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Old 05-31-2014, 03:43 PM   #91
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Milling Around A Re-purposed Mill

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.



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.



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



More to follow on this later as I had to get home this afternoon.
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Old 06-01-2014, 06:24 PM   #92
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A Snotty Road Today

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.



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.



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



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.
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Old 06-02-2014, 07:18 AM   #93
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Bridges Crossed In The Past Several Weeks

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.



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.



An industrial canal bridge.



One of the newer bridges





This concrete bridge was crumbling.



A side view of the above.



Another industrial canal bridge.,



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



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



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



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



Some symmetry.



More to follow from the past several weeks when I find and upload them.
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Old 06-03-2014, 07:04 AM   #94
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A Botanical Excursion

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.



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



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.



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.



Pulling up to the main entrance:



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



The main entrance, close up:



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



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



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



Looking down the hall:



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.



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



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



The view from the other side:



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



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





The garden has a very scenic farmhouse conference center.



More to follow on all the place has to offer as I get more pictures uploaded.
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Old 06-03-2014, 01:37 PM   #95
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Rider number two sent me an email last night saying, "Bartlett’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:



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.



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



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.



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.
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Old 06-04-2014, 01:26 PM   #96
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Zen And The Art of Gaudy Motorcycling

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



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.



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.



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.
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Old 06-05-2014, 08:05 AM   #97
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Let's Go See What That Is

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.



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.



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.
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Old 06-06-2014, 01:11 PM   #98
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The Montague Canal

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.



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.



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



Right behind the mill shown above is the Connecticut River



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



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



One of the abandoned mills is shown below.



Another view of the same, taken several days later.



Another mill building



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



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



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.



Today, the canal's main use seems to be generating some amount of hydroelectric power.
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Old 06-07-2014, 05:11 AM   #99
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Man, I'm so glad I found this thread!

Anyway, your photo here reminded me of a place in Idaho City out here.


Not really that close, but from memory they were! For Sale by the way!!



Thanks for riding so much and taking lots of cool picture's.
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Old 06-07-2014, 04:01 PM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAdmiral View Post
Man, I'm so glad I found this thread!

Anyway, your photo here reminded me of a place in Idaho City out here.


Not really that close, but from memory they were! For Sale by the way!!


Thanks for riding so much and taking lots of cool picture's.
I love those old crazy buildings and thank you, sir, for all your pictures - especially the ones with all those good vistas.
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Old 06-08-2014, 07:02 AM   #101
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Key Battle

In any war, there are key battles that turn the tide and fortunes of war. In WWII, the battle of Midway was key. In the civil war, the battle of Gettysburg was key. In the Revolutionary war, the battle of Bennington was key in that it stopped Major General John Burgoyne's army, depriving him of supplies that led up to his defeat at Saratoga, galvanized colonial support for independence and helped bring France into the war. We had seen the Bennington Battle Monument, shown below, numerous times; however, the battle wasn't fought in Bennington but in Walloomsac, NY. That was our destination.



In the prelude to Bennington, Burgoyne was marching down the Hudson River valley from Canada with the intent of splitting the rebellious colonies into two parts. In the process, he had won victories at Fort Ticonderoga, Hubbardton, and Fort Ann but those victories and the terrain traveled had put a big dent in his supplies. To solve the supply problem Burgoyne ordered Colonel Friedrich Baum to raid the American supply depot at Bennington, VT, (coordinates 42.888991, -73.216317, which is at the site of the monument) thinking it was lightly guarded. Baum set out with 800 men to do just that.




Enroute, Baum got intelligence that the stores were more heavily guarded and he halted his advance at the Walloomsac River and requested additional troops from Fort Miller. His Hessian troops built a small redoubt on the heights overlooking the river and they waited for the reinforcements to arrive. Brig. General John Stark had been shadowing Baum and on August 14 and 15 he reconnoitered Baum's postion, saw Baum was outnumbered and attacked the position on the 16th. Below is a picture of the redoubt area (coordinates 42.938473, -73.304299) and peak of the overlook hill.



Rider Two decided to walk up the hill (there was a park ranger who didn't want us to ride up) and look at the monuments. We asked the ranger what was going on with the tent and all the "fixins". He smiled and said Colonel Baum was going to speak later this afternoon. Walking to the top of the hill gives you the following view.



Below is a map of the battle area, showing the redoubt area.



Another view from the top of the hill, noting there is a stone map of the battlefield.




Things I learned from the visit to the battle ground:

  1. Burgoyne had as many as 1500 men in total, including Brunswick dragoons, French Canadians, Hessian artiller and other German detachments, Native Americans, Loyalists and British regulars and marksmen.
  2. General John Stark had 1500 reinforcements camped in nearby Manchester, VT.
  3. Baum's forces drove off a small American scouting party before encamping on the hill.
  4. Stark attacked Baum from all directions, scattering the Loyalists and causing the Indians to flee.
  5. The relief column sent by Burgoyne to help Baum initially put Stark in jeopardy but Colonel Seth Warner's Green Mountain boys arrived to drive them from the field.
Just down the road a bit from the NY battlefield on Rt 67 West is a classic old covered bridge - Buskirks Bridge. It doesn't really have anything to do with the battle but was in the vicinity so we paid it a visit.




If you continue west on 67 to Mechanicsville and then go north on 32 until it splits onto Rt 4, you will come to the Saratoga battlefield where Burgoyne was defeated. This is a subject for another day.

More pictures taken on the Bennington run will follow in a subsequent post, hopefully later today or tomorrow. BTW, there are some great views in the area if you/your steed doesn't mind getting off into the gravel.

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Old 06-08-2014, 01:38 PM   #102
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A Cool Road

Many dirt/gravel roads around here tend to be heavily shaded, making them an ideal route for cooling off when it gets warm. If the road isn't too technical, just set the ride mode on enduro, bop down the road and cool off. I did just that this afternoon, stopping only long enough to take a picture.



Of course if you're working up a sweat negotiating the bumps, loose dirt and gravel, this method of air conditioning doesn't work. I encountered a vision of my past when a cruiserface type was trying to wrestle his bike down the same road. You can tell when they're not having a good time when both feet are out trying to paddle walk the bike through the gravel in stops and starts. He was definitely not cool, either literally or figuratively. I smiled and waved.
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Old 06-08-2014, 06:14 PM   #103
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Rider two, here - I was working up a sweat all right...MOWING...much dismayed to discover over dinner tonight that Rider three was exploring shaded dirt roads while I was toiling away in the hot sun! Not even a text message!! Oh well, at least one of us got out today.

Anyone local looking for good routes should definitely take VT Route 9 between Brattleboro and Bennington or Route 2 between Route 22 in NY and Route 7 in MA. Those legs were included in yesterday's 320 mile jaunt. Great stretches.
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Old 06-08-2014, 06:27 PM   #104
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Recommended Trip

If you like planes and have never heard of the Collins Foundation, then we're happy to provide you some information. If you've never been to their Wings & Wheels Open House on their family farm, you should. Below is a pic of Rider Two having the time of his life at a past event.



There is a grass strip on their family farm where they give (reservation-based) rides in the PT-17 and an AT-6 during the open house, as well as provide admittance to their car and other collections. The foundation owns other warbirds that are too large for strip but often do flybys. At various times, there are also staged reenactments. They also have a pretty nice man-cave, shown below.



The open house is Father's Day weekend and their farm is easy to get to without having to go through heavy Boston traffic. If you ride, and we always do, remember you will be on some gravel and parking in a mowed field. The location is 137 Barton Road, Stow, MA. The road leading into their place is at coordinates 42.403124, -71.504811.

If you like planes and cars, this is a good one to attend. In any event, it is on our riding agenda. Note: We have no affiliation with the Collins Foundation. We just like what they do.
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Old 06-09-2014, 03:41 AM   #105
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Passing Through Bennington VT

On our way to the Battle of Bennington grounds in NY, we passed through Bennington VT, where there are numerous places of interest. We tried to capture a few of them, beginning with a stop for the serious motorhead - Hemmings.



Aside from publishing a definitive source for buying and selling old cars, Hemmings operates an old-time, 1950s type service station, complete with attendants.



Inside, they have a coffee bar plus paraphernalia for the motorhead. Why go to Starbucks?



On down Rt 9, just past the Old First Church is a real oddity - the Walloomsac Inn, shown below.



This old inn has some historical importance but is in pretty rough shape. For more information, see the video below.



You can see the historic Old First (Congegrational) Church from in front of the inn. Robert Frost is buried in its cemetary next door.



A little farther down 9 is the Four Chimneys Inn (not pictured) and the Bennington Center for the Arts and Covered Bridge Museum, shown below with the requisite moose. Moose are everywhere.



Several years back, when traveling through Bennington on the old road sofa, I encountered this see-through Moose.



Along the way, we saw several covered bridges, including this one.



Our path also took us into North Bennington, which has the following, scenic view downtown. It reminds me of the town I grew up in back when it was a nice place.



Just across the bridge is an old mill building, currently for sale.



Also in North Bennington is one of the finest, best preserved old Victorian mansions in the country - the Park McCullough House. The grounds were closed but we did get a shot from the road. For more information, see Historic Park McCullough.



Our final stop in North Bennington was the beautifully-restored old railroad station, shown below. That all of these old stations could be so preserved.

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