    This old store was for sale but the owners didn't spend much advertising the fact - probably because it was out in the middle of nowhere.

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    This is an interesting (to me) building in Princeton, MA.

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    As with others here, we do like bridges and will usually stop and rest thereabouts if traffic allows.

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    Resting is good, especially when you get old.
    #82
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  3. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    As a final note on the subject, not all of those rides could have been done on any bike (e.g., some of the track rides), our rides do get "off road" on trails like this and both I, being the really old fart that I am, and GS like them just fine.

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    The problem is that they get boring after a while as there's not much to see except dense forest/foliage if they don't lead to something. The value of dual-sport is that they make very good cruisers (faster than most with better handling, IMHO) and you can take advantage of their off-road capabilities when the trail/path/way does lead to something, such as an old railroad tunnel or interesting view.

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    #83
  4. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Those of you who're not from the area and are interested in early Americana might enjoy Historic Deerfield, which is a village that is a museum. Located off Rt 5 just south of Greenfield, MA at coordinates 42.543121, -72.602021; the village is on the Nation Register of Historic Places and offers a lot of historical houses and items for those who're interested. Some of the houses are open for tours (for a fee) and others are lived in.

    I was passing through Greenfield yesterday and it was a nice day so I swung down 5 and took some pictures.

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    Historic Deerfield is a very quiet, restful and peaceful place and certainly not the place for loud pipes.

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    Here are some of the houses lining the streets, some of which date back to the early 1700s.

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    Above and below is the Williams House, constructed in 1730. The natives were friendly this day.

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    The house below has been special, as the wife and I first saw it in a painting hanging on a neighbor's wall back when we lived in IL. We didn't know where it was until we happened upon it here in Historic Deerfield on an excursion.

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    If you have time for a little libation (I didn't), this is a nice place to do it.

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    Below is the Barnard Tavern, built in 1795

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    Finally, my other favorite, the Dwight House, built in 1754.

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    #84
  5. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Long timer

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    I can't believe I've ignored this post for so long. Stupid, stupid me! This RR has ton's of things I thoroughly enjoy, railroad's, railroad building's, old brick factories, that cool-to-bad-it's-being-demolished IOOF building, just to name a few.

    I'm definitely subscribed now! This is awesome. Don't stop and keep it going!!!!
    #85
  6. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    If you want to explore old factories around here, you had better get to liking gravel as we encounter a lot of it. Happened on this old factory, most of which has been torn down and turned into acres and acres of gravel.

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    Did I mention gravel?

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    This stuff (i.e. gravel) used to bother the crap out of me on the old Hondapotamus but it puts a smile on my face now - maybe even a smirk now and then when it is bumpy and loose. That said, gravel becomes a part of your off-road life. You find it everywhere.

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    There can be piles of gravel around railroad tracks.

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    It is the very foundation of train yards.

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    And old train engines.

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    And it can readily be found mixed with dirt and mud.

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    Having a ride that lets you get into gravel with some confidence can put a smile on your face too. The gravel grimace is gone.
    #86
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  7. Benduro

    Benduro Detox Supporter

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    A thoroughly enjoyable read! There are so many ways in which we can use the humble motorcycle as a tool for increasing our understanding of the world. And then sharing that knowledge with others!
    #87
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  8. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    We will and thank you for letting us know about your RR. We envy your trails!

    So true! Thank you for stopping by our RR.
    #88
  9. justdirtyfun

    justdirtyfun Been here awhile

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    Well spoken and your pictures bring me in for more. Your historical area looks interesting. Over in Missouri is an annual ride organized around historic swinging bridges. When I'm back home I hope to post a pic or two. Thanks.
    #89
  10. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Glad you are enjoying the RR and we will be doing more historical areas - we have a lot. Also, we look forward to any/all bridge pictures you might have, especially swinging bridges, for which I have great affection. The little town in IL that I grew up in had two (now 3) swinging bridges that we played/jumped/rode on. Below is one of them (pic taken from web).

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    It was great fun to ride your scoot over these when your buds have got it swinging good.
    #90
  11. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Not all the old mills are torn down or abandoned. The Lancaster Mills in Clinton, MA are looking pretty good these days, having been re-purposed into loft apartments and businesses.

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    Built in 1844, this extensive mill complex was one of the largest producers of gingham cloth. The mill was the work of Erastus Bigalow (of Bigalow carpet fame) who had built and patented a new type of loom that revolutionized the manufacture of gingham. The Bigalow brothers went on to found and build another Clinton mill (not pictured here) that produced the famous Bigalow carpets.

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    As you can see, the mill complex is extensive and there's even more if you ride between the buildings to the back.

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    More to follow on this later as I had to get home this afternoon.
    #91
  12. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    We had been wanting to ride down the old Conway Station Road, which runs from Bardswells Ferry Road down to the Deerfield River to see what was left of the old Conway electric trolley infrastructure.

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    This is a dirt road that should be no great whoop but it had rained a lot the previous evening and the road turned to snot on the way down. One side of the road had running water and the other wet, slippery dirt.

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    Down near the bottom, it got so slippery that I said "screw it" and went off through the woods.

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    There really wasn't much to see but the journey down and back up the hill demonstrated the agility of the bike in Enduro Mode on such stuff and, not being what you would call grizzled trail riders, put a smile on our faces.
    #92
  13. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    I managed to get pictures of some of the bridges crossed in the past couple of weeks. Whether newer or older,we enjoy them all - sometimes so much that the camera is forgotten. The first is a great old bridge with a wooden deck. Thanks to inmate flei for pointing us towards this particular bridge/road.

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    As interesting as the bridge was, there was another structure spanning the road on the eastern side that looked like part of an industrial canal, spillway and millrace. A piece of this structure is shown below. Not immediately visible from the road, you have to walk into the woods to see it all. We are trying to find out more about this and will go back to study it further. The coordinates are 42.597752, -72.437767.

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    An industrial canal bridge.

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    One of the newer bridges

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    This concrete bridge was crumbling.

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    A side view of the above.

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    Another industrial canal bridge.,

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    I pass over the bridge below quite often when heading up into NH and VT.

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    Coming back, I stopped to take a picture of the dam below.

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    When confronted with places like this, getting off the road is what it's all about.

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    Below is a bridge over the Miller's River in Athol, MA. It needs some paint.

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    Some symmetry.

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    More to follow from the past several weeks when I find and upload them.
    #93
  14. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    If you enjoy flowers and botanicals, you might enjoy the Tower Hill Botanical Gardens, which is located just north of Boyalston, MA at coordinates 42.357253, -71.730035. Please note that we have no affiliation with Tower Hill other than being just another member. The entrance looks like this.

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    As you turn in, there is a friendly gatekeeper just up the road.

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    She wants your money. If you enjoy horticulture and plan to stay for a while (and you should), the price is cheap. Since members of our family frequent the place year round, I have a pass card.

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    Up the road near the orchards, the main entrance is to the left with a gravel service road to the right. The GS likes the road to the right but the guests and workers don't like the GS on the walking paths.

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    Pulling up to the main entrance:

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    The parking lot is to the left, as shown in the picture below.

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    The main entrance, close up:

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    I always park out in back by the delivery area, where the bike is away from the horticultural hordes.

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    Right away, you start to notice the flowers, even in the delivery area.

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    Below is the main reception area where my next door neighbor happened to be on duty.

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    Looking down the hall:

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    And right away you get the idea that there's stuff to see and do here. To the left is Twig's Cafe, which has a great balcony view.

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    Outside to the right, shown below, is the main courtyard.

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    The courtyard is a nice place to relax and have tea or coffee with friends.

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    The view from the other side:

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    The courtyard is bounded by two greenhouse structures, the Orangerie and the Limonaia, which often contain flower displays such as below.

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    Outside there are numerous paths to walk, a few of which are shown next.

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    The garden has a very scenic farmhouse conference center.

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    More to follow on all the place has to offer as I get more pictures uploaded.
    #94
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  15. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Rider number two sent me an email last night saying, "BartlettÂ’s Bridge on Clara Barton Road in Oxford will make for a good picture about now." So today I moseyed down to Oxford to see the bridge for myself. Here is what I found:

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    As I was looking over the edge, a nice young lady comes walking down the road and gives me permission to pull the bike into her yard and walk down by the stream.

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    There is a nice view of the bridge from her yard.

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    Going a little further down the bank gives a good view of the bridge, which was built in 1889 by request of Charles Bartlett, who owned textile mills in North Oxford. It is believed it was built so his employees could more easily get to and from the mills.

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    Farther on down the road is Clara Barton's birthplace museum. As my excursion time was running low, I did not go that far. Perhaps later.
    #95
  16. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    We were happily motoring south on Rt. 112 after investigating a waterfall when this place came into view. WTF?

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    Motoring on up and parking the bikes, one encounters what seems to be a wheels sculpture. Fitting for us, if not for the rest of the place.

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    OK, what you're seeing is a stove store and museum, gift shop, art gallery (??), collection of stuff and a zen rock/bottle/junk garden sanctuary with a donations box. This is not quite the stuff of Antoni Gaudi but in that direction. FYI, the place is at coordinates 42.471219, -72.809493.

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    It was closed. No stoves or zen for us, but then we didn't need any. I was thinking "Zen And The Art of Gaudy Motorcycling" would make a good title for this post, so I changed it.
    #96
  17. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    In cruiserface times, we used to ride to some places and then ride back. The idea of exploring wasn't at the forefront of our brains. Now having dual-sport rides, the words, "Let's go see what this is" are a regular occurrence. While riding home to meet a 6 PM deadline for a family dinner, a white ball was spotted on top of a mountain way off in the distance. So, it was "Lets go see what this is the next time we are out this way." We finally did and this is what it was.

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    It is the FAA's long-range radar atop Mt. Bryant. If you've ever flown in, out or over NE, you were probably on this radar.

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    We were hoping for a jeep trail or, at best, a gravel road leading up to the place but, unfortunately, the road was just old asphalt with not much else to see in the vicinity. Nevertheless, it was still fun.
    #97
  18. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    When headed points west and north up into VT and NY, we often take the Mohawk Trail (i.e., MA Rt. 2) to make time. That route takes us through Turners Falls where there is a historical industrial waterway - the Montague Canal.

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    Initially constructed in 1798, the canal provided a waterway from above the great falls on the Connecticut river (now called Turners Falls) to a point downstrean near the Deerfield River. By 1802, the canal was supporting boat traffic from Long Island Sound to Bellows Falls Vermont. an emerging mill town. By 1869, the canal was reconstructed, along with a dam, to provide waterpower to existing and planned mills. These can be seen today.

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    Going across the bridge above, you get a better view north towards where the canal begins.

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    Right behind the mill shown above is the Connecticut River

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    Back over the bridge looking the other way are some older mill buildings.

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    There are a number of bridges of various designs crossing the canal.

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    One of the abandoned mills is shown below.

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    Another view of the same, taken several days later.

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    Another mill building

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    The last picture is of the mouth of the canal, where water enters from above the falls dam.

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    This area appears in the satellite view below just left of the Avenue A bridge at about coordinates 42.610618, -72.554805.

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    There is a museum at this location called the Great Falls Discovery Center. Shown below, I did not have to time to visit the center but will be back to check it out.

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    Today, the canal's main use seems to be generating some amount of hydroelectric power.
    #98
  19. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Long timer

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    Man, I'm so glad I found this thread!:clap

    Anyway, your photo here reminded me of a place in Idaho City out here.
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    Not really that close, but from memory they were! For Sale by the way!!
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    Thanks for riding so much and taking lots of cool picture's.
    #99
  20. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    I love those old crazy buildings and thank you, sir, for all your pictures - especially the ones with all those good vistas.