Fall foliage rides
October 27: A chilly day with threatening skies, but the foliage is at its peak. Let's go!
We rode up Mount Washington where we made only one stop to explore a tiny cemetary. It contains exactly two graves.
The marker in the foreground is illegible but the other one marks the grave of Rebecca Stout who's been pushing up daisies since 1850.
Looking down west, a typical Steuben County horse farm. That person in the road is my wife, Kathy.
...and an abandoned barn further up the road. We rode all the way to the top and then down into Hammondsport with a quick stop in Pleasant Valley to buy grapes, one of the main agricultural products from the Finger Lakes region.
October 20: A lazy day in late October with clear skies, temperatures around 80F and foliage nearing its peak. Can you think of a better time to be in the saddle? My wife accompanied me for a ride over to the Canisteo River Valley via farm roads and logging trails. The ride ended up occupying the better part of the afternoon. We rode the black M1 I got from CJS in Beijing, and as always, the bike performed like a champ.
Our first stop was about midway on the descent into the valley.
Kathy insisted on this picture. Lucky you.
This is a typical view looking west from midway down the mountainside we descended. The railway line running through the valley has been there since the 1840s. It was originally part of the Erie Railroad and is today operated by Norfolk Southern. The Delaware & Hudson also runs trains on this line. You can barely see part of the Canisteo River to the left of the tracks. This valley is full of eastern diamondbacks.
This is Brown's Crossing. At this spot, early settlers made their winter camp, waiting for the spring thaw so they could float lumber down the river—final destination, Philadelphia. Indians joined the settlers for trading and to this day, the nearby cornfields are ideal places to hunt for coins, buttons and other artifacts. This is also a popular spot for railroad enthusiasts to do photography. This view really doesn't do the scene the justice that it deserves.
Looking in the opposite direction we see this bridge spanning the Canisteo River, and a small farm in the distance. This bridge replaced an iron truss bridge that dated to the 1890s. It's only about 15 years old.
The view west from the bridge shows the river, the railway and the shale cliffs behind it. A county road follows the river then entire length of the valley, approximately 30 miles or so.
Brown's Cemetery is in the corner, right between the the tracks and the river. There aren't but a dozen graves here and only two markers are still legible.
Here lies John Moore, died; 1836.
Riding home on Oregon Road, we passed a few farms including this nicely secluded dairy farm, so typical of those found throughout Steuben County.
This slightly more distant view includes part of the herd.
Wooly bears are everywhere this time of year. I started out counting all the ones I saw in the road but eventually gave up, but I did manage to avoid squishing any. Did you ever wonder just where the heck they're going? If you didn't already know, wooly bears grow up to become Isabella moths.
A fourth stop was the Unionville Cemetery just south of our town on county route 10. This is a moderate sized cemetery dating to the the early 1800s. It's been fairly neglected and thoroughly vandalized. This particular marker is actually made out of cast iron. It dates to 1885. These iron markers can be found in other local cemeteries.
The flag marks the grave of a Union veteran from the Civil War. The flag holder has a star marked GAR for Grand Army of the Republic.
Not far from home is a bison farm. These guys are destined to become burgers.
And finally, we're back home again. Here are the bikes parked by the end of our house. Those ivy leaves will soon be gone.
This is pretty much the same scene, but viewed from inside my little shop.