Sunday, June 23, 2013

Day of the Dead

Today’s trip started out pretty modest in terms of miles and target locations. The initial plan was to run up to Candia, NH turn south and go to Nashua and head home. Just under 190 miles. I planned the route to head up interstates and turn off at Lowell, MA and backroad it from there. Route planned, still early in the morning, something like 6am, so I layered the route onto my National Register of Historic Places map. The route crossed some right over some places so I simply incorporated them into the route. After all I didn’t have to stop at them. Then I brought up my New Hampshire Historic Markers map and layered the route into this. Whoa a couple of markers that have evaded my past journeys. Simple click, line turns into an elastic band and drop them on the markers and they are incorporated. Copy this back to my original file, I ended up with a full day ahead of me. I kept the simple route, because MeAsWe might be going and would be excited by the short trip but not the getting on an off. I must have had 20 stops.

So in reviewing the stops I noticed I had 4 or 5 cemeteries on the National Register. Buildings are usually identifiable based on the waypoint locations, churches too, houses can be a problem especially if there are a lot in the same area. Cemeteries should be a snap.

Route is done, MeAsWe is up and we are having coffee. I sit and find myself falling asleep. Last words from me, wake me at nine. Nine came and went and finally got up at 9:30am. You going I ask, and MeAsWe declines. I am up, dressed, bike ready all by 9:45a, a quick kiss and I am off on another adventure.

To simply view the pics you can enjoy a slideshow, however you will miss all the witty commentary

Just passing the exit the traffic slows dramatically. Not quite stop and go, but more like a snail pace. I jump over in the breakdown lane and head for the next exit, I will take the side roads versus this.

First couple of stops is in Littleton, MA, for some places on the National Register. This would be the day of cemeteries, finding the first in Littleton.

Houghton Memorial Building - Littleton MA
Littleton Historical Society - Old Library

Reed--Wood Place - Littleton MA
Reed Wood Place

Old Burying Ground - Littleton MA
Old Burying Ground Littleton MA

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From Littleton, I didn’t dare get back on 495 and simply wandered along RT 110 until I got to the RT 4 in Chelmsford. It was here that I got diverted by the Massachusetts historic marker, stopping briefly for my collection.

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I moseyed up RT 4, over the Merrimac River and headed along the river thru Lowell. There was a big crowd of rowing enthusiasts along Riverfront Park, with their 20 foot sculling boats. It was the Festival Regatta put on by the Merrimac River Rowing Association. I feel a little remiss I didn’t pull out the Point and Shoot camera and fire off a couple shots. Hanging a left on Bridge St I traveled thru Dracut. The name just sounds the opposite of what it is. Rolling hills of farms and country homes, some pretty big ones too.

I stopped for this picture, becasue of a failing building, beat up pick up truck and an old VW. How can you resist a stop like that.

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Next stop was in Derry, NH for the Adams Memorial Building. Saw this place and pulled over with the intentions of having a bite, but something stopped me, saying travel a bit further and find a hole in the wall to eat at.

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Arrived at the Old Town Hall of Chester for a picture and this is where I found my hole in the wall. Snapped off a couple of pictures the church, post office, a NH Marker and parked the bike for some breakfast. A soon as I got in the place I was questioned about being hot with the gear I was wearing. For this season I acquired an Olympia mesh riding suit and immediately told the person it was mesh, adding I was probably cooler than them outside. Of course moving is what pushes the air threw them. I struggled getting my arm out of the suit and my lunch neighbor gave me a hand by pulling on the shoulder as I pulled my arm out. While I waited for breakfast we had conversations about cooking for dogs, people trying to commit suicide in an antique Mercedes and just other small talk.

Stevens Memorial Hall - Chester, NH
Chester Old Town Hall -Chester Historical Society - Stevens Memorial Hall

Chester Congregational Church - Chester, NH
Chester Congregational Church
Early American Clocks New Hampshire Marker
New Hampshire Marker

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Olde Post Restaurant - Recommended

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It was as good as it looks

Back outside all I need to do is turn the corner, pick up the Chester Cemetery and NH marker and head further north. The temps are rising, getting into the 90’s.

Chester Village Cemetery - Chester, NH
New Hampshire Marker

Chester Village Cemetery - Chester, NH
Cemetery 2 for the day

Grabbed this on the way to the next stop. Thought it would cool me off just looking at it.

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Candia is right around the corner from Chester, but when I was mapping out the route I saw the Raymond Boston and Maine Railroad depot wasn’t too far out of the way so I looped my route thru Raymond, NH. I love the old depots. I can see the steam engines pulling up and the ladies in the hoop dresses and parasols getting off and the conductors unload the baggage onto the rolling carts.

Raymond Boston and Maine Railroad Depot
Raymond Depot on the National Register
Raymond Boston and Maine Railroad Depot

Raymond Boston and Maine Railroad Depot
Use to hang in Town Hall
Candia, the main purpose for the ride, is just up the street. Before I get to my destination had a couple of NH Markers to pick up.

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First Church Building in


New Hampshire Marker

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Pawtuckaway CCC Camp

I have targeted the Candia Fire department as a stop, but I came across the Candia General Store. It looked a little run down but still living strong and a much more interesting picture for the Z to A Grand Tour.

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I was smart enough to route myself around Manchester, NH taking NH 101and I-293, however jumped back on RT 3A just south Manchester to complete my journey to Nashua. In Litchfield picked up these 2 buildings for Waymarking.

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Aaron Culter Memorial Library

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First Presbyterian Church built in 1844
Coming down RT 3A I make my way to the Nashua Diner for the Z to A Grand Tour

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I head straight into Nausha downtown. While this was not my intent, I found a familar site that I have meant to pick up for my National Register buildings, The Hunt Memorial Library. Traffic, end of day, and lack of parking were my reason for not stopping. This is not a shoot from the saddle. This building was designed by Cram and Associates, an internationally known architect.

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Hunt Memorial Library built in 1903
While I am here and off the bike I take advantage to grab some other buildings. The First Congregational Church building is simply spectacular.  Built in 1893 and dedicated in 1894, the tower rises 118 feet and houses 15 bells.

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First Congregational Church
An alley in Nashua, just because it was there.

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Time to head out of Nashua. On the way out I grabbed to oldest surviving house in Nashua, the Killicut - Way House. 

Killicut--Way House - Nashua, NH
Built around 1740 on the National Register
Crossed the state line at Nashua / Dunstable line.

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 Stopped that the Dunstable Town Hall. It is on the National Register

Dunstable Town Hall - Dunstable, MA
Sarah R S Roby Memorial Building built 1907
The final stops of the day were 3 cemeteries combines with the 2 previous cemeteries hence the name of the post. All of these are on the National Register of Historic Places.

Wright Cemetery - Westford MA
Wright Cemetery
Russian Cemetery - Westford MA
Russian Cemetery
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Westlawn Cemetery

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One of the folks peeping out at me

The trip was complete, headed for the slabs to make it home. Just under 200 miles for the day, 2 towns for the A to Z Tour, bunch of historic places for waymarking, and some more New Hampshire markers that brings me closer to getting them all.

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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Gone from Winter to Summer in 60 seconds

On Saturday mornings I have a tendency to wander over to Giff's place to just hang about. This Saturday was no different but it was different. Today is June 1st the first Saturday after May 31st. Yeah it happens every year, but motorcycle inspections were due to be complete as of the 31st and Bill figures he is going to get hammered today, so I went over to help him out. My lines good, good, good, good, which represents the rear turn signals are working and the brake, both foot and hand are working. It's not a very hard job except when one goes bad, which we did have one. So for 4 hours Bill did inspections and I said those four words. (Pictures are clickable and will enlarge)

This Saturday was also different in the temperature. Last weekend I was standing around in his shop with a coat on, today I was overdressed with shorts and a T-Shirt. After the inspections we hit the local lunch spot and I had a great sandwich called the Chilpolte. During lunch I discussed heading up to Portsmouth for a Z to A town. Bill thought about taggin along but declined because of the expected traffic.

Getting a late start (1:49pm) I blasted up I495 to I95, getting off Exit 60 and headed for the ocean on NH 286. My lane was wide open, but the other side was nothing but bumper to bumper traffic trying to get back to the interstate. I gave a chuckle and said I am glad I am not heading that way.

Hit my first destination right around 3:15pm. I have slowly been gathering these over the last 4 years and will eventually get them all.

This is Bound Rock right by the bridge that goes from Seabrook to Hampton Beach. As the sign says the rock was lost for quite a few years and found again in 1937 because the mouth of the Hampton River kept shifting. It was placed by Capt Nicolas Shapley in 1657.

The Marker
The Tomb the Stone is in
The Rock
Having made great time so far I headed to the next stop of the day and ran into this wall. Actually there was 2 walls this physical one and then the heat. While never reaching 100, the FJR did read 98. Regardless it was hot. Giff probably made the right choice of not following along. It took right around 1 hour to cover the next 4 miles.
Some Gixxer or CBR'r (could of been a RR) decided to split the lanes California style. Made a good run of in. Then out of the corner of my eye, over to the left, I see a black and white vehicle pull out into the traffic, point to the kid, point to the side of the road and there he sat as I passed him, saying but officer it is soo hot and my bike was over heating and my knees were getting sun burned, to which he was saying license and registration son.
Traffic traffic everywhere and not break to be found
I made the best of a bad thing. At least there was stuff to watch and see.
I think it was hotter out than the core of this thing. But the young thing above was hotter than both mother nature and the Seabrook

Hot but not a hot as above

Oh I figured I throw a close up of my Go Scans mirrors I recently mounted. I don't understand why it came out a little blurry. I caught MeAsWe starring at this picture too. Has something for everybody I guess.

Looking for more interesting stuff. Don't see any really, do you.

I could use one of those

Maybe I should jump

Finally hit the spot at the north end of Hampton Beach where every one turns to head for the interstate, I continued north. It was a great ride along RT 1A / Ocean Blvd. For one thing there was virtually no traffic.

I dropped my lens cap here and took advantage of snapping off a shot of the ocean.

What a view

Couple more markers along the way

One ringy dingy

Glad I don't have to spell that name

Got a picture without the plant life too
I was convinced this joint was going to be on the National Register of Historic Places, but it is still neat never the less. It does have some history thou. Built in 1874 by a distiller from Somerville MA, Daniel Chase. In 1905, the hotel housed the Russian and Japanese delegations who concluded the Treaty of Portsmouth to end the Russo-Japanese War. U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt suggested the peace talks, and won the Nobel Peace Prize for his actions.

Vacationing Gilded Age style
I rounded the corner looking for another NH Marker right around Fort Constitution on New Castle Island. I rode into the Coast Guard station and entrance to the fort, and made a note to myself I need to get back here for some quality time with the camera. There is a bunch of neat places up here. I thank the spirits that I was looking for a sign and my speed was way under the posted limit. Plenty of LEO out here willing to give you a ticket. As you head out of town and round the cornet to cross over the causeway / bridges into Portsmouth you are presented with the Portsmouth Naval Prison on your right. This place is actually in Kittery ME. It was used as a prison from 1908 to 1974 and was modeled after Alcatraz.

You can't handle the truth

Finally into Portmouth my actual destination for the day. Grabbed Piscataqua and pulled the map out to see how far the next stop was. The heat has been taking a toll.

I can't even pronounce this place

North Cemetery is only 1/2 mile away

The heat is killing me and thought about a nap

While in the comfort of the shade and the temps beginning to drop, I pull out my map and see where I am headed next.. It's right around 6:15pm, I have been cut off by a car getting to the cemetery, I have been capturing these for the last 4 years and I am sure they are not going any place, I decide to call it quits for the day and head back home. Well the Weeks marker is on the way home so one more and I am done.


Oldest native brick house in NH. The bricks were made right here
With this pick and the post office right across the street I head north to go south on I 95. Right around Littleton I see I am going to need gas and head off the highway. Grab an Orange Vanilla seltzer while I am stopped and downed the must needed fluid. Kind of taste like an orange creamsicle. I am sure I have the Littleton Post Office but just in case I don't have I fire off the last shots of the day.

Plus this is a much better shot to end the day with than the Weeks house which is so weak.
A brutally hot day and I traveled in the peak of the brutality. Pulled into the barn right around 8:30:33pm just shy of 225 miles for the afternoon.