Monday, August 22, 2016

Rollicking thru the Green Mountains and Adirondacks

Was suppose to leave on Sunday and a gather the closing sites for the Americana and Teamstrange Tours, but Crystal was under the weather and checking the weather, upper Vermont and Adirondacks could see some heavy rain, so I put it off a day. Up at 5am Monday, and Crystal is still under the weather so I am heading our by myself today.

Crossed Massachusetts heading up RT 140, picking up RT12 thru Keene and then on I91 getting off just north of Bellows Falls. Thought about heading the couple of miles south to grab breakfast at the Miss Bellows Falls diner. Right off I91 picked up this barn and mural.

As I headed further north I came across Okemo Resort. I remember back aways I always wanted to ski here. I gave up skiing before I ever made it to this mountain.

Backed off the grass and headed up the mountain. Made it to almost the top where the road turned to gravel and dirt with some apple size stones thrown in and decided discretion was in order, having 14K on the tires figured I wouldn't chance it. Stopped a grabbed a panoramic of Ludlow Overlook. Worth the trip up the mountain for sure.

In West Rutland, along RT133 / Clarendon Ave is the West Rutland Art Park and the first stop for the Americana Tour. The link provides some history and development of the park. Another worthwhile stop while you are in Vermont.

A part of the West Rutland Art Park sits by the road: a full-size locomotive made from different bits and pieces of junk metal. Very unique and kinda takes you by surprise if you are coming from downtown. The park is open for free to the public and built on a hill that you can drive right up to the very top. There are more large art pieces there, but the locomotive is the eye-catcher. - Roadside America

An early morning rooster crowing away

The house on the hill in the park

Starting out as a block of white granite, a little grinding and viola

Moving north along RT22A came across Devil's Bowl Speedway. I wasn't looking for this particular spot, but I did need a RACETRACK for one of the categories in the Americana Tour for the state of Vermont. I have learned after years of doing these grand tours, grab the first one you see, because we you have marked as a waypoint may not be what you expected.

Rolled into the town of Orwell, VT. No grand tour objects here, but I do chase buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. Great way to route yourself on a trip and learn some history along the way. The First Congregational Church was built in 1842 and is high style Greek Revival. There are much prettier and older churches in New England.

I found the Town Hall right next door to be more impressive. Orwell motto is "First in Revolution, First in Recreation". In the early 1990's one of the fast food franchisee tried to obtain a permit to put in a restaurant, however the town folks voted the request down, because it would ruin the rural charm of their town.

I was suppose to ride further north to cross into New York state by Crown Point State Park, but my GPS had thought otherwise and routed me to Larrabee's Point to cross Lake Champlain via a ferry. I am not that particular on what roads I travel, generally forcing the GPS off Interstates, keeping to secondary roads, other than that one road's adventure is the same as the next road's adventure. Quickly looked at the sign and the ferry was only $5 and figured it would save some time.

The ferry operated informally from 1759 and in an organized way from 1799.[10] The earliest ferries are believed to have been rowboats or canoes; "a double-ended sailing scow was in service by 1800. This vessel was about 30 feet (9.1 m) long, with a mainsail that would swing completely around the mast to provide a simple means of reversing course. Wikipedia

Hit the town of Fort Ticonderoga, placing me in the Adirondacks Preserve. As I moved further north, the GPS placed me on Tracy Road, which is one of the best motorcycle roads in the Northeast. Only 8 miles long (The Tail of the Dragon is only 11), it is a combination tight, technical turns to the big sweepers. Worth the ride, but I will admit it is easier on the FJR.

You can always tell you are just outside of Lake Placid when the twin ski jumps built for the 1980 Olympics appear.

The center of Lake Placid has the Herb Brooks Arena, which is a NY specific site for the Americana Tour. This is where the 1980 USA Hockey team beat the Soviet Union team, known as the Miracle on Ice. The USA team went on to take Gold in the 1980 Olympics.

Since I was up in this neck of the woods I had heard that Ausable Chasm is a place to visit. I thank Ed Conde of the New England Riders for putting together the Best of Northeast site, an invaluable tool for planning trips up this way. It was worth the extra miles to see the chasm.

Right above the ferry at Port Kent (which I did not take) sits the Elkanah Watson House. Nothing really special except the home has a great view of Lake Champlain and one more landmark ticked off the list.

Elkanah Watson (January 22, 1758 – December 5, 1842) was a visionary traveler and writer, agriculturist and canal promoter, banker and businessman. He was born in Plymouth, Massachusetts and died at Port Kent, New York. The house is a National Historic Landmark. Wikipedia

While I did not take the ferry above, because when I looked it up it was something like $30. Just a little south in Essex was a more reasonably priced ferry at around $11. When I was doing research for this trip, I read on the website the last ferry was a 6pm. I arrived just before 5 and saw the sign that said last ferry 9:30pm.

Once in Vermont headed for Addison for a big jug of maple syrup for the Americana Tour. Right down the street is the Rokeby Museum. No picture shown, no of particular scenic value. Actually the jug of syrup isn't that picturesque either.

Last place is Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream entrance in Waterbury. It's 7:15pm at this point, light is closing fast, so I opt to let the GPS figure out the fastest way to the Econo Lodge which is about 20 miles away. As predicted I89 is selected by the 1490, which at this point I am okay with that. I have seen enough for the day

The Econo Lodge sits up on a hill just outside Montpelier VT (the capital of Vermont). The motel itself looks a bit dated, but the rooms are clean and someone actually thought about people who travel and the plugs they need for their electronic gear. For this I give it an A+, for the rest a B and wouldn't hesitate to stay here again. While breakfast wasn't anything special the scrabbled eggs actually looked like eggs rather than those little round yellow things that are served at so many of the chain hotels and the sausages were actually cooked in a skillet.

Miles, just under 400 for the day. Hours in the saddle about 12.

1 comment:

Dean Baker said...

Great photos! Looks like a wonderful trip!