#111 NE Corner-Blow-Me-Down to the Hudson

September 8, 2007
411 miles

NE Corner Trip
Day 9

The weather has warmed noticeably. It's already up to 75 degrees at 9:30am when we pull out from the Comfort Suites parking lot in White River Junction, Vermont.

First distraction comes soon after we cross back across the Connecticut River into New Hampshire -- the Plainfield, NH post office.
Across the road from the post office is the Blow-Me-Down Grange.
From the Internet:
Definition: Grange: An association of farmers, designed to further their interests, and particularly to bring producers and consumers, farmers and manufacturers, into direct commercial relations, without intervention of middlemen or traders. The first grange was organized in 1867. [U. S.]

photo of the grange Blow-Me-Down Grange No. 234, located in Plainfield Village, meets monthly under the leadership of Bill Jordan, Master. The Grange used to be just for folks related to agriculture, but, like everything else, it is more diversified now and anyone can join. The historic, brick, 1839 building was restored in 2001 and is available to rent for weddings, meetings and parties. For information on rental rates and policies as well as making reservations, please contact Alice Jordan at 675-6224. In 1839, the Union Congregational Church Society bought a half acre of land from Jeremiah Dow on the east side of the main street in Plainfield Village. Colonel Charles Eggleston, a local resident famous for the building of brick structures, built their meeting house. This fifty-foot by forty-foot structure was also known as Old South Church, but is now best known as the Blow-Me-Down Grange. The 1839 building is on the National Register of Historic Places. http://www.plainfieldnh.org/ourcomm.html#church

Rolling down NH12A, I saw another sign of distraction. It informed us that there is a covered bridge down the dirt/gravel road to our left. The sign didn't note how far, but we thought it was worth a little exploring. So off we go...down a gravel road in search of NH Covered Bridge #23.

Blow-Me-Down Covered Bridge
New Hampshire Covered Bridge #23 http://www.nh.gov/nhdhr/bridges/p45.html After our successful covered bridge hunting venture, we continue on to Saint-Gaudens NHS to nab the only NPS stamp available in New Hampshire. http://www.nga.gov/feature/shaw/s2100.shtm The Shaw Memorial is one of the more famous works of sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens.The bookstore at the Saint Gaudens site.
This was a bonus find... Little did we know when we rolled into town that we'd find this cool, old covered bridge right there off the main road (US4).
Covered bridge in Taftsville, VT.
Just a few more miles down US4 is the Marsh-Billings Farm/Rockefeller NHP in Woodstock, VT . This is a working farm displaying the spirit of rural Vermont. http://www.billingsfarm.org/
Rockefeller NHP visitor center, the location of the only NPS stamp in Vermont.
Downtown Woodstock is a touristy little town full of shops and people milling along the sidewalks.

We found this covered bridge in downtown Woodstock, Vermont.Watching traffic, waiting my turn to jump out into the fray with the Woodstock tourists.
We stayed on US4 rolling west through Vermont. We passed right by VT100, reportedly the best known motorcycling road in Vermont. This guy seemed to be a serious two-wheeled tourer. And there he goes...heading to VT100! Apparently, bicyclists also have heard about VT100.
About noon, as we enter Rutland and the skies show a more threatening side than what we've seen so far this trip. Within a couple blocks of entering town, I spot a gas station that has gone out of business. Bingo. Just what we need about now. We pull in to evaluate the weather. Wasn't hard. Within a minute of parking under the pumps' pavilion, the rain came pouring down! We start pulling on rain gear and putting the rain covers on our tankbags and luggage. The rain let up a few minutes later and we were on our way again. The rain gear did its job -- it scared the rain away! We had dry roads the rest of the afternoon.

Still on US4, we cross into New York near Whitehall and turn south before reaching Lake George, then we follow the Champlain Canal to Hudson Falls. We make a quick stop for fuel at Fort Ann. This is the kind of place that makes me wish we had more time and less miles in our day. It's the kind of place that begs you park the bike and spend some time looking around and maybe get a bite to eat. But not today, today we keep moving. However, rolling down the road, we see lots of other riders out and about...most seem to be taking the more leisurely approach while out on their day trip.

What pulled me to stop awhile in Fort Ann, spoke even louder in Hudson Falls.
Junkett Park was filled with people and crafts & food booths as locals and tourists alike celebrated Sandy Hill Days -- a festival to honor the founding of the community of Hudson Falls. Rolling south from Hudson Falls, we follow along the Hudson River, which was named for the Englishman Henry Hudson who explored it in 1609 while sailing for the Dutch India Company. http://www.lakestolocks.com/
A close up of one of the locks.
Crossing the Hudson River into Saratoga County New York.That's the kind of bridge grate that make many riders a bit nervous. I find that it travels much better if you use a light hand on the grips and don't fight the handlebars. Just let the tire travel where it wants to...as long as you get safely across.
We make the predicted "stamp stop" at Saratoga NHP while in New York. After collecting the available stamps, we got back on the road heading to Schenectady, NY.
We found the very beginning (or end, depending on your direction of travel) of I88. After getting something to eat and watching the clouds darkening the sky, we pulled out onto I88 and started making time southwest to Binghampton.
By the time we cross into Pennsylvania, we've been riding in heavy rain or drizzle for over an hour so we stopped for a break at the visitor center. Looking through the motel coupon book, we decide to head to Wilkes-Barre, PA for the night -- about 80 miles further south. We are already wet, and we're hoping that the rain will let up and dry us out a bit before we stop for the night. Even though riding in the rain can be bothersome, it can be more of a hassle to stop and unpack in the pouring rain. It's almost easier to leave everything that's dry, tucked away in it's place and ride down the road into drier territory. Gives a chance to blow dry so that we're not dripping wet when we stop to unload.
We arrive in Wilkes-Barre, PA at 10:30pm where it's 73 degrees and the roads are dry.

1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed your blog greatly. We just got back from an rv trip to Mt. Holly VT. Posted several shots of the Blow-me-Down Mill and other shots of the area.


    Enjoy your biking and keep posting