Sunday, July 17, 2016

One If by Land Two If by Sea

Today is the day, heading into Boston for INK. I don't dread the ride in or around Boston. What I do dread is having to walk from where I park to Faneuil Hall, where the biggest cache of National Park Stamps are. It would be great if I could park on Union Street and it would be only be a short hop to the Hall. When I say hop, the way I walk with this bad ankle it looks like a hop, no skipping or jumping, that would hurt to much.

With all of that in mind I head out right around 8:15, its Sunday morning so traffic should be nil. Hit the Mass Pike, no traffic, pass thru the Allston are toll booths, no traffic, come down Congress St, turn right on North, left on Union and viola there is a parking place right in front of the Union Oyster House. Man, I wonder if I hit the lottery last night.

Since I was right in front of the Union Oyster House, it is a National Historic Landmark and a soft target for the day, I crank off a couple of captures.

Ye Olde Union Oyster House, open to diners since 1826, is amongst the oldest operating restaurants in the United States of America, and the oldest that has been continuously operating since being opened. Wikiepedia

Right down the street in Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, both National Historic Landmarks and Faneuil Hall has the INK I need and the main purpose of todays ride.

It would appear someone pissed on her cornflakes this morning.

Since I am in the area, I head over to the Pierce-Hichborn and Paul Revere House, both of which are NHL's. The Pierce house was built around 1711 and a rather odd shaped home. Note quite an flat-iron building but trying to be one. This place was built by the same person who built the Paul Revere house, Moses Pierce. The Paul Revere house was built in 1680 was Paul's house during the time of the American Revolution. Both places are owned by the Paul Revere Memorial Association and are open as a museum.

Since I was in the North End, a visit to the Old North Church seemed like a fit for the theme of the day. This is the spot for the "One if by Land Two if by Sea" was said, that preceded the Battle of Lexington and Concord. The church is the oldest standing church building in Boston, built in 1723. The doors were open, however there was someone standing right outside the door and told me there was a service going on, however I was more than welcome to come back at 12:30 for pics of the inside.

I have to say here that riding the narrow streets of Boston on the Spyder is pure pleasure. Easy to maneuver, easy to pull over and take a picture, and part of the environment, just like the FJR. While I have wonderful memories of the FJR and where we went on them, I am sure glad I have the Spyder now.

Right across the Mystic River is the Charlestown Naval Yard, a National Park. This is where the USS Constitution is moored. I parked in a lot right next to the yard, that only had a few cars in it. Since I was only heading to the VC for INK and would be right back I took a chance.

Getting into the Visitor Center was like going to the airport. You had to empty your pockets and walk thru a metal detector, which of course my knees set off the alarm. This was just to get into the VC, I was already in the ship yard, so I don't understand the extra security. Didn't ask, didn't care. The USS Constitution seemed to be undergoing some repair since the masts seemed to be only partially up. Well I just looked it up and it is in drydock going thru some work until 2017.

Not too far away is Bunker Hill. Figured while I was here I would get the INK here. Also fits with the theme. Hard not to fit the theme in Boston. The monument was built to commemorate one of the first battles of the American Revolution. It is 221 feet tall and was built between 1827 and 1843.

Next stop is The Wayside in Concord. The house was built in multiple stages, with the first in 1717. It was the home to Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne and then Margaret Sidney, all writers.

The last stop of the day was at the Old North Bridge Visitor Center for INK. No pics of the bridge but did get this neat shop of at Trabant car in the parking lot, which was made in East Germany up until 1990. The INK was a disappointment, since it did not say North Bridge and will not count to the INK count for the National Park Tour. No biggie I was in the neighborhood anyways.

From there I headed back thru Concord, passing The Old Manse, Wright's Tavern (where the Patriots gathered to fight the Battle of Concord and Lexington), and Ralph Waldo Emerson's House.

Route for the day, right around 120 miles.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

American Guide Series Tour 4 B

I generally do not simply go out for a ride, instead I am always with my camera and looking for treasures. A couple of years ago I discovered the American Guide Series.

The American Guide Series was a group of books and pamphlets published in 1937–41 under the auspices of the Federal Writers' Project (FWP), a Depression-era works program in the United States. Source: wikipedia

Within these books are various tours one could go on telling the reader if the road is paved, kind of road and interesting points along these routes. The AGS calls these tour, and this writing is from Rhode Island, A Guide to the Smallest State, and specifically about Tour 4B. Tour 4B starts in Woonsocket, follows RI104, with some side loops and ends at the intersection of US44 and RI104.

This writing is almost purely historical and follows the AGS route.

First stop on the tour is Market Square in Woonsocket.

From the AGS
Market Square, 0.2 m., is near the oldest section of the city; it was in this neighborhood that the first textile mills were erected about 1810. The buildings still visible, though timeworn, are of the second or third generation of factory development.

Woonsocket Falls Village was founded in the 1820s. Its fortunes expanded as the Industrial Revolution took root in nearby Pawtucket. With the Blackstone River providing ample water power, the region became a prime location for textile mills. Source Wikipedia

Woonsocket population expanded with migration of the French Canadians to this area to work in the textile mills. It was thriving town thru the Great Depression (1930's), collapsed and then revived during World War II, due to the ability to produce large quantities of fabric. It has since suffered another decline beginning in the 1980's

On a personal side the building almost dead center is the Museum of Work and Culture. This was my first INK (National Park Cancellation Stamp) capture which began my first National Park Tour for the Iron Butt Association back in 2008. It was also here I discovered the video each site has that are quite information and well done.

Right across the street is Woonsocket Falls and Dam.

From the AGS
Right of the bridge, 0.3 m., over the Blackstone River is Woonsocket Falls. From this point South Main St. bears uphill through what is known as the Globe section of the city, passing (L) the Woonsocket State Armory and the Globe Congregational Church.

The Woonsocket Falls Dam on the Blackstone River was completed in 1960 for flood control, drinking water and electrical power generator. The dam is 268 feet in length.

Next 2 stops are right next to each other, Woonsocket State Armory and the Globe Congregational Church. There were 18 state armories built in Rhode Island. The Globe Congregational Church is not your typical Congregational Church, which would be a wood structure, with steeple and a double set of doors, off center. My stereotypical description of the church did exist, directly across the street and was destroyed by fire in 1904. The congregation moved into the this church, now the St James Baptist Church.

From the AGS
The John Arnold House, 0.7 m. (R), built in 1712', has been so remodeled that it does not appear to be a Colonial structure; the Willing Vose House (see WOONSOCKET), 0.8 m. (L), is not as old as the Arnold House, but is in a poorer state of repair.

Tough picture of the Arnold house, it is so overgrown. Had to do quite a bit of research to find this place, found a picture relating to its nomination form for the NRHP. Never could figure out which house is the Willing Vose House

The route leaves the urban confines of Woonsocket and heads into the rural roads of Smithfield, home to Bryant University and Tupperware.

From AGS
The Ananias Mowry House (private) (L), 3.2 m., is a plain, well-preserved two-and-one-half-story frame structure with gable roof and central chimney (about 1700). The clapboarded exterior is painted yellow with green trim and there is an old well-sweep in the back yard. The place is occupied by Dr. George R. Smith, a descendant of the original builder. Many Mowrys were among the early settlers of Rhode Island Colony, and the family name is still prominent in the State.

Nothing real special about this place. The Mowry's date back to 1666 and settled in the area right around the time Roger Williams was forced out of Boston. Ananias was born in 1705 and died in 1790.

This stop has nothing to do with American Guide Series, just stopped to take the picture

Up next is the Old Yellow Tavern

From AGS
Old Yellow Tavern (private] (R), 7 m., is a severely plain two-and-onehalf-story clapboarded structure with gable roof and central brick chimney. The windows and doors are asymetrically disposed. This old tavern, still yellow in color though weather-beaten, is sometimes called the Halfway House because it is about halfway between Woonsocket and Providence. The tavern, built about 1740, was probably much smaller than is the present structure; it has also been used as a probate court, as a school, and as a tollgate house. As in other taverns, not much pains were taken with the interior, the object having been solid construction with large fireplaces, and ample cooking facilities.

I met the owner of the Tavern. He was outside trimming the bushes around the house. You can see him on the ladder trimming. He said his parents bought the house back in the 1980's, substantially remodeling the interior and adding the wing to the left. Otherwise they left the exterior pretty much the way the found it. The son and daughters still live in the tavern today.

From AGS
At 7 m. is the junction with unpaved Brayton Rd.

Left 0.2 m. on Brayton Rd. is the junction with John Mowry Rd.; right here to the Captain Joseph Mowry House (L), 0.3 m., a two-and-one-half-story clapboard structure with a one-story lean-to. Two brick chimneys rise from the ends of the gable roof; the house has two plain entrance doors. There is a cell-like compartment once used as slave quarters in the cellar of this old house (1701), and a wellsweep in the front yard. At 0.6 m. (L) is the Smithfield Airport, an emergency landing field.

This is a bit off the beaten path and one of those side loops. Given this house was built around 1701, it is in remarkable shape. The road this is on if it continued thru would lead you right into Bryant University. The road is pretty narrow and not much more than a horse trail that has been paved over. If there is an airport around here today, it is well hidden.

From AGS

Stillwater Reservoir comes into view (R) at about 7.5 m.
At 8.2 m. is the junction with the Washington Highway which, when the Ashton viaduct over the Blackstone River (see Tour 4C), is completed, will make an important northeast to southwest route through the State. Left a few rods, across the Stillwater Viaduct, is Washington Park, a small picnic grove with tables and fireplaces.

The Ashton Viaduct consists of 3 separate bridges. This one is called the Stillwater Viaduct over the Blackstone River. The bridge is 450 feet long and renovated in 2012. The original bridge was completed in 1933, and was built to accommodate the automobile age. When this bridge was completed it was the second largest open-spandrel concrete bridge in Rhode Island.

Yeah as the day moved along it got darker and gloomier.

From AGS
At 8.5 m. is the junction with Capron Rd. (also called Andrews Rd.).

Left on Capron Rd. is at 0.5 m. the William P. Steere House (L), a two-and-onehalf-story clapboarded structure with gable roof and central chimney (about 1825). The entrance has a white paneled door, flanked by fluted pilasters and surmounted
by a pediment and a decorative fan-light. The first-floor windows are crowned with plain lintels. The house was originally on a soo-acre farm from which produce was shipped to Providence and Boston.

Why the AGS guide veered off this way, I don't have a clue. My story about this place is a couple in their 80's owns this place and once farmed it. They have kids, however, none of them wanted anything to do with farming and went off to Providence and elsewhere to work in industry. The couple no longer able to perform the tasks necessary for successful farming and are inside watching TV, looking out the window wondering what happened to their beautiful farm.

From AGS
At 0.9 m. on Capron Rd. is the junction with Stillwater Rd.

1. Left from the intersection is the center of the village of STILLWATER (alt.300; Smithfield town), 1.4 m. The village houses are well scattered over the surrounding countryside, and many of the older ones lie to the south. In the center is the Lister Worsted Company Plant (Display Room open), employing about 125 workers, which makes yarns.

Today this is the Breezy Knoll Child Care Center. It is my guess the 2 sets of doors, served as an entrance to the administrative offices of the Mill and the other entranceway to the right was to the showroom. There is a a large parcel of land across from this place, which does have some partial stone walls still standing. It appears to have been abandoned and vacant for quite a while. The area is fenced off with barb wire topping.

The factory at Stillwater was part of the Centerdale Woolen Mills by 1901, and by 1937 became part of the Lister Worsted Company. Stillwater village remained virtually unchanged during this era, its mill employing a modest number of workers (only 150 in 1939), most of whom probably resided in the village. Source: Wikipedia

From AGS
2. Right a few yards on Stillwater Rd. from the intersection is the weather-beaten yellow Appleby House (R), built in 1 736. This bulky two-and-one-half-story house, on a charming site overlooking the Woonasquatucket River, has a gable roof and central chimney. The most distinctive features of the main structure are the square plan and the gabled front. The ceilings are very low.

Today the Appleby House is now owned by the Historical Society of Smithfield. They offer tours of the house upon request.

From AGS
At 1.7 m. on Stillwater Rd. is the junction with Harris Rd.; left on the latter a few yards is (L) the Ainsell Angell House (1780), a large two-and-one-half-story frame structure now a tenement house. The building has many hand-hewn beams and wrought-iron latches. The design of the fan-light over the front door is similar to that of the Steere House. The delicate festooned ornaments of the fan-lights are executed in lead and the scroll keyblock over this doorway is sharply emphasized by being painted darker than the trim.

The house was built for Jonathan Angell, a farmer and wheelwright. The house stayed in the Angell family until 1854 when it was bought by Peter Ballou. The house changed hands again in 1934 and became rental property for several decades. Today it is back to a single family residence.

The next stop was the Daniel Angell Tavern, however I could not locate it for the life of me. I am assuming based on the description where it was located it no longer exists.

The Noah Farnum Homestead is inaccessible since I would have to travel up their driveway to view it. Figure I would not be that welcomed, so I skipped this one.

From AGS
At 10.1 m. is the junction with paved Old Village Rd.

Left 0.3 m. on the Old Village Rd. is the Old Baptist Church (L), a stone structure in English Gothic design, built in 1856 by the Georgiaville Evangelical Society on land donated by Zachariah Allen. It has not been used as a place of worship since 1907, and was recently remodeled for a bowling alley.

I searched and searched for this. Find out it was torn down and the site now is an apartment complex.

From AGS
Near the Baptist Church is (R) the rear of the Old Belfry Stone Mill, the original mill (1813) built by the Georgia Cotton Manufacturing Company at an 1 8-foot fall in the Woonasquatucket River. The bell and belfry are still in place on this old textile mill, which is being remodeled (1937) for a macaroni factory.

This mill was torn down in 1955 but the mill that Zachariah Allen built in 1853 is still standing. The mills have been converted to residential property. This area has remained pretty much like it was in the 1800's.

From AGS
On Whipple Rd. opposite the front of the stone mill is the John Whippie House, built in 1752 by Thomas Owen, one of the first settlers in Georgiaville. On the front lawn of this two-and-one-half-story, gray frame structure, is a beautiful buttonwood tree.

I think the buttonwood tree is gone. I actually looked this up and I don't see anything remotely like the pictures I see of buttonwood trees. When I was researching this route, I could not find anything on Whipple. What I did find was something on Thomas Owen, who did build on house on Whipple Street, who sold the house to John Farnum, who sold it to Whipple.

From AGS
The Old Toll Gate House, 10.4 m. (R), at the foot of a small decline, is a small one-story frame structure of five rooms, built in 1840 by Caleb Farnum, a descendant of the Farnums who built the pike still bearing their name.

The key to finding this place was the "at the foot of a small decline. This lead me to the Georgiaville Mill Historic District nomination form which actually had the toll house pictured. Back in the day the house had an entrance on the street, but my guess it is so close to the street, it was moved to the side. The toll house is the building on the left side of the pic.

From AGS
At the junction with Esmond St. is (L) the Major William Smith House (visited by permission of Esmond Mills), a large two-and-a-half-story house, built early in 1703 by the Major, one of the first settlers in the village. His extensive landholdings included the site of the modern Esmond Mills. A rear ell of the old house is now used as a State Police Barracks. The main house, with gable roof and end chimneys, has a paneled door with side-lights, surmounted by an elliptical moulding.

Nothing particularly impressive with this house, other than its age. Many people drive right passed this house and probably don't realize it was built in 1703.

More impressive, but not on the tour, but I am throwing it in here anyways is Esmond Park. Nice setting with an arched bridge crossing the Woonasquatucket River.

From AGS
On Esmond St. near the village center is the old Allenville Mill, a twoand- a-half-story stone building with gable roof, now housing the Esmond Post Office. Governor Philip Allen (1851-53) built this mill in 1813; it is the only remaining part of a group of early textile factories. The offices of the Esmond Mills (est. 1907) (Display Room open) are across the street; this plant, employing nearly a thousand workers, manufactures the well known Esmond blankets.

The Allenville Mill is o longer a Post Office, looks more like a residence now. This is the last remaining building of this group of mills. This is not to be confused with the Esmond Mill across the street.

The Esmond Mill was built in 1907 and has various businesses occupying the buildings today. Benny's Store corporate headquarters is located in the mill.

From AGS
The Smithfield-North Providence boundary line is at 11.7 m. At about. 12 m. is GREYSTONE (North Providence Town); the Greystone Mills of the Joseph Benn Corporation (mohair and alpaca) are right of State 104.

The Greystone Mills have been converted to residential property. The mill and related buildings are part of the Greystone Mill Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The first mill was constructed in 1904, with the rest completed by 1911. It was a mill developed for the wool industry. The mill shut down its operations in 1999 and was converted to lofts in 2007.

The Greystone Mill was the last stop on this tour and so ends this post.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Stray Cat Stuttin the Catskills

I am carefree and wild
I got cat class and I got cat style

Heading for New York in the most crooked line I can find, however since Connecticut is right in my back yard, blasting down the highway to get out of town.

Just south of Hartford in New Britain / Newington is the Iwo Jima Memorial.

Dedicated on February 23, 1995, the 50th anniversary of the original flag raising, the Iwo Jima Survivors Memorial Park salutes the 6,821 Americans who died fighting on the last strategic stronghold before the planned invasion of Japan.

The memorial was conceived and designed by Dr. George Gentile, founder and president of the Iwo Jima Survivors Association, Inc. -

Source: Roadside America

Make my way back to I-84 (which is that last on the interstates for awhile) and off on RT7 heading north. RT7 is delightful road, especially as you move into the upper 2/3's of it heading north. Making my way to Weir Farm National Historic Site. There's a lot of money in dem dere Connecticut hills. Not many hedges on the outside, but I bet a lot of hedge fund traders in the inside.

Arrived at Weir Farm right around 9:50 to get my National Park Stamp. Walked up to the Visitor Center and it was closed. I figured it would at least open at 10. Reading the sign on the door, I read 11am. Dang, went back to the bike to see if I could find a place to eat in the area and out of the corner of my eye I see a Ranger. Back across the street I asked would it be possible to simply get a stamp. The Ranger said sure, I have them right here. Turns out my speed reading of the sign missed the part about First Tour starts at 11. Another Ranger came out and we talked about motorcycling and the Spyder for about 10 minutes and then they excused themselves because they expected more customers to show up.

Weir Farm National Historic Site commemorates the life and work of American impressionist painter J. Alden Weir and other artists who stayed at the site or lived there, to include Childe Hassam, Albert Pinkham Ryder, John Singer Sargent, and John Twachtman. Source: Wikipedia

From the farm I wondered up the back roads out of Connecticut into New York to Katonah. The Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts is an affiliated site with the NPS and has INK. When I pulled in I realized there was something special going on at this place, a fair of some sort. I saw a Ben and Jerry Ice Cream tent, which was a giveaway. I asked the person directing where to park where I could find the stamp. He indicated at the box office and he knew exactly what I was talking about. Walked the 150 yards to the box office and asked for the stamp. Of course I received the normal response "We are not a National Park". I said "I know but you have a stamp here as one of the NY Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area sites. Panic sets in. 3 people start looking for the stamp. After about 15 minutes they apologized to me but they could not find it.

I started walking back to the bike, when the guy from up front directly traffic, pulls up next to me in a golf cart like vehicle and said "How did you do". I told him they could not find the stamp. He said jump in I will find it for you. We stopped at the pictured house and the lady said "Oh it's right here". Got my INK and thanked them so much.

Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts is a live music venue featuring symphonic, opera, chamber, American roots, and jazz, performances along with the historic home. Both are legacies of the house's original owners, Walter and Lucie Rosen. The Caramoor Summer Music Festival is held there every summer. It also runs educational programs, and can be rented for events such as weddings.

Lucie Bigelow Rosen was a Theremin soloist known for popularising the use of the instrument in the 1930s and 1940s, and founder of the Caramoor festival. Source: Wikipedia

The theremin is a musical instrument which is not physically touched by the performer. The instrument's controlling section usually consists of two metal antennas that sense the relative position of the thereminist's hands and control oscillators for frequency with one hand, and amplitude (volume) with the other. The electric signals from the theremin are amplified and sent to a loudspeaker. Think MOOG !!

I'm pickin' up good vibrations
She's giving me excitations (Oom bop bop)
I'm pickin' up good vibrations (Good vibrations, oom bop bop)
She's giving me excitations (Excitations, oom bop bop)
Good, good, good, good vibrations (Oom bop bop)

Right down the street is the John Jay New York Historic Site. Also a stamping location. Parked right up close to the house which was locked up as tight as a drum. Around to the side is door that lead to the park's administrative offices who pointed across the way to the Visitor Center. She said the stamp is over there.

John Jay Homestead State Historic Site is a site in Katonah, New York. The homestead is also known as Bedford House or as John Jay House. It was the home of statesman John Jay, first Chief Justice of the United States. Source: Wikipedia

Traveling down RT35 rounded the corner and had to stop for the spillway for the Amawalk Reservoir. If you looked carefully you can see a guy working just right of dead center to give you some perspective.

The day originally started out in the 60's and I had to layer up abit to gut the chill at 70MPH. Not anymore temps have risen to the 90's, It's getting hot out.

Bosobel was originally in the village of Montrose, some 15 miles away. The house was originally built between 1803 and 1806 by States Dyckman, who was a wealthy early decendent of the Dutch settlers of Manhattan. This house remained in the family until the 1920's. For the next 35 years, owned by various folks, it frequently faced deomolition for the space it occupied. In 1955 the house was ready to be torn down to make way for a Veterans Administration hospital, when is was disassembled and moved to its current location in Garrison NY. Today it is a museum and a place many folks have their wedding reception at.

While I was taking pictures, I had placed my small bag where my National Park books are kept. I was politely but sternly asked to remove them from the table because I was disturbing the setting of wedding favors, like pens, markers, and other trinkets for the guests. I removed the book and dropped it to the ground, then proceeded to take the picture of the Hudson River. I was thinking Franck Eggelhoffer from the movie Father of the Bride.

Just north of I-84 at the Newburgh Beacon Bridge is the Mt Gulian Historic Site another INKING joint. To my dismay there were closed. This was especially disappointing since I spent about 30 minutes to go less the 2 miles due to an accident just ahead of the road I need to turn off on.

Mount Gulian is a reconstructed 18th century Dutch manor house on the Hudson River in the town of Fishkill, New York, United States of America. The original house served as the headquarters of Major General Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben during the American Revolutionary War and was the place where the Society of the Cincinnati was founded. The site is registered as a National Historic Landmark. Source Wikipedia

Back to the bridge and across the Hudson River, headed for the good section of Newburgh. Arrived at Motorcylepedia right around 1;30PM and the temps just keep going up. This is a place I need to come back to and go inside. Apparently there were multiple guests here from the New England Riders (a group of motorcycle riders from up my way), all showing up as separate people. Go figa.

On the opposite of side of industrial looking Newburgh is the Gomez Mill House. Over 300 years old, it is the earliest known surviving Jewish dwelling in North America and the oldest home in Orange County listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

I am starting to be aware of the time and the number of locations I have on the list. I have a dinner date with some folks from the SpyderLovers forum and I don't want to be late.

Temps are well into the 90's breaching the upper end. It is freakkkkkkkkkkin hot out and it is taking a toll on my desire to take pics. Hit the Eleanor Roosevelt Historic Site called Val-Kill. As I pull into the place to park I see the shuttle carrier leave to go up to the VC. Off the bike, walk the 1/4 miles or so to VC starting to question why am I doing this. The heat is getting to me. Got INK. Found out the shuttle bus back to the parking lot is not coming for another hour and started my 10 mile trek back to the bike. So how did it grow from a 1/4 mile, it just did. No picture.

Next stop is the FDR Library and Springwood (where FDR was born), his home. Eleanor and Franklin took the separate beds ideology to a whole different level. Roosevelt made his last visit to Springwood in the last week of March 1945, about two weeks before his death. At his own wish, he was buried near the sundial in the Rose Garden on April 15, 1945. His wife was buried at his side after her death in 1962. Also buried here are Fala, the famous scottish terrier, and Chief, a German Shepherd also owned by FDR

Pulled out the FDR estate, turned left and right up the street in the Vanderbilt Mansion. I have been at all of these places in the past, however I need to bring Crystal back to see the mansion. The grounds are magnificent and the house ain't bad either. I took no pictures and feel badly about it now.

Crossed back over the Hudson River on RT199 over the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge. I found myself in the center of Kingston just around 4pm. I have something like 3 more INKING locations to capture, but given the time they are probably closed. Matter of fact I couldn't even find the location I was looking for in Kingston. I have to admit I was done capturing stuff for the day and I am suppose to be in Accord in an hour.

I was going down the back street and VIOLA, a New York Mural. Nice and big for the Americana Tour. I don't know if this is a Buddhism or a Hindu mural and if I say anymore I will surely insult some future reader, so I will quite while I am ahead.

28 miles from Kingston to Accord NY to meet up with Spyder folks. Took US209 all the way. Right outside of Accord I stopped at a gas station to get some water. I really needed to hydrate. Also took this time to swap out my ucky long sleeve wicking shirt into one of my best T-Shirts. Told the guy at the container I needed to get gussy up for a date.

Hit the Friends & Family II Hillside Restaurant right around 4:45, sat down at the bar, had a beer and asked if they minded if I plugged my phone and headset into the plug next to me. About 10 minutes later the rest of the folks arrived and we had a great meal, swapping stories. It was great to meet some of the folks from the SpyderLovers forum. A first but not the last. The Hillside is a little pricey, however the food is worth the price. Highly recommend !!

After diner we all poured out the restaurants and chatted a bit more in the parking lot. I was suppose to turn right out of the parking lot, but someone pointed out there was a fire that way and I would be better off going up and around, which I did. Grabbed this sunset on Mohonk Rd.

The place I am staying, The New Paltz Hostel, has a curfew of 10PM, no booze or drugs allowed. I was wondering if I made reservations at a half way house. Actually for $30.00 it turned out to be worth every penny and then some. I would stay here again in a heartbeat and even bring Crystal with me. Worth the consideration if you are not looking for fancy.

All in all a good day of riding, right around 300 or so miles. Knocked off some Americana sites, and made a big dent into the last 20 or so spots for the National Park Tour.