Tuesday, August 23, 2016


Time is right around 6:30am or so, stumble out of bed, wondering where I am and remember I am in Vermont. Walk to the window, pull back the curtain and all I see is what appeared to be rainy mist. Dang, I thought it was suppose to be nice today, matter of fact forecast has bright sunshine predicted. Get dressed, gather up the gear and take it out to the bike. The seats are soaked, so wet I don't dare put any bags down on them. Pop the front and rear trunks, stow the gear, mount the GPS, start the bike and head back to the room for a towel to wipe the seats down.

With the bike started, look at the on board temperature, 55. Brrrrrrrrrr. Seats wiped down, drive the bike over to the office where breakfast is. Watching the weather and it is confirmed it will be bright and sunny, this is just how the mornings in Montpelier start, cool, misty and damp.

First stop is the Vermont State Capitol, for the Teamstrange Strange Election Tour. It is a safe bet that Vermont will go Democratic in November so the Blue flag is used. The Capitol is the third structure to hold the Vermont legislature. This one was built in 1857-1858, and occupied in 1859. The dome was originally painted a dark terracotta red to suggest Tuscan tile. The dome is topped by a statue named Agriculture, a representation of Ceres, an ancient Roman goddess of agriculture.

10 miles south is Barre, VT where I have the Vermont Racetrack, Thunder Road to pick up for the Americana Tour. Yesterday I came across another racetrack, so I have 2 now and will decide which one to use when I submit my travels to the Rally guys.

Headed east on US2 towards St Johnsbury, VT passing this barn. Now there was nothing special about this barn, but traffic seemed light and I decided to pull over to take a picture of it. This thing was just so huge, still wondering why so big.

RT2 was a little more busy than I thought when I pulled over. Got honked at by one truck as he waited to go around me. Crossed the street to take a better picture without the lines in it and heard some more honking. When I turned around there were 3 semi stopped on the street waiting to go around me. I ran back to the Spyder, jumped on and turned off at the next available spot.

I am on quest to grab as many National Historic Landmarks as I can during my travels. Been doing this for at least 8 years of so. Just a way to pick places to visit and learn some history. In St Johnsbury is the St Johnsbury Athenaeum.

The St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, is significant because of its construction, the American landscape paintings and books from its original role as a public library and free art gallery, and funding by Horace Fairbanks, manufacturer of the world's first platform scale. Wikipedia

On the outskirts of St. Johnsbury is the Sewin' in Vermont Store that has run out of 3 in 1 oil for sure. The building just grabbed my attention is of no real importance. Looks like an old boarding home, maybe for the candlepin factory.

Turning onto RT135 the Moose Reservoir and Dam comes into view. The dam was built in 1956, creating the reservoir. The dame is a hydroelectric plant producing 192 megawatts of power.

Turning off on Rt 116 just on the edge of the White Mountain National Forest is Bethlehem NH. The town was a Gilded Age resort for the rich and famous. Every year, people from all over the world send Christmas cards to the Bethlehem post office to have them postmarked. In 2000, it handled 56,000 Christmas cards.

Just as you are about to leave Bethlehem is the Indian Brook Trading Co. with some pretty neat sculptures out front.

Making my way up to my next destination this scenic view has Mt Washington off to the right hidden by the trees. Just a nice stop with the road following the curvature of the Ammonoosuc River.

Another scenic vista along RT 115 in Jefferson, NH

This motel, The Mount Jefferson View, just caught my eye with all of the colors. From a marketing standpoint the colors must work, it made me stop and turn in.

In Gorham hung a right onto RT 16, traveling south for about 9 miles, grabbed the entrance to the Mt. Washington Auto Road. I have traveled all over New England for the last 10 or so years and have yet to climb Mt Washington. Today I will make that still true. Being out west on the bike this seems like a hill, even if it is the highest peak in the Northeast at 6,288 feet.

Continued down RT 16 thru Intervale NH, stopping briefly to grab this vista. Intervales is just north of North Conway and Conway, where I picked up US 302 and headed east for Maine

US 302 crosses into Maine just outside of Fryeburg, home to Fryeburg Academy and the Fryeburg Fair. The fair attracts well over 300,000 visitors during its 8 days of being open. It also can cause massive traffic jams since US 302 is a 2 lane highway. I had the pleasure last year of taking 4 hours to go 5 miles.

Maine will go Democrat in November, hence the Blue flag.

In Fryeburg center US 302 heads south into Bridgton. Picked up the Civil War Memorial in Bridgton as a Veteran Memorial for the Americana Tour

As I traveled along US302 I passed signs "Men Working Ahead", "Reduce Speed" and finally the sign "PAVEMENT ENDS". Having traveled in Maine before, when they say pavement ends in Maine, it ends. For the next 10 miles I traveled at a reduced speed, weaving in and out of loose gravel and wet mud. While really not that bad, my rear tire was approaching 15,000 miles and didn't want to hit anything that make it worse. Really loved it when the water truck passed on the other side, nicely coating the lower half of the Spyder with a nice spray of stuff.

In Naples caught this mural out of the corner of my eye and needed one for the Americana Tour. While I had one waypointed in Portsmouth you never know if they paint over the wall and it is no longer there. That happened to us in Savannah, GA.

Casco Maine had the President Sign I needed for the Americana Tour. Casco is home to Sebago Lake a favorite camping park for many.

Hitting the coast of Maine in Yarmouth stopped a Erv Bickford's open-pavilion displaying some the Mack, Kenworth and Brockway trucks he collected over the years while in the trucking business. There are a total of 300+ trucks in his collection. I stumbled across the collection, knowing this would qualify as SOMETHING COOL for the Americana Tour.

Also in Yarmoth and the reason I was here was to pick up the Delorme Globe as one of the specific sites for the American Tour. Before GPS's Delorme maps were the Cats Meow for maps. In 2016 Delorme was purchased by Garmin. Eartha, the revolving globe in the building is the world's largest revolving globe.

Since I picked up the mural in Naples I skipped Portland ME all together and headed directly for Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough.

The track was opened in 1949 by Jim McConnell, an airplane mechanic. In 1981 it was bought by the Cusack family. It became a NASCAR sanctioned track in 1995. Wikipedia

In Alfred ME is the York County Court House, which completes the 5 general items in Maine. The five categories are Veteran Memorial, Mural, Race Track, Court House and Something Cool

One more stop and I can head for the barn. In Portsmouth, NH sits the USS Albacore right off Bypass US 1. Unfortunately for me the Bypass Bridge is under repair, so I had to bypass the Bypass, travel south on US1 and come thru Portsmouth proper to come in at a different angle. There is no way I was going to let a little detour keep me from getting the last stop.

USS Albacore (AGSS-569) was a unique research submarine that pioneered the American version of the teardrop hull form (sometimes referred to as an "Albacore hull") of modern submarines. The revolutionary design was derived from extensive hydrodynamic and wind tunnel testing, with an emphasis on underwater speed and maneuverability. The Albacore was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989 - Wikipedia

This completed the stops for the day. I figured I had covered a lot of ground and saw enough scenery for the day, I simply brought up home on the GPS and punched GO. Just around 96 miles to home.

Some 389 miles for the day, covering 4 states.


Max Paganetti said...

Great photos, thanks for the share!

Max Paganetti said...

Great photos, thanks for the share!