Friday, 16 July 2010

Chasms, Hills, lakes and Mountains....

Day 23.

This morning I left my overnight stop – the Shamrock Motel near Ausable Chasm in the Northeast corner of New York State. This was the cheapest place I had stayed in so far at just $45 for the night, but by far the best. Money does not buy you good hospitality nor a comfy bed, but this place had both by the bucket load. The Leading Ladies spend a relaxed night on the grass just outside my cabin for the night....




















Nearby was the town of Keeseville where I collected my laundry which I had left at the towns laundermat the night before. $8 for a wash, dry and fold service – very reasonable, so I gave the elderly attendant a generous tip. Life on the road is made much easier by such a service!

I arrived to see the Ausable Chasm early. Too early as it turned out and I had to wait until the place opened. I had heard about the chasm on the internet – a gorge formed in the sandstone by the Ausable River. It was an impressive thing to see and walk through. The site has clearly marked paths, or trails, through the gorge and they offer a few miles of good safe walking with impressive views of the gorge and it’s river. Known by some as the "Little Grand Canyon of the East", it is worthwhile visiting....


















































































































I am beginning to like the look of farm buildings in New York State. Many look very individual, but here is the classic style with its red painted barns....






















As my regular readers know, I prefer to take the quiet, two-lane country roads in order to be able to see more, but I had a shock today. The smooth tarmac road I was riding on changed into a dirt road covered with loose gravel in an instant. At about 35 miles an hour this was not good for the nerves, as on two wheels, the road was a slippery as an eel. Here is the road with the loose stuff on the side and down the middle....




















































A close up of the offending gravel before I slid my foot over it and after....



















































The roadway itself, a very hard and compact dirt track, was perfectly ok to ride on, but the loose stuff was treacherous! I limped on slowly with a few more grey hairs.

I rode down the western side of Lake Champlain with a smile on my face – this area is stunningly beautiful with magnificent views of the lake. The people are really nice as well – nearly everyone I saw waved to me as they tended their gardens, cut their grass or walked their dogs. The roads are great to ride a motorcycle on too....




















































































I passed this mailbox, which was a miniature version of the house it served. It was a clever idea, done well....





















I wanted to have a look at the fish ladder at Willsboro Town on the Boquet River. This didn’t turn out to be as good as I had hoped, but I saw a peculiar sight as I approached the river. I couldn’t understand at first what the little white things were....





















They were birds standing at the edge of the small falls with their feet in the cool water. Oh, how tempting it was to join them on this steaming hot day....





















I was now riding through what must be my favourite area so far – the outskirts of the Adirondacks in New York State. I have been here before many years ago and I had forgotten just how much I like it. The landscape had changed to rolling hills, some mountains and plenty of rivers and lakes – terrific! I stopped at the first opportunity, Chapel Pond – and dipped my feet in the cold but very welcome lake....

















































It struck me today just how useful the small bag I have fitted to my windscreen had become for holding a small camera, paper and pen, cash and other small things I need often. If you are going to go touring on a bike, I strongly recommend that you get one of these....





















Just before I arrived at another motel for the night, I saw these guys and gals skiing along the edge of the road. There were quite a few on them on roller skis using their poles to push them along. I guessed they must have been in training for cross country skiing, for I cannot imagine who would choose to do this if they didn’t have to in the very high temperature and humidity of today. There were quite a lot of them and I was able to take a few photos on the move. Here are just a few of the skiers.....

8 comments:

Chris Luhman said...

Looks good. Some of the photos looks like scenes from my weekend trip in wisconsin.

bobskoot said...

Gary:

that's a nice canyon, very picturesque. You have stumbled upon the most unique places. I can imagine you doing your whole tour on those roller ski's bob
bobskoot: wet coast scootin

Arizona Harley Dude said...

Your method of seeing this country is a lot better than mine Gary. I was OK with the back roads for the first two weeks, but after Linda flew home the Interstate was my friend as I "flew" home also.

I guess I'm still in the learning stage when it comes to slowing down and enjoying the ride.

Janice said...

Gary,

I've spent the last hour or so reading your blog and admiring your pics. You are a fortunate man!! I am glad I had the opportunity to meet you and the Leading Ladies as you trek across the states. I think I will tag along at my computer in the evening. I want to thank you for your kind words regarding your stay at my place. It meant a lot! I look forward to your blog. Thanks Gary.
Janice/Shamrock Motel : )

Eve said...

Hi Gary, I commented on this post yesterday but I must have not remembered to put in the verification word cause I'm not seeing it. Dang cause it was a funny one...either that or it was inapproiate...sometimes funny means crass...but it wasn't THAT bad! It had to do with riding my Ninja on those gravel roads and not having the gonads to keep up with my buds. I hope you don't have to ride a lot of those roads, but for some reason NY likes to use that stuff on the back roads.
I also mentioned that I lived in that area for many years and it took a Brit to let me know where some really cool places are! Needless to say since I'v been to Alabama I've found places that even some of the locals haven't heard of! Go figure.
I saw the rain you faced for this day and knew you wouldn't be having a lot of fun. :-(

Gary France said...

Chris – Thanks. I am looking forward to heading west. Being going north and south for too long now!

Bob – I can’t imagine that at all! The canyon was well worth the visit.

AHD – I am lucky that I have to time to do the back roads. I was amazed at your 1800 miles in two days – I am not sure I could do that! After your low flying, I am glad you landed safely!

Janice – Hi and welcome to my blog! It was a pleasure meeting you as well and I thoroughly enjoyed staying at your wonderful motel. Thank you for your help and as I said, if I could move your motel to everywhere I will be each night, I would stay there every time! The restaurant you suggested was very good as well!

Eve – I have seen it either. It is annoying when that happens, so I write all of my comments on other people blogs in Outlook first and save then as a draft in case they don’t publish properly. It also has the benefit of a spell checker! I must be a little slow on the uptake, as I have only just realised that you have two bikes – the Ninja and the Iron – duh! I have found quite a few roads with loose stuff and I have no experience of riding on them, so I am very cautious, but I am getting more used to them. There are places in London I have never been to, despite living there all my life....

securityfactory said...

Gary, a couple of days ago you wondered about the blue gooey things hanging in the trees. Here in Wisconsin we have purple gooey traps to survey the migration of the destructive pest beetle, emerald ash borer. The EAB damages the trees by drilling between the bark and wood and interfering with transfer of food and water. See http://www.emeraldashborer.wi.gov/article.jsp?topicid=14 for a picture of the traps in use.

I'm looking foward to seeing you when you get here to the H-D museum. Let us know when you get a date. I need to move a few volunteer activies around.

R!ch
(Well Enuff on MC-USA)

Gary France said...

Rich - Thanks, the picture on the website that you sent the link for is exactly what I have been seeing. I am pleased that I now know what they are! As soon as I am better able to judge when I will get to Milwaukee, I will let you know. I am looking forward to meeting you!