Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Place once called Troy

I have not ridden in about 2 weeks, spending most of our time concentrating on our up and coming move. Just the sheer thought of moving sends shivers up and down my back. With one New England Tour of Honor sight to grab, the sky a crystal blue and the temps just about perfect, I loaded up the GPS with the primary site and a bunch of other places to grab.

So this place called Troy is now Fall River, MA, home to Lizzie Borden and her forty whacks, Battleship Cove, and plenty of historic buildings.

First stop is Santo Christo Church which was built in 1924. Not particularly old but it is the oldest Portuguese parish in Fall River. I finished up my photos just as the parishioners were getting out of their service. Traffic became a tad more hectic and reckless as well.

Next on the hit list was American Printing Co. This company became the world's foremost maker of printed textiles. Formed in 1835 it hit it's peak during World War I. Tough shot trying to get both mills in the picture.

Metacomet Mill and American Printing Company Mill No. 7, built 1906

Metacomet Mill, built 1847
Before I leave on these historical hunts, I generally try to find a picture on the internet, so I know what I am searching for. I found a reference to this site for American Printing Co. Now this may have been one of the buildings, but when I got home I never could find the reference again.

I find out that I am getting old, at least physically. To get a good picture, I had to climb onto a concrete block that was about 3 feet in height so I could get a good shot over the fence. Climbing onto the block was trouble enough, but getting off was a major task. Glad I was the only one around.

Headed over to Battleship Cove for my primary target of the day. Battleship Cove is the largest collection of WWII naval vessels and home to USS Massachusetts, known as Big Mamie.

The PT exhibits at Battleship Cove are under the PT Boat Museum, however you still have to drop the 16.50 entrance fee. I pleaded with the girl at the entrance telling her all I needed was a picture of the PT boat with my flag and I was only going to be in there for 30 seconds or so. She let me thru and told me I expect to see you back here in a few minutes. As I headed to the PT boat, I convinced myself I have to come back here and take in the exhibits.  I was surprised how big PT boats are, they didn't look that big on McHale's Navy.

As I was looking for the Fall River Historic Park Passport stamp I came across these folks having a good time in the park. The building at the park was locked up and it is my suspicion it was closed due to budgetary problems.

Right next to Battleship Cove is this carousel. What great colors.

Headed away from the waterfront, deeper into Fall River. The First Baptist Church was the first church in Fall River organized in 1781. While I was outside taking pictures, a gentleman sitting on a rock outside the church asked me if I wanted to take some pictures inside. At first I declined, but I had not taken any inside photos with my new camera.

While I was taking the next series of historic places, one of the pictures really looked washed out. I have been bracketing my photos and thought the camera was still set for bracketing. When I checked the settings it was off. Took another shot and noticed the speed was something like 1/800 of a second. I then reviewed the settings in the camera and saw the ISO was set for 1600 where it should have been down at 100.  My son had been playing around the night before and set the ISO. Lesson learned.

A couple of places clustered on North Main Street.

William Lindsey House built in 1844

David M Anthony House built 1875.
David was a major player in the textile industry
Qheguechan Club, a gentleman's club
The BMC Durfee High School is on Rock St. It was built in 1886. A couple of years ago telescopes were a treasure hunt item. I can't believe I missed this one.

Church of the Ascension was built in 1895. Three churches have consolidated and it is now known as Church of the Holy Spirit. One can used to seeing closed manufacturing facilities, warehouses, and car lots due to the economy, but churches are falling to the same problems as businesses.

The Central Congregational Church is where Lizzie Borden went to church. It was used in one of Aerosmith's video. It was converted to a Culinary School in the 1990's and was they closed in 2009. It is a pretty cool structure.

Headed out of Fall River to grab my last 2 stops for the day. Having not eaten all day I grabbed a bowl of chili at Chili Head. It was not the greatest chili to me, but I enjoyed the art work in the place, so things evened out.

The last stop

Not alot of miles, but a full day never the less and fulfilling that I finished another Grand Tour. One more to go.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Every Day Ride

Many of us make the same ride to someplace every day. It could be to work, to babysit a grandchild for your own child, or  pick up or drop off a spouse at the train station. Whatever the reason we ride the same road.

For the last couple of days I have slowed the ride down and took a look around.

This is part of the Blackstone Canal.

Right across the street is this view. This never ceases to provide a sense of calm.

This guy caught my eye

And I grabbed his interest as well.


Just down the road a piece is this winding road. One day I will venture down it, but for now I will respect the person's privacy.


One the way to I-495 I come across what looks like a vacant lot. At least it looks that way at a quick glance, but who takes the time to make sure flowers are growing in a vacant lot.

Right next door is this not your everyday mailbox.

Heading for the highway I cross from Mendon to Bellingham.

From here the scenery turns more industrial, but interesting never the less.

The rest of the journey is pretty much like any one else's ride. Dunkin Donuts, gas stations, Home Depots, and numerous traffic lights, people on their cells, tweeting here and there, some applying make up and others drinking their coffees. Thanks for coming along on the ride

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Shop

A place to kick tires, drag a knee and share some laughs.
A 21st Century Floyd's Barber Shop.
Click to Enlarge


Trinity Auto in Whitinsville, MA

Monday, September 10, 2012

Tina, a Dam and a FJR

Just a picture. Please click to enlarge

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Final Eight

Yesterday was my last day of grabbin USA towns. Entries must be post marked by September 15th which is next Saturday and I know I will not get out on the bike for more towns.

My first stop was had nothing to do with the USA Tour. It was just a scenic spot. I was heading for Auburndale. Navteq and Garmin like to shave off seconds by routing you off main roads and onto back streets which just bring you back to main roads.As you can see below rather than take me to RT12, it had me turn on side street to get there. Most of the time these are a pain in the ass and you end up scratching your head and asking why is my GPS doing that.

Today it turned out to be a good thing. It was what I thought the perfect scenic place. A lot of country with a bit of urban thrown in. Off the bike, engine off (knew I was gonna be here awhile) and pull out the tripod from the Givi. I bought this cheapo tripod from Walmart, but it does fit in the Givi and I have used it quite abit, so I will not be returning it. Set the camera for bracketing and take one regular exposure, 1 underexposed and 1 overexposed and keep my fingers crossed for when I get home to process the pics. For those that want to know and care, I take pics in both JPG and RAW. (click the photos to enlarge)

For the rest of the day I looked and looked for another spot like McTaggarts Pond. It just didn't happen.

I was headed for a different Ashby, but this was along the way. I have learned if you come across a target that satisfies the parameters of the hunt, take it when you can, because you may just find yourself back tracking. Usually I end up having to repositioning the bike because the lean and the kickstand is just not right. This was way right. When I went to get the bike off the stand and in an upright position, it had a wee bit more lean than I thought. It took alot of oomph to get the 640+ pounds into a vertical position.

Hi ( or is that how ) to you too. One of them Muffler Guys in Shirley, MA on Great Road. ( N42 35.285 W71 39.646 )

The Ayer Motel has a sister motel in Agawam, MA. Must be a chain of them.

I have actually found myself in this town and at this location a couple of times. This is on the National Register of Historic Places, and it was a good site for the An Affair with Water tour last year.

I had my doubts this was going to be a hit. I was pleasantly surprised to find it just like it said it would be.

When I left this morning (well it was more like 12:30P ) I didn't load up any BBQ places. Sometimes you just come across them. This looks like a brand new place.

Been here a couple of times too.

For the last couple of years I have been tracking down these markers, kinda sorta. Not like my quest for the New Hampshire ones. That was before the days of the Grand Tours, which do fill alot of my riding time. This one is in Sudbury on Boston Post Road.

Coming into the home stretch with Saxonville. I remember this town from my early arrival in Massachusetts in 1979. This is a teeny tiny time, but has been with me since I moved here. I was originally targeting the Saxonville Cleaners. but it only had Saxon in the name.
This joint presented a real challenge for the Smoke Chasing Tour. The joint is suppose to have BBQ or Smoke in the name. Since it is a chain, it would be accepted, maybe. I left with this picture.
Having lived in this area and since I was in chase mode, Cochituate State Park is right around the corner and has a stamp for my Massachusetts Passport book.
The park was just closing and they had the gates across the entrance, so I still have to chase down this stamp. Not being satisfied with the Tennessee picture I headed back there for another picture.

I am way over thinking these targets. Headed off for the last stop, Southborough or Southboro. Official spelling is Southborough and they are a bit snobby about how it is spelled. After I took this picture I knew I was going to have to lighten it up abit so you could read Southborough. The USA Tour for me is done
Well almost. I pulled up on the sidewalk for this shot. Probably not the smartest thing I could have done.
At home I got busy downloading the days photos. Updated my Smoke Chasing Blog and then went to preparing the two DVD's to be mailed to Jack and Marlene. In the final count, I submitted 212 visited towns. We visited 70 towns during the double bonus week, so I have a total of 282 towns. MeAsWe has slightly less at 260. So the USA Flags have been retired for the year, but ready to be broken out for 2013 Double Point Week.
Todays ride
Thanks to the GLMC for sponsoring this years USA Grand Tour. A special thanks goes to Marlene and Jack Backer who has to review all the photos from everybody. It was a great year.