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.

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