So why would anybody pick a route toward Boston. While there are some very nice scenic roads inside the 128 belt, this was going to be city riding. So why ? Because there are towns that end in A that way. The agenda today is a relatively a short list. Mount Ida, Kenberma, Chelsea, Wyoma, Billerica and North Billerica. Camp Nashoba is on the list, but a soft hit. Usually there are 25 or so places we hit in a day, today is gonna be a leisure ride.
There are 2 ways to run Grand Tours like this one. Just head for the location and find a sign with the name on it or target a specific place to capture. I usually (98% of the time) target my places so I know there will be a sign there. Fire stations, police stations, city halls, libraries are all good bets. Libraries are not as good because people have a tendency to etch someone's name in stone on them because of some donation or contribution to the town. I use Google Maps to find the town, then search for the town name to find specific targets, then try to use street view to see the signs. Yes alot of work but my success rate is pretty high. 50% of the time while riding into the town I fnd a sign that will work and just pick that up.
Originally I had my self heading to Mount Ida via city streets. I got a late start, so I bring up Mount Ida College in the favorites, request the fastest route and hop on the Mass Pike. This will be the only interstate until the end of the day.
At Mount Ida College I pass the guard shack. I did stop, but the guard simply nodded and rode in looking for a good sign. Right at the entrance was a good sign, but I figure I got plenty of time I would have to ride around the campus. Pretty deserted. Didn't have to stop once for students crossing the street. Either they are in the dorm rooms studying or getting over a hangover. It is Sunday. Found one banner right outside the athletic field, which is the only place that shows any life. Opted for the sign at the entrance.
All photos are clickable and will enlarge for a more complete experience
Not sure what this is, maybe a perpetual oil rig, water pump, pumpkin thrower, thing for hurling tar at the warring attackers, or simply a piece of art.
Next stop is Kenberma. Stopped along the way to take some photos of stuff.
Passing thru Weymouth I just had to stop for this school. It was so bold and bright. Maybe why the place is called Stars. Jefferson School was built in 1889, which reflects Queen Anne (Victorian Age) architecture. This place has numerous waymarking category opportunities, clock, dated building, on the National Register of Historic Places, and a couple more I am missing
I passed these bikes in Hingham, MA and actually turned around to go back and take pictures of them. It was not because there was anything special about the bikes, it was the colors that caught my eye.
Hingham is full of historic buildings and need to come back here with a list of places. It was settled in 1633 and incorportated the next year. History lesson over. Right about here on, the breeze kicked up and the temps dropped. While I was not freezing, I did get to see how meshy my new riding suit was. Plenty of air was flowing thru it.
Hull is on Nantasket Penisula , so you get the wind from both sides. My destination is Kenberma a town neighborhood of Hull. The creator of Napstar (remember them) spent alot of time in Hull.
Before I got into Hull proper, I stopped here for this wonderful panoramic vista. It was much better coming out of the my eyes than my interpretation with a camera.
The bath house at Nantasket State Reservation is a really neat Art Deco building built in 1930.
MeAsWe and I came here a couple of years ago specifically to get the Massachusetts State Park Passport Stamp. The box had been smashed to pieces and the stamp was gone. This time the box was intact with the padlock on it. In the passport book they provide the combo. One problem, the salt air had welded the tumblers to the lock body and they would not spin. Not to be deterred, I walked back to the bike and got my handy four in one screw driver. I tried to force one of the tumblers but all I did was jam the screwdriver into my hand and make it bleed. I looked at the lock, the hinge, looked up to see if there was anybody official looking and then flipped the phillips head bit in the screwdriver and unscrewed the three screws that held the hinge to the box, reached in got the stamp, stamped my book, and screwed the hinge back onto the box. Mission accomplished.
On the way into Hull I passed this joint. Parked the bike, dismounted and asked the 3 guys if the dogs were any good (as I was pointing the joint), to which they said, not bad if they were open. Being off the bike figured I might as well take some pictures of Massachusestts Bay. The 3 gents were riders so of course the conversation got around to bikes. One guy had the premo spot on the wall where he could lean his back against the railing. Perfect for those really hot days to watch the young girls all oiled up struttin their stuff. This was not one of those days, but he was saving the spot.
Back into Hull, thru Hingham and meandered up 3A toward Quincy along the coast. Brrr it was breezy and chilly.
In North Weymouth caught this out of the corner of my eye and went back for a pic. This is an old Cities Services gas station built in 1928. The section that juts out was actually a portico that you could drive you car under. Cities Services is now CITGO. I stopped for a few more pics on the way. At this rate I am never gonna get to my next stop.
Some how I got rooted up onto 93 (bad routing on my part) (and I lied at the beginning about interstates)(actually I forgot) and found myself stuck in traffic with the wind whipping, the mist cooling the air even more than it was and no where to pull over to put a jacket on. It was nice finally to hit the tunnel, it smelled of fumes but it was warm. For that moment warm was more desirable than fresh air.
Thru Boston and over the Tobin Bridge. My exit was 4th street, but it came up so fast, it looked like a turnout out not an exit, I missed it. Not a big problem in term of miles it cost me maybe 2 extra miles, but in city traffic that is like 20 miles of forest rat infested roads, except the forest rats are made of metal, have four pieces of rubber instead of legs, but are just as unpredictable. Arrived at Chelsea City Hall and grabbed a couple of pictures.
At this point the sky had a serious deep gray tone to it, the kind that water pours out of, and considered heading home. Wyoma is so close. Now if you are not from Mass, Wyoma means nothing to you. If you are from Massachusetts, I bet most are saying where the heck is Wyoma. I found it and targetted 2 places, the True Hardware, and the Dairy Twirl. The Dairy Twirl is on a trafficitty road with no place to dismount, so I pulled right up on the sidewalk. Between the Dairy Twirl and the street was a guardrail so I had to stand in the street to get the shot, at least the bike was protected.
While I was taking the picture a car stopped and asked me what the heck I was doing. My answer I needed to come to Wyoma and take a picture with my flag. They both laughed and continued on.
While on route I crossed over this bridge, got a quick glance of a stone structure to my right. At the next street I made a U turn and headed back. What really caught my eye was a little plaque in the structure that looked like the plagues to designate a Civil Engineering Landmarks. Sure enough this was part of the Middlesex Canal built in 1794 and completed in 1802. The Middlesex Canal connected the Merrimac River in Lowell, MA to Boston Harbor. The canal was the first to use hydraulic cement.
Skies haven't lightened up, matter of fact they were a tad more ominous. Billerica is on the way home. Picked up Bellerica High School and headed for North Billerica Baptist Church. It was the only thing that came up North Billerica in Google. Not knowing really where I was, I thought it was unusual I was routed onto US 3 North. Now that I look at a map I realize I am inside the 495 belt and this was on the way home. Felt a couple of drops.
All targets but one have been captured, the next stop is Camp Nashoba. This is a real iffy place. I don't have a clue if there will be a sign there. Hopped on I-495, headed south and the rain began. I am 50+ miles out and opted to get Camp Nashoba another time, if at all.
All in all I had a great ride. Lots of urban streets with plenty to see, some coast line with their panaromic vistas, and county type roads once I headed out of Wyoma. The ride had a little bit of everything, but most of all it was a ride without incident, matter of fact not any thing I would call a close call, not even a horn.