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Old 07-03-2014, 11:25 AM   #181
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Power of Nature

In 2011 a tornado tore through Monson, MA. I snapped this photo as I swept through some small foothills last weekend. Considering the storm was 3 years ago, the damage is still remarkable.

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Old 07-03-2014, 11:30 AM   #182
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Not Used in Some Time

Further down the road, I came across this totally toasted piece of sand pit machinery. It looked like it belonged in a transformer movie or something.

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Old 07-04-2014, 07:10 AM   #183
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Handyman Special

A little elbow grease and duct tape is all it takes to spruce up this fixer upper! Oh, and you'll need an all terrain vehicle for your commute -- it's in the middle of no where on a roached out road. The upside is you'll have no privacy concerns!

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Old 07-04-2014, 02:25 PM   #184
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This is a great thread. I thank you for all your efforts in this. I'm stuck down on little old Nantucket, and have never heard of many of these places. I will certainly be making an effort to follow in your footprints on some of these rides though. I've got a second home in central VT, perhaps we could meet up and explore one of these days.
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Old 07-04-2014, 02:54 PM   #185
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I have this thing for old mills,........


Beautiful pictures.
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Old 07-04-2014, 03:07 PM   #186
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Nantucket

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This is a great thread. I thank you for all your efforts in this. I'm stuck down on little old Nantucket, and have never heard of many of these places. I will certainly be making an effort to follow in your footprints on some of these rides though. I've got a second home in central VT, perhaps we could meet up and explore one of these days.
Glad you enjoy the banter and photos. Please come back often and join in both -- we'd love to see pictures of Nantucket and hear about your island excursions. I haven't been there since 2004, when the firm I work with went on retreat and we stayed at the White Elephant Hotel. Keep meaning to get back there. You're much more likely to see us Vermont -- PopsCycle (aka Rider Three) has a funky cheese addiction so we wind up in that lovely state almost weekly (as you can see from this thread).
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Old 07-04-2014, 03:21 PM   #187
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Cool Driveway

How cool is it when your driveway goes through your own personal covered bridge? Pretty cool I'd say. This beauty is on private property, and connects the homeowners to the main road via nothing more than a ground up two lane track. They own jeeps, and you can tell from looking upstream that sometimes they just cross the river without using the bridge. Awesome. Never saw this stuff when I was cruising the slab on the Harley, which by the way, is collecting a good layer of dust from neglect.








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Old 07-04-2014, 03:31 PM   #188
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No Visitors for Quite Some Time

Two weekends (or perhaps it was three -- doesn't matter I guess) ago we were on one of those outstanding "roads" that cause your GPS screen to go blank and run home to momma in confusion -- always a good sign that you're off the beaten path and therefore on the right track. We happened upon this cemetery, which contained headstones dating back to a time we had yet to declare our independence from Britain. Happy 4th of July.


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Old 07-04-2014, 03:42 PM   #189
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This is a great thread. I thank you for all your efforts in this. I'm stuck down on little old Nantucket, and have never heard of many of these places. I will certainly be making an effort to follow in your footprints on some of these rides though. I've got a second home in central VT, perhaps we could meet up and explore one of these days.
You are most welcome. We certainly hope you can get out and explore more and would love to meet up sometime. We don't get down to Nantucket much but we've much to explore in VT.

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Beautiful pictures.
Thank you. We do this because we're having fun and so that others might enjoy seeing what we are seeing in the process.

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- snip - PopsCycle (aka Rider Three) has a funky cheese addiction so we wind up in that lovely state almost weekly (as you can see from this thread).
Listen here. aged cheddar is not funky cheese. Limburger, perhaps, but not cheddar, which goes well on crackers and with cold beer.

NOTE: If the once-hurricane Arthur hauls its butt out to sea by morning and I can haul mine out of bed by then, we'll hopefully be off to the beautiful Berkshires. There's a whole bunch of stuff out there we've never seen.
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Old 07-05-2014, 04:45 PM   #190
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Herman Melville, Moby Dick and Us

We were up for a Saturday ride bright and early this morning. When I got up around 5, the last remnants of hurricane Arthur were spitting rain but that quickly moved out to sea and by 7:30, we were off to Rose 32 for breakfast.



As usual, it was breakfast sandwiches and coffee, just enough to get us through the morning. Missing the morning crowd means getting there early. We did.



One of today's many places to investigate was Arrowead, which was author Herman Melville's home during some of his most productive years.



The house was originally built by Captain David Bush sometime in the 1780s. The Bush family sold the property to a Pittsfield doctor named John Brewster in 1844. In 1850, Brewster sold the property to Melville.



It was here that Melville finished his greatest work, Moby-Dick, although it was not recognized as such in his lifetime. Today, the home is owned and maintained by the Berkshire County Historical Society.



More to follow in subsequent posts.
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Old 07-06-2014, 05:45 AM   #191
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Naumkeag

If you were a New York City person of wealth, where would you build your summer cabin? Joseph Choate built his at 5 Prospect Hill Road in Stockbridge, MA. It is only a little 44 room place but has a great view from the back porch. Wanting to see this place, we stopped by during our ambitious Saturday ride and took a few pictures - hopefully enough to whet your desire to see the place for yourself if you get a chance.



Called Naumkeag, (which was the name of the native Americans who lived in the area that is now Salem, MA), the summer home was completed in 1887. When we arrived today, parts of the house were getting new roofing. The picture below is of the front of the house, taken from where we parked the bikes (with permission from the gate attendant), with Rider Two making note of things.



Out in back, they have a very nice little terrace where you can sit, relax and enjoy the view.



Farther on down are more gardens. Here you see Rider Two taking a picture of the house.



As mentioned at the start of this post, the place has a really nice view from the back terrace.



Surrounding the rear of the house are a number of innovative and whimsical gardens, such as the one below.



What you see above and what you will encounter if you visit Naumkeag is the inventive and playful spirit of Mabel Choate displayed in the mansion's various gardens.



What's really cool is that Mabel bequeathed the entire property, including all the original contents, furnishing and even garden tools, to the Trustees of Reservations. We took a few pictures inside so that you might get a feel for what the place is like. First is the entry hall, shown below.



We were told the room below was where the men went for brandy and cigars.



I am guessing the next room, shown below, is where the women hung out. I would have asked but the guides were busy telling some folks (i.e., family with brats) not to touch things.



Below is one of the upstairs bedrooms.



There is much more to be seen but this post wasn't intended to be a photo essay and we were on a tight timeline with many other places to ride to. We left the way we came in via the back porch, took a moment to enjoy the view, shown below, and then left to check out railroad stations.



I have visited a number of large, historical and grandiose palaces with their formal gardens (e.g., the Palace of Versailles, Ludwigsburg Palace, etc.) but I found Naumkeag to just as or more interesting. We will come back to check out all the gardens and landscaping in greater detail.
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Old 07-06-2014, 08:43 PM   #192
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It has been noticed that shortly after that episode the Trappists at the Abby seemingly transcended their jam and jelly business and went into brewing beer - not the "pale stale ale with the foam on the bottom" type of silly stuff but some apparently serious brew called Spencer Trappist Ale. Remembering the friendly monk on the porch who said "we don't get many bikers up here", perhaps they too saw the light.

Anybody out there tried it yet?



BTW the Abbey is at coordinates 42.298678, -72.013011 and is a lovely, tranquil (i.e. as in no loud pipes) place.
You had me at Trappist... and BTW, you are right when you say DS bikes are the way to go. I have a BMW GTL that I'm getting ready to sell and buy a new GS. I'm one of those folks who can only afford 1 bike at a time. Might as well have the Swiss Army knife of motorcycles...it does just about everything pretty well!
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Old 07-07-2014, 04:50 AM   #193
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You had me at Trappist... and BTW, you are right when you say DS bikes are the way to go. I have a BMW GTL that I'm getting ready to sell and buy a new GS. I'm one of those folks who can only afford 1 bike at a time. Might as well have the Swiss Army knife of motorcycles...it does just about everything pretty well!
Nice to hear from you. Having only one butt with which to sit on a bike and needing to conserve my retirement funds, it is one bike at a time here also. BTW, I happen to know a few people who can afford multiple bikes but now don't see the need since they bought a GS. Hope you get yours soon, have as much fun as we are having and post pics thereof.
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Old 07-08-2014, 05:59 AM   #194
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Not So Rolling Stock (Updated)

Having ridden into Lenox, MA on Saturday, we encountered these bits of railroad rolling stock at what is billed as the Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum.



We are thinking these old cars are more candidates for restoration than museum pieces.



Two men were working on the passenger car below.



There was certainly some stuff in the back in needing of repair and restoration.



This old Alco S1 switcher was back there rusting away.



I am thinking it will take some work to restore the S1.



One of the volunteers was working on top of this Standard Steel Car caboose.



The real pièce de résistance, however, was this roached-out Alco switcher.



The one piece of rolling stock that looked to be in good condition was this nicely-restored 53 EMD switcher. We believe it is used for the "Locomotive Experience" offered by the railway. The Berkshire Scenic Railway and its Locomotive Experience will be a topic for another post.

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Old 07-09-2014, 06:34 AM   #195
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Berkshire Scenic Railway

One of our ride destinations was the Berkshire Scenic Railway in Lenox, MA. Not that we need much of an excuse to ride these days (have we told you how much we like these bikes); however, scenic railroads like those in Strasburg, Cass, etc. are high on our list of things to enjoy. Unfortunately, the BSR was, for no fault of their own, a bit of a let-down.



The star of their show seems to be this well-restored, 1953 EMD SW8. It appears to be used as part of their "Locomotive Experience" program where you pay some amount of money and spend time learning about and operating the locomotive to a limited degree.



As for any scenic ride, there was a caboose hooked to a 1950s GE yard switcher that took you from one end of the yard to the other - what seemed to be only several hundred yards.



The short ride starts at the Lenox stations, shown below, just down the side track next to the motorcycle. The main track, to the left, belongs to the Housatonic Railroad Company, which used to allow BSR to run a scenic train between Lenox and Stockbridge. That agreement was cancelled by Housatonic, who appears interested in running its own scenic trains from NYC into the Berkshires. This has left the BSR with some rolling stock but nowhere to roll except up and down a few hundred yards of yard track.



As for the very short ride, it runs from just down from the station above to the block station shown below.



We suspect small children would love this but it might be a letdown for anyone who's taken a real scenic ride. There is some talk that the BSR will offer a scenic rail trip between Adams and North Adams, MA later this year.



The highlight of this trip for Rider Two seemed to be the maintenance motor car, shown below, which gave him ideas and fuel for his desire to trek through the Hoosac Tunnel.

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