Thursday, 22 July 2010

4000 Miles, Battleships, Blue Legs and a Plane in a Cemetary!

Today I rode 220 miles on back roads in the states of New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio. I kept turning off the back roads onto even more back roads and it seemed to take me ages to get anywhere today.

As I left Niagara I rode south on the Canadian side of the river along the Niagara Boulevard, looking at the big houses as I went. This is clearly an affluent road with many desirable houses and no doubt, the prices to go with them. I took photos of a few....
































































These were all very much the same type of style until I saw this house, which sort of came into sight and slapped me round the face with its contrast from the others. I am not sure if I like it in the setting it was in, but it was very striking....






















I crossed back into the USA over the Peace Bridge, south of Niagara....






















Each vehicle in the queue ahead of me took about 2 minutes to clear the immigration officer. It however took me about 10 minutes as the officer looked at my number plate (US = licence plate) and was then very confused asking what state it was from and she was not at all sure about what to enter into her computer system, as she had never had a foreign vehicle to deal with before. I imagine the people in the car s behind me were getting a little impatient....






















I decided I would go and see Buffalo. I had been told it was just a shadow of its former self and after seeing it today, I had to agree. The obvious industrial and farming might of the city’s west side was in major decline and it was sad to see so many buildings that were clearly the powerhouse of the city now in such a state of neglect. I had seen on the web that there were some WW2 battleships in Buffalo, so I went and took a look....

















































The main ship was a Cleveland Class Cruiser, the USS Little Rock and it seems it had seen its fair share of action....






















There was also a submarine, the USS Croaker....




























I am sure that its kill list didn’t include a kangaroo, so I am not sure what it is doing on here....






















As I headed west along Lake Erie, I reached the 4000 mile point of my tour. As with the other ‘000 mile points I took a picture of exactly where I was as the clock hit the mark. This time, I had just rolled into Little Erie Beach in Angola, NY, so the photo has the waters of Lake Erie in the background....






















The beach is small, but really nice. I had a drink (non alcoholic) in the beach bar “Castaways”. A couple of pictures of the beach, which I expect gets full at the weekends in summer....











































I saw this in Portland NY. Is this a water tower?.... I stopped and took a picture as my wife Jackie spent some of her early life near Portland, but in Oregon.....




























My journey today then took me to Barcelona, NY, where I saw two young women trying to paint a disabled parking bay – the type with blue paint on the road surface. As you can see, one of them wasn’t doing a good job, with a lot of paint on her legs....




























I continued on and stopped at the beach at Barcelona, where I saw this....






















Called the Sea Lion, it was most peculiar as it was a small reproduction of a late 16th century 3 masted square rigged English merchant sailing ship. It took 14 years to build the replica and I was told that some time later, nobody could afford to continue to maintain her, so the ship was scuttled, to be bought back to the surface later and then refurbished. The masts are not in place, but there were lying next to the ship. I hope they manage to finish the refurbishment.

I had heard about a military plane located in a cemetery, so I went to find it. Yes, it really does exist and the plane is a F-94C Starfire and it is inside the cemetery near exit 23 of I-90 in Pennsylvania. Very strange, but it did appear to be mainly a military cemetery....






















The sign defining the Pennsylvania state line was beautifully simple....






















The state line going into Ohio was a much more complex affair....

9 comments:

biker baby said...

When we take a bike trip, we always stop at the state lines and get a shot of us and/or the bikes under the signs.

iansolley said...

Its going well - that starfire is a cool looking plane - I had forgotten about that one. How is the bike going all sweet and purring - are you stopping off in a 1000 miles for an oil and filter change?
Tomorrow I am flying off to San Francisco - so will be ahead of you!

Jimmy B. said...

As an Ohioan, let me be the first to say 'Welcome to Ohio!'

I see you'll be riding from Napoleon to Antwerp tomorrow. Not sure what your planned route is, but I'd highly recommend catching Route 424 in Napoleon as it offers a much more scenic ride that Route 24. It runs back into Route 24 about 18 miles east of Antwerp.

Eve said...

The houses in Canada are HUGE! But I've seen some like that here on the sides of the mountains with spectacualar views! Going through customs must have been rough. Hope it wasn't too hot. That blue tower looks like a water tower to me. They are very common in the US, and come in all shapes and sizes, usually marked by the name of the town. Ours says "Grant Alabama Home of the Patriots" That is the school's mascot. I would love to see the Sea Lion out on the Great Lakes for sure! Wouldn't it be fun to see it sail by Boldt Castle! Great photos Gary! Congrats on the 4000 mark...look how many miles are to come! I have to say...I would love some more riding videos!!! They are just really cool!(although it's more fun with a friend riding along your side).
Ride safe!

securityfactory said...

Gary, the USS Croaker spent 2 stints in Australia for repairs. That may explain the presence of the 'roo.
It was credited with sinking nearly 20,000 tons of enemy shipping, no mention of marsupials, tho'.

R!ch
[Well Enuff on MC-USA]

bobskoot said...

Gary:

I must say that you somehow manage to "stumble" onto the neatest places on your journey. Little traffic and such detailed descriptions. I like your slow progress, keep the photos coming.

wish we were there too, oh I forgot, we are through your photos and descriptions.

bob
Wet Coast Scootin

Gary France said...

BB – What a great idea, I wish I had thought of that!

Ian – I am hoping to get the bike serviced early next week when I arrive in Chicago. It was both strange and cool seeing the plane in the cemetery. I didn’t know what to make of it at first, but in the end, I decided I liked it.

Jimmy – Thanks for your welcome! I will follow your advice and use 424. I like getting tips like that!

Eve – Getting through customs was OK. It was hot but I parked the bike in the queue and waited in some shade. The Sea Lion at Boldt Castle would be fun for sure. I will try to take some more riding videos soon – probably when I get to Chicago.

R!ch – Thanks for the info – that would explain it.

Bob – Only some of them are stumbled upon. I did a lot of research on the web beforehand to make sure I saw as many interesting spots as possible. Riding at a slow pace helps though – I seem to be doing a lot of turning around to go back and look at things! You are with me in spirit....

Charlie6 said...

Gary

you got my curiosity going with your note re the kangaroo on the USS Croaker's battle banner, did a little digging:

THE CROAKER SCOREBOARD*
7 Aug 44 NAGARA Cruiser 5,700
14 Aug 44 DAIGEN MARU No.7 Cargo 1,289
17 Aug 44 SANSHO MARU Cargo 6,862
9 Oct 44 SHINKI MARU Cargo 2,211
23 Oct 44 MIKAGE MARU Cargo 2,761
24 Oct 44 BYAKURAN MARU Cargo 887
_________
6 Vessels 19,710
* These figures are taken from the Joint Army—
Navy Assessment Committee report. It was during CROAKER’S second war patrol that the ESCOLAR
(SS-294) was last heard from.Also if noticed on the
Battle Flag, there are four Kangaroos, well, these
were picked off by by crew members during a refit
period, while in Australia.

source

Gary France said...

Charlie6 – Thanks. I see the Croaker had a busy few days in August 1944 and then again in October! I took a look at the website of the Battle Flags and sure enough, there is the Croakers flag, just as I saw it.