Tag: Hancock

The Very Handsome Muffler Man of Hancock, Massachusetts

The Very Handsome Muffler Man of Hancock, Massachusetts

Well, well, well. Would you look at this dapper gent with his new paint job!

The last time I stopped in for a visit The Big Man was suffering from a heinous case of the peels. This picture was snapped in 2012. He’d even lost his hat. Poor fella.

Seeing him looking so polished does the ole ticker good. Just look at that bowtie!

One of the funny things about Muffler Man repairs is how they become personalized. For example, the Uniontown, PA Bunyan with his bedroom eyes and the Stony Point, NY giant with his muy macho chest hair. Well, get a load of the lunula on this guy!

…and he matches the Bonnie.

Welcome back, handsome!

Unlocking the Magic Inside Kellam’s Bridge

Unlocking the Magic Inside Kellam’s Bridge

It was a good thing that I continued riding along River Road. It was not was not in fact closed as the sign had said. Or at least it was not impassable on the KTM. Your mileage may vary in a low-slung sports car.

Following the pink line of my GPS track, I headed southeast to a crossing of the Delaware River and back to the New York.

Sometimes things might not look so great when you’re standing on the outside looking in. Maybe they look drab, unkempt or perhaps slightly dangerous. But when you peel away the outer layer and get to the heart of what’s inside well, that’s where the magic happens. For people and bridges.

Riding on to Kellam’s Bridge looked a little sketchy, a little narrow, a little are bolts going to fall off this thing?

But, once I started going the camera picked up one of my most favorite-est photos in some time. It makes me feel like I’m speeding towards another dimension in a 70’s Sci-Fi movie of the week. I’m wearing a silver spacesuit and eating non-caloric cookies from a pill. Magically I grew to a lithe 6-feet tall and don’t have a wisp of gray hair. No, I’m 25 again and forever, hurtling across space – a perfect human.

And just a quick as it came… it was over. You’ve got to appreciate the magic while it happens.

Wikipedia says that this span is also called the Little Equinunk Bridge. No mention of any magic, though.

Riding River Road Along the Delaware

Riding River Road Along the Delaware

Where the Wallerville Road ended in Equinunk, I picked up River Road and followed it south. For a mile or two I was chugging along behind a van than was towing a trailer full of kayaks, heading somewhere to drop them in to the Delaware River. When the road came to a fork, he went left, I went right and sighed out of relief. I hate following any vehicle towing or carrying anything.

When I came to the point on the road where there was a “No Winter Maintenance” sign coupled with a “Road Closed” sign, I glanced down at my GPS. “Is this right?” I thought. The pink line kept going forward and I knew that Joe, who sent me the track I was following, had ridden it the summer before so I kept going. I figured my worst case scenario was that I would have to turn around and go back the way I came.

The road was a little bumpy, a little damp but nothing terrible. A few miles in, I came to a pile of flat rocks that was the bed of a nearly dry waterfall. As I glanced to my left at the steep drop off I was happy to not have to do some slippery moss-covered water crossing on my own. There was no cell service and clearly, not a whole lot of traffic. It would be a long walk out if to help if I needed it – assuming I survived the mosquito bloodletting.

Hey, look! The GoPro captured another shot of the Sasquatch taking pictures!

The lovely mossy waterfall. It was like something out of a fairy tale.

The road less traveled.

Falling there would be the start of a very bad day.

After donating 3 pints of blood to the bugs, saying hello and goodbye to the tiniest frog I’ve ever seen and assessing that I should be thankful that the waterfall was nearly dry, I got back on my little scooter and kept going. I still had to figure out whether the road was actually closed!

Boy, I’ll tell ya – getting the KTM was a really good choice for me. I can cover a fair amount of distance and confidently take myself down roads like River Road without worrying. Happy times.

Following the Dirt Road Along Factory Creek

Following the Dirt Road Along Factory Creek

On Saturday morning, I set off from Hancock, NY following a track on the GPS that my friend Joe had given to me. Other than being told that it was a loop of dirt roads, I was flying blind with regard to where I was going or what I would see along the way.

When you have no expectations, you can’t be let down. And I wasn’t.

GoPro snapped a picture of me taking a picture. That seems to be a common theme as I scroll through the days photos.

Sometimes I wish that I could take a photograph with my eyes. What comes out of something even like the GoPro is never what I saw. As the dirt roads wound their way through the trees, the light was filtering in through their branches. You could feel the moisture hanging on the air from the rain that had passed through earlier in the morning.

When I came around the corner on Wallerville Road, I was surprised to find a concrete retaining wall keeping the Factory Creek from eating the road. It seemed unusual for a lightly traveled place – so man-made in an otherwise natural setting. That said, it provided a compelling if hard and unforgiving contrast to the easy flowing water and the mossy layered rocks that it penned in.

I followed Wallerville road and the creek to the town of Equinunk under the green canopy feeling lucky to have been there.

A Slow Start to a Saturday Ride

A Slow Start to a Saturday Ride

On Friday night, I fell asleep before 9pm. It was probably a combination of things that knocked me out. I was up before the sun, I spent the afternoon riding in the oppressive heat and humidity, and add the mental relaxation of not having any real responsibilities in to the mix and I was out like a light.

When I came to on Saturday morning and tugged at the window shade, there was no happy blue sky smiling back at me. Soon came the sound of rain funneling off of the canopies and pounding on the roof.

Since I wasn’t riding the Hancock Quarry Run, I didn’t have to hurry up and do anything. Instead, I just lazily lingered in bed with Lilo and listened to the field come alive around me. The rain was sure to add an extra level of difficulty for all the riders who were preparing to head out. I was glad I wasn’t one of them.

“I think we should just hang out here in the air conditioning, dude. Do some snugglin’. Maybe eat some chips. Look out the window…”

All of the event riders were long gone before I got myself dressed to head out for a ride. The rain was little more than a memory and the heat began to rise. The unknown was calling my name.

Away we go.

Oh Deer – Dirt Roads and Deposit

Oh Deer – Dirt Roads and Deposit

After visiting the Starrucca Viaduct I bummed around the backroads, not straying very far. I had to watch my odometer. In an act of luminescent brilliance I left my wallet back in the RV. Since I had a $5 bill in my tankbag, I knew I could ride as far as requiring no more than $5 in gas to get back to Hancock. Thankfully, there was a lot of great “nothing” to see in a small radius.

While I was clipping along I had a close encounter with a deer. It was so close I could see the fuzz on its antlers. I suppose I just didn’t pick up on it fast enough. By the time my brain registered that it was there, the deer took a few strides next to me then darted across the road in front of me and was gone.

The GoPro caught it on the side of the road (upper left) though I didn’t until I was nearly next to it. One glance away from forward, maybe into the mirror and your whole day can change. Gotta keep those eyes scanning.

“Hello. I can’t see deer.”

Passing through the town of Deposit, New York I couldn’t help but wonder how it is such places manage to hang on economically. But I also know that their way of life is a secret to the visitor who is just passing through. They find a way to make it work.

Something about the nostalgic patina of such places tugs at my heart. All of the shop fronts, alleyways, little town parks are like pieces of a puzzle.

The vitrolite tiled State Theater in Deposit, New York was built in 1937 and is still showing current features. In hindsight, I’m sorry that I didn’t cruise through town in the evening when the marquee was lit.

The sign welcoming me back to The Empire State featured a special and very important bit of advice:

Words to live by.

I Revved My Engine But He Just Sat There Like A Log

I Revved My Engine But He Just Sat There Like A Log

When I first passed this guy on the bench I thought, wow, what a beautiful view by that little fishin’ hole. But the deep recesses of my brain must’ve recognized that something wasn’t quite right with him as I zipped by.

Waaaaaaait… I thought and pulled a u-turn.

When I pulled the KTM up behind him, he didn’t bat an eyelash or crane his neck to see who was there. No, he just sat there like… a log.

A log! Get it? He IS a log! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! HA…HAHA…HA…whoooo 😉

Whoever put that little vignette together must get a kick out of it. When you don’t examine too closely it really looks like a person sitting there. Locals must think that guy sure loves to fish as they pass by day in day out.

Some friends have said that I have a knack for finding silly roadside things. But I swear, they’re everywhere! Maybe I’ve just got my antenna up for them all the time.

Ghost Ad: Fletcher’s Castoria – Hancock, NY

Ghost Ad: Fletcher’s Castoria – Hancock, NY

This ghost ad can be seen on Wheeler Street in Hancock, NY.

Another ride, another roadside thing, another rabbit hole to fall down and research. Other than being able to confidently make out “Fletcher’s” I wasn’t quite sure what the ad was for. When an ad isn’t for something i’ve seen previously, often I have to go home and darken up a photo to look for clues. For example, the ad for Greenback Tobacco from Lincoln, Illinois was unreadable to me without altering the picture.

After some tweaking, I realized this ad says:

Children Cry for Cha. H. Fletcher’s Castoria

Apparently Fletcher’s Castoria was a well-advertised children’s laxative at the turn of the 20th century.

Bathroom Reading on Fletcher’s Castoria:

 

Visiting the Starrucca Viaduct – Lanesboro, PA.

Visiting the Starrucca Viaduct – Lanesboro, PA.

As the crow flies it isn’t far from the town of Hancock, New York where I was staying, to the town of Lanesboro, Pennsylvania. That’s where the Starrucca Viaduct is.

In May of 2015 while I was doing the Mason-Dixon 2020 Rally, I missed my chance to visit the bridge as a bonus location because I ran out of daylight hours. Having the time to dillydally on a sunny afternoon was a better way to check it out than snapping a quick photo and then rushing away.

When it first comes in to view, the Viaduct is an arresting sight.

Starrucca Viaduct
Built in 1847-48 by the Erie Railroad, it is the oldest stone railroad bridge in the State in use today. Viaduct is 1040 feet long, 100 feet high, and 25 feet wide at top.”

The arches of the bridge tower over you making you feel ant-sized. Just look how tiny my motorcycle looks! Can you imagine what it’s like to have such an imposing structure looming over your yard? Houses sit in the shadow of the big stone bridge on both sides.

Lovely old thing, the Starrucca Viaduct. I’m glad to see it soldiering on through the centuries.

Photo Credit: ExplorePaHistory.com / The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania Operated by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission

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