|10-09-2012, 04:44 PM||#1|
Going nowhere slowly
Joined: May 2002
Location: The Submarine Mines
Conneticut to Canadastan and back on 1 mile of interstate
With time, anything is possible.
In this case, I took the Columbus Day weekend to see if it could be done. I could have done the ride in a single day by jumping on the Interstate, but where's the fun in that? Nevermind the Mass Pike and NYS Thruway are toll roads, I'll happily spend 2x as much in fuel as I would on tolls just to go to the same place...
Friday was my last night on 2nd shift - 2:30-11pm, but I'm not a night person *at all* (I'm more a mid-day person, truth be told), so when I didn't get as early a start in the morning as I'd hoped, I wasn't surprised. Out the door at 9 with a vague plan to make it to my family's camp in the Adirondack park sometime before dinner, within 5 miles I was on the back roads and the ETA display on my GPS was ticking steadily up from an overly optimistic 2:30 to a far more realistic 7:30.
Bah. I've got three days to ride 1200 miles. Piece Of Cake (or pie, if thats your kink). Lets Play on roads that are, thanks to the wonderful Eisenhower Interstate Highway System, largely empty.
I carry my camera, a waterproof Canon D10, on a sturdy lanyard around my neck, a trick I learned in Texas two years ago, so why am I not dropping photos of the wonderful twistyness in Eastern Ct? Mostly because I ride these roads on a weekly basis, I just don't *think* to get a pic of something I see frequently. The outgoing pictures pick up on Mt Greylock, the highest point in Mass. and home to Bascom Lodge, the best place to stop for lunch between Groton, Ct and the Adirondack Park.
This monument, at the top of Greylock, is normally visible from the valley below. Here, I'm about 100' from it.
It costs $2 to park on the summit, funds go to upkeep of the War Memorial Park, so I'm quite happy to pay my $2 and find some unregarded corner to stash the GS (or stack into a spot with a couple other motos). Likewise, Bascom Lodge does a damned fine burger/coleslaw/potato salad made to order for no more than you'd spend on a McFactory burger down in the valley. The concession used to be run by the AMC, but now the state DEC handles the duties and from what I can see, they do a very good job of it.
Heading down, I get enough of a break in the clouds to take a blurry pic of the trees.
Oooooo a dirt road! Lets see where this goes!
According to some (mostly folks in the thumpers sub-forum with apparent envy issues), the BMW GS is utterly incapable of traveling more than 10' down an unpaved road without falling over and exploding into a yardsale of gear.
I can prove that belief false, as I would have had to fall 1,584 times over the three miles of unpaved road. I only fell 1,354 times
The simple fact is, eastern cities are all arseholes-to-elbows with people. Old cities - most predate the revolution - tend to have congested and utterly insane traffic patterns (Boston is an exception, that town is unrepentantly homicidal in its approach to traffic management). Albany is no different in this regard. I'd been in town a couple times (and stopped in to see our own Ray of Sunshine and her wonderful RayDottir during those visits) and knew what to expect. I was too busy trying to stay alive to take any pictures. I did snap this photo of a condo development with the state capitol buildings in the background on my way into town.
Once outside of the Albany/Guilderland area, however, things quickly turned bucolic and countryside-esque.
One thing everyone knows about East Coast sunsets is they're boring.
Unfortunately, the great ball of sky-fire washed out the equally impressive color in the trees below it. The photo is a pale copy of the actual view.
For whatever reason, I didn't get photos of the camp. Its a pretty nice place - off the grid, but has a propane fired 10Kw generator, Quadra-Fire wood stove and enough space to sleep 7 comfortably (10 if the air mattresses are deployed). Its on the southwestern edge of the Adirondack Park in Ohio, NY.
Anyhow, coffee consumed and snacks packed in the tankbag, I'm off to Cape Vincent. Its the town on the far eastern point of Lake Ontario - its so close to Oh Canada that my cell phone was briefly on the Canadian network while I rode through "town".
Some pics from the road, from the camp to the cape:
West Canada Creek. Running *real* low.
My first glimpse of Madam Ontario. She was in a good mood that day.
Oh! Canada. There must be a cell tower somewhere on Wolfe Island that my phone was picking up. I'm just glad no one called while I was there - I don't have an international plan and that would have cost a dollar or two. I need those dollars to pay for the gas I burn not taking the interstates.
Heading back to camp was more of the same: colorful trees, rolling farmland, forests lakes and mountains.
Mission 2/3 accomplished, I arrive back to the camp and hit the rack for another night. My original plan had me running up to Lake Placid, on to Port Kent and across Lake Champlain to Burlington, Vermont on the last ferry of the year. Poor preparation on my part caused me to abandon that plan - it was much colder than I'd anticipated and I had spent much of the previous two days shivering in my 'stitch - my heated gear safely stashed away in the closet. So I simply backtracked my route from Ohio to Albany to Groton.
The one mile of interstate? That was crossing the Hudson River on I90. In the future, I'll detour through Troy (there is a non-superslab bridge in that town) and work back through the Berkshires and on down.
The war memorial on Greylock. It was a bit less overcast on the way home.
Looking North from the memorial. The White Mountains are visible on really good days.
Bascom Lodge. REALLY nice place to have lunch. Heartily recommended over McFactory Burger and the like.
The owner of this pig scolded me something fierce for stopping alongside the fence he'd set up on the side of the public road and taking the picture. He said motorcycles scared the animals. Funny, the three sows in the pen trotted up to the fence as I approached, if that is a fear response, they're doing it wrong...
Tornado damage in Monson, Ma. Two years later, the town still shows the scar.
Have you ever lain awake at night wondering if frog-on-thread-spool-statues have asses? The answer is yes. The frogs have asses. In Willimantic, Ct. Its an interesting bit of municipal art, the four corners of the bridge had assed frogs on spools.
Thats it. All the photos worth posting. If you want more, find 'em here:
Columbus Day Color.
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