Saturday, May 20, 2017

It's About Time

Headed over to Giff's as I usually do, to hang out and shoot the shit. Expectations on my end is there will be a line of bikes trying to get their inspections before May 31st, as required in Massachusetts. No lines but a steady stream of bikes coming in. Bill closed the doors at 12:30 and we headed for lunch at a new place. At lunch I told him I was heading out to Dinosaur State Park to see if he wanted to go. He said he would follow for a while and would turn off someplace. That's one of the best things about being friends with Giff, we don't get upset, offended or take it personal when we do stuff like that.

Around 2:30, Bill shows up at my house and we head out toward Connecticut. When I plan my routes on Mapsource I let the mapping software pick the roads. If I don't lick it's selection, I then reroute it's choice to what I want. Makes things simple this way. Well I didn't really pay that much attention to how it decided to get to Eastford Post Office for the Americana Extreme tour, since we went straight thru Webster center to get to the intersection of Ct 197 and 12. There were much prettier ways to get to this spot. Eastford had the first Union general to be killed in the Civil War. It also has the village of Phoenixville, which makes me think of that movie about a plane crash in the Sahara Desert with a dozen people aboard. One of the passengers claims he is a plane designer and they begin to rebuild the wreck out of the pieces. They come to find out during the build process he is a model airplane designer. Maybe this village will rise from the ashes as well.

Riding along the very country road of Bassett Bridge Road and saw this farm, with the pile of bowling balls and cows having lunch at the picnic table under the pavilion. Just had to stop.

One has to question, why would someone put a neatly stacked set of bowling balls in a field, which are probably glued together so the cows don't know them over. Maybe there was a bowling alley on this farm and like most of the stone walls were built by clearing the land of the boulders.

And then there is the cow pavilion. What I did notice there is a cow skull hanging of the left side of the pavilion, I wonder if the cows noticed this as well.

Actually the Holy Cow Family Shelter is a real place in Willimantic.

Holy Family Home and Shelter, Inc. operates by the Sisters of Charity of our Lady Mother of the Church. The home endeavors to serve those families whose circumstances have deprived them of an adequate lifestyle and housing. Holy Family Home and Shelter does not seek to pass judgment on any person for their current or past lifestyle. The Home offers families a warm hearted environment while providing nourishment with shelter in a kind Christ - like manner. The Shelter's safe harbor allows for assistance in finding solutions to alleviate their own situation for those capable of living in harmony with others, while respecting their own mutual rights.

Grabbed Mansfield Hollow State Park for the second of two parks for the Americana tour which was right down the street from the farm. Did pull into the park and drive around, took a picture of the picnic area, which had people enjoying the afternoon, and moved along before I had to answer questions about why I was taking pictures of their family.

Found myself on US 6 in Columbia and caught this octagonal building and pulled into the Park and Ride lot to take a picture. Octagonal buildings are somewhat unusual, which is a Waymarking category. The building is known as "Lighthouse" and the area was renamed from Katzman’ Corners to Lighthouse Corners due to the building.

I had 2 ways to cross the Connecticut River. Either I could use RT 3 or take the Glastonbury - Rocky Hill Ferry for $6.00. I opted for the ferry since it is way cooler and the ferry is on the National Register of Historic Places. Well I got there and apparently it was not running today.

I ended up heading North on 17, picked up 3, crossed the Connecticut River and headed south on I-91 to get to Dinosaur State Park. I am here for the Americana Extreme Tour, but not for the state park, I need a picture of a "Dinosaur – statue, mural, or sign of a dinosaur". This was the whole purpose of the trip today and the turn around point to go back home, which is about 90 miles away. Get waste those miles of traveling without throwing some more stops in.

Crystal and I found ourselves here once before by happenstance and went into the building for a visit. A very neat play to visit. Kids should get a kick out of it too.

Dinosaur State Park and Arboretum is a state owned and operated natural history preserve occupying 80 acres (32 ha) in the town of Rocky Hill, Connecticut. The state park protects one of the largest dinosaur track sites in North America. Its Jurassic-era sandstone-embedded fossil tracks date from about 200 million years ago. Source: Wikipedia

Getting late in the afternoon, I don't fell like riding thru Hartford or finding roads around Hartford, I head for Windsor via I-91. Windor has a RR staion I need for the Americana Extreme tour. Windsor is also home to Nat Hayden's BBQ. says this; Nat Hayden's isn't going to blow you away with barbecue to tell your grandchildren about, but it's an honest brand of 'cue in a cozy shop that does a lot of the peripheral things right.

The station was built in 1869 for Hartford & New Haven RR. Windsor became of large scale residential neighborhood because of the depot with folks commuting to Hartford form here. It is listed on the NRHP.

Heading back east I decided to pick up the Broad Brook school for the Americana Tour as one of the general sites, SCHOOLS. While I was parked here, I decided the trunk need to be straightened out, so I could find the 2 little green spring clamps for clipping the Love and Merci flag to the Spyder. Of course they made it to the bottom of the trunk and to see into it I had to take my helmet off, which I placed it on the seat. I pulled a bunch of stuff out, also placing this stuff on the seat. The sweat starts to break out on the forehead, which happens when I get aggravated. Finally found the clips, clipping to one of the plastic wings up front. As I was putting the stuff back in the trunk, my helmet decides to roll off the seat to the asphalt driveway. Yup, this caused the reaction of increasing the flow of fluid off my forehead. I just looked at the helmet as it roller around and then came to a stop. Put the rest of the stuff back in the trunk, picked up the helmet and put It on and left feeling a bit stupid.

Next stop is the Vernon Rockville PO for the V in LOVE, completing my first LOVE sequence for the Teamstrange Love and Merci Tour. After grabbing the pic, I seriously thought about heading for Rein's Deli for a Jersey Deluxe. This is one of my all time favorite delis and rivals some of the best delis in New Jersey. Crystal and I always seem to stop here after one of our mecca 5,000 mile tours as we head home on the last day. To me it is a reward for a well done trip and a way to prolong vacation just a wee bit longer.

Heading out of Rockville, passed the Hockanum Mill. This joint has a huge waterfall that comes out of the middle of it, which I am sure powered the mill at one time. The trees have grown up around the area I was parked in, so it was hard to get a decent shot.

A mill was first constructed at the site of the future Hockanum Mill on the Hockanum River in Rockville in Vernon in 1814 by Bingham & Nash. The mill produced satinet, a finely woven fabric that resembles satin but is made from wool. In 1881, the Hockanum Company built a three and a half story brick Romanesque Revival building, adjacent to the original wooden structure. Source: Historic Building of Connecticut

Of late I have been taking a lot of shots of barns. I have one handing in the main gallery of the Gifford Gallery of Upton and another in the annex called The Barn. Maybe a contender, since I got a LIKE of FB.

Riding along RT 44, also known as Pompey Hollow Rd. I stopped at the Mixer Tavern. The house was built in 1710 as a tavern to serve as a gathering place for local folks and a place to rest for travelers. It is also on the NRHP.

Last stop of the day is the Ashford Academy, listed on the NRHP, built in 1825. The Academy stands on what was once the village green where taverns and a Congregational Church once stood.

As I traveled along US 44, hanging a left onto 198 and a right onto 244 then I-395, I noticed how comfortable I have become with the Spyder. The turns and twisties have become effortless and now have to watch my speed so I don't have those ugly performance certificates to deal with. Rolled into the barn right around 7:30 with just under 200 miles for the day. Not bad for not getting a start until 2:30pm. All in all a great Saturday out on the road. Oh whats with the title. Well it's about time the weather changed to a day that was worth riding in.

1 comment:

steveg said...

Nice report. I dislike riding through downtown Webster and Dudley and kick myself when I forget to route around the area...heavy traffic can bog you down.