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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    Nice to hear from you and hope we meet in the future and/or we get to see some of your pics. As for RR tracks, we stay off those that are main line or used regularly, the exception being one where a guy in the yard said go ahead . Spurs, especially those leading to old buildings or factories, are another matter. :D

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  2. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    What kind of idiot drives across/into three states to get a couple small bricks of cheese? Well, it is the kind that (a) spent a rainy week in the office, (b) has a dream bike that he likes to ride, (c) has the afternoon free and (d) needs some good, aged cheddar. Perhaps pictures of passing through a once-famous insane asylum on the way would be fitting.

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    This is to suggest I popped out of the office this afternoon, took some back roads up into NH, passing by some fancy houses, and went across to Brattleboro VT

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    The destination was the Grafton Village Cheese Company on Rt 30 just north of Brattleboro.

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    It is a good size place, complete with barn and farm animals for the kids to see.

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    Inside, you can buy stuff and watch cheese being made (up the stairs in the background). I was particularly interested in 2, 3, 4 and 5 year aged cheddar. Be aware that they have a good variety and quantity of cheeses to taste, which is what people are doing around the counter.

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    Several pieces of the haul.

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    Tomorrow, we're off early in the morning to the Wings & Wheels Open House at the Collings Foundation and will have good cheese for our crackers when we get back. Life is good.
  3. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Sunday was an absolutely gorgeous day for a ride, with temps starting out in the low 60s and going into the mid 70s. I got up around 4AM to get some office work done, charged the SENA, put ice and water in the Hydrapak and met up with Rider Two at a favorite breakfast haunt just as they were opening up for the morning.

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    After some sausage, eggs, home frys and toast; we pointed the bikes towards Stow and arrived at their farm just as the open house was opening. We were directed to park the bikes by the barn. Note the high-tech side stand pad.

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    Once everything was buttoned up, a fellow came out of the barn telling us not to park there but to put the bikes over near the (man cave) hanger. Their hanger has a nice "round barn" facade.

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    Inside is a vary large, multi-story area for keeping planes, cars, tanks, motorcycles, artillery and other collectibles.

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    A quick peek over the hanger floor from the balcony give you an idea of the size of the place and what's down there.

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    There are an awful lot of their planes that are not here, including a B-17, B-24, B-25, P-51, F-4U, ME-262, FW-190, A-36, F-100, F-4 and more. The one that caught my eye was the TBM Avenger in the center of the hanger. You may recall that President GHW Bush was shot down over Chichi Jima in 1943 while flying an Avenger. I suspect more don't know that actor Paul Newman was an Avenger rear gunner.

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    Another plane that caught our attention was the Fiesler Storch, which has excellent short takeoff and landing characteristics.

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    The Storch, like most of Collings' planes, are flown at various venues around the country. Below is a video of this Storch being flown as part of a reenactment taken place at an earlier Collings event at their farm in Stow.

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    WWII history buffs may recall that it was a Fiesler Storch that landed on a boulder-strewn mountain top in Italy to retrieve deposed Benito Mussolini, who had been rescued from his captors by the infamous Otto Skorzeny on Hitler's orders.

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    Another interesting warbird is the Grumman FM-2 Wildcat, shown below. As a result of Grumman's having trouble keeping up with the production of both the Avenger and Wildcat while tooling up for the F6F Hellcat, production of the Wildcat was handed over to GM, which produced the FM-2 (Grumman designed) variant of the F4F.

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    Another plane on the floor was the Cessna UC-78, known as the "Bamboo Bomber". Shown below, it was used during the war to train bomber pilots and saw civilion and commercial use after the war. Some of us more senior folk will remember the UC-78 as the plane Sky King was most often seen in.

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    Here is another view of the Cessna:

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    Below is a little perspective on an AT-6, which was a WWII trainer of note.

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    Outside the hanger, they were giving rides in the PT-17, a plane we had both flown in (Rider Two at an earlier open house and I as a child with my father at the controls).

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    More to follow - a lot more.
  4. BBQer

    BBQer Who Me Supporter

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    Idiot I am.

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    About a month ago a few of us rode up to VT's Wilgus State Park for the weekend. A stop in Grafton on the way home was required.
  5. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Very nice spread! It is not that I needed any motivation to head up that way again; however, you have done me a great service in providing even more impetus to do it sooner. :ricky
  6. TM1(SS)

    TM1(SS) Matthew 24:36, Ride today, ride now :-) Supporter

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    Damn, I miss New England!! Stationed at Sub Base Groton for 6 years, rode all over up there on a mixed bag of old Beemers. Loved all the old mills, railroads, bridges, history. Your posts here are truly a blessing!:clap
  7. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    We will work hard to keep them coming for you and I am thinking we should make a trek to Groton and get some pics there. Also, thank you for your service!
  8. KMichael

    KMichael Go Explore

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    Rider Three (PopsCycle) is right to thank you for your service and I echo his sentiments. Speaking of Rider Three, and mills, here's a picture including both. Not sure which is the older -- the mill or PopsCycle. Happy to report however that both are in good working order. This mill is located in Sherborn MA. I'm pretty sure PopsCycle will post more/better pix of this pretty cool facility.

    Attached Files:

  9. KMichael

    KMichael Go Explore

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    How was the ride there and back? Was Wilgus as good as the cheese?
  10. TM1(SS)

    TM1(SS) Matthew 24:36, Ride today, ride now :-) Supporter

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    popscycle and kmichael, many humble thanks for your kind words! When I get back up there to ride, we shall have beer and I shall buy the first round!
    :clap
  11. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    This is the second of two posts about our day trip to the Collings Foundation Open House on Father's Day. Aside from the planes, the Collings Foundation has a good number of things with wheels and I am led to believe most are operable/driveable. A good number of war-related items were tucked away on the hanger floor of the man cave.

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    Among these was a 1930s BMW R75.

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    Perhaps some tank buffs would know what model this is.

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    Just outside was this little tank. At first I thought it was some variation on Renault's WWI tank; however, I really have no clue what it is.

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    The odd duck of the collection was the Peerless steam tractor inside the hanger. I remember these from my youth when there was an annual Thresherman's Reunion in the town I grew up in.

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    The upper balcony floor of the hanger contains a collection or race cars, shown below.

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    It is a short walk from the front of the hanger to the barn where the other cars are stored. We didn't photograph all the cars, just ones that grabbed our attention.

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    One of the first cars you see when you enter the barn is a 1908 Cadillac Runabout. As I recall, Cadillac was born out of Leland's resurrection of one of Henry Ford's failed companies.

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    Down the line a bit is this brassy 1904 Franklin Roadster.

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    One of the cars across the aisle that caught my attention was this 1913 Mercer Speedster. Enthusiasm dampened a bit when I learned it was a replica.

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    To the right a bit was a nice 1906 Stanley Steamer.

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    The 1916 Baby Grand was made by Chevrolet by W.C. Durant (founder of GM) who had bought out Louis Chevrolet's interest in the company two years earlier. It was built to compete with Ford's Model T.

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    Below is one of our all-time favorite automobiles - the (1936) Auburn Boat-Tail Speedster.

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    Another favorite is this 1930 Cord Coupe, shown below. I believe this was the first American front-wheel drive car to be sold to the public.

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    Across from the Cord were of number of classic and classy cars. These follow.

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    All in all, the open house was worth the price of admission ($15), we got to ride around on grass and gravel a bit and still had time to head to the western part of the state to explore some back roads.
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  12. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Long timer

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    I don't know what this little tank is either, but I've seen one of similar size out here in my neck of the woods. The day I saw it originally a couple years ago, I didn't take a picture and I would go back later to do so. When I went back a few months later...it wasn't there. Darn the luck.

    Fast forward to last year. Saw the same tank, but at a different persons house a few miles fron the first time I saw it. Ditto again, I'll go back to snap a photo with the TW. Yep, you guessed it, not there anymore. Still looking though!
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    Thanks for sharing your picture's. They are so cool.
  13. TM1(SS)

    TM1(SS) Matthew 24:36, Ride today, ride now :-) Supporter

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    popscycle and kmichael, it may interest you to know that the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Co. is currently owned by a man named Doug Pray, who inherited it from his father Glenn Pray. It is in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma about 25 minutes from my house. It is a very busy shop and Doug is a real straight-up good man.
  14. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    If it wasn't so far, I'd be on the bike in the morning heading your way to buy you a cold beer and see this place. Cords and Duesenbergs go good with beer, IMHO. As it is, we'll try to hunt it down on the internet and look for good information. Thanks for the lead!

    John
  15. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    I am fortunate (i.e. blessed) to both (1) have a great bike that I love riding and (2) be able to get out most days for some greater or lesser amount of time to ride it. On days when time is short, I often ride up to and/or around Mt Wachusett since it is not that far away. Those of you who are not from this area should know that Wachusett offers a very pleasant, non-scary and relaxing ride to the summit. Should you get out this way, the road to the top is at coordinates 42.492407, -71.880043 and offers some pleasant views, such as the one below early on in the ride up.

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    Closet to the top is a view area where you can pull of and get out.

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    You often find bikers and other interesting people pulled off here to enjoy the view. Some set up lawn chairs and picnic in the area or on the bluffs above. The most unusual thing I saw was two people trying to fly kites. Now that in itself isn't unusual; however, they had a man's picture affixed to the kites and said they were honoring the first anniversary of his death by flying these at the mountain. The deceased was the husband of the older woman and it seemed to be a happy event for both of them.. Their picture (with permission) is below.

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    The summit, shown below is just up the road.

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    There are some nice roads to ride in the area; however, you may want to stay off the one just across from the entrance (i.e., Pine Hill road). When I was on it Monday, there were piles of loose gravel and major league potholes on the downhill section - not the stuff heavy bikes like.

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  16. BBQer

    BBQer Who Me Supporter

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    Even those these pictures are a couple years old, I felt they would fit.

    In your 2nd pic you can see the 2 controversial whirly-gigs just above your bike.

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    There are some nice hard pack gravel roads on the bottom side of them, eventually bringing you here

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    Though I feel the signs bark is much worse than it's bite. A little more wandering and you can get here

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    This was after a heavy rain and not the norm for this Army Corp flood control area.
  17. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Thanks for the pics. Those are the kind of roads we like and that make Rider Two salivate, get hot flashes and otherwise act wierd. Example: Once he even got so excited that he went down one not so hard packed (i.e. on Cooleyville Road near Shutesbury) on his Glide and sashayed around like a drunken pig. That you've done this to him is just reward for him calling me older than some old mill. :lol3
  18. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    We have come to like those nether regions where dirt and gravel prevail. Rider Two gets especially excited and will ride them all day even though there's nothing to see. Myself, I like to find things that are new (e.g, endless miles of trees are not new) or interesting. This week, we hit paydirt while exploring off road.

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    It was a nice quick road in the it was only damp in places, potholes weren't too big and what gravel there was was pretty well packed in.

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    The first inkling that this could be a very interesting riding day was coming upon an empty crypt by the side of the road.

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    After some investigation and exploring, we learned there was something rather unpleasant and disturbing about this place - something that would impact the lives of children to this day.

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    This particular place is the Riverside Cemetary at coordinates 42.419430, -72.051772. I wouldn't say it is out in the middle of nowhere but there isn't much around for miles. As the result of KMichael's research, we learned that six children are interred there who were murdered by their mother.

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    One Elizabeth Ann Craig and Frank Naramore had six children ranging from 9 to 6 months. In March of 1901, Elizabeth axed and clubbed all six then climbed into bed with them and slit her own throat. She survived and was sent to the Insane Asylum in Worcester, where she spent 5 years and then disappeared. The children were buried in unmarked pauper's graves in the corner of the cemetary. In 2002, caring citizens of the area bought and placed a permanent gravestone near where the children were buried. Picture below is from the internet.

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    Many of today's laws in MA regarding child protection have their roots in the Naramore case and the state today does not seem to hesitate in removing children from parent's homes if either parent is suspected of being violent or unstable.

    More to follow.
  19. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    For me, paydirt is when you head out down a dirt road that's fun to ride (i.e. not too easy and not too technical) and has interesting things to see, do and/or learn about. Sunday last, following our Wings & Wheels trip, we headed out to find such roads and we hit several good ones.

    After the cemetary find, we headed out further west and encountered some really fun roads, such as the one below. There was enough loose gravel in places to make it fun and the view was great.

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    Farther west, we got even deeper into the woods on this road, shown below, that had absolutely no traffic of any kind. We didn't see another soul the whole time we were on it.

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    It was interesting to encounter this cleft in a rock ledge. Was it natural or man made? There were no drill marks that we could see.

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    A little farther down the road was this little log cabin that had seen better times.

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    We crossed some pleasant streams.

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    This one in particular had a series of small waterfalls. Hanging out around here will most certainly lower your blood pressure if not put a smile on your face.

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    Such roads are an antidote for that dreadful cruiserface, so much of which we saw on the way back.
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  20. vmcrcr

    vmcrcr Been here awhile

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    That cleft looks like a hand cut for a long abandoned rail road. If you let us know where it is, there are books available with all the known abandoned railroads listed, with maps. I have one and would be willing to look it up.

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