November 4, 2007
Liz and I left home on Friday, September 7. We arrived at the Comfort Inn in Pittsfield, Massachusetts that evening.
In the morning we drove to Lenox and purchased two 2 tickets to the Berkshire Scenic Railway from Lenox to Stockbridge, Mass.
I have attached pictures of myself at the Lenox station and in front of one of the passenger cars. Next there is a picture of the engine pulling into the station.
There is a museum and gift shop at the Lenox station. The last three pictures are of the Stockbridge station, one inside with Liz, and two outside showing the station and flower garden.
The railway is also called the Housatonic Railway and follows the Housatonic river
November 11, 2007
On Sunday, Septembr 9, we took a day trip to Rhode Island. First we drove to Newport, where we purchased tickets to ride on the Old Colony and Newport Railway, an all volunteer operation. We paid extra for first class seats. While we were waiting to board, I took a picture of the colorful caboose office of the Newport dinner train, a separate for profit operation. I also took a picture of an impressive sand sculpture, being built inside the Newport Welcome Center, just across the street from the RR station.
I took a picture of the engine as it pulled into the station. We were seated in white wicker chairs facing the windows. We even had a small table for the snacks we were told we could bring on board. The train ride was a nine mile round trip and approximately ninety minutes. The ticket listed 4 stops: Admiral Kalbus Rd.; US Naval Base; Greene Lane; Melville. We didn't actually stop at any of these places to pick up or drop off passengers. We did stop at the entrance to the US Naval Base.
We had a volunteer conductor assigned to our first class car. He explained that the railroad had to get permission to enter the naval base. So, he said," Please excuse me while I call for permission." and proceeded to call on his cell phone. We had to wait about 5 minutes at this impressive gate until a police car appeared and a guy in fatigues opened an automatic gate. We then entered the base and were able to see two aircraft carriers, the USS Forrestal and the USS Saratoga docked in the Narragansett bay.
The guide explained that this base was home to the US Naval War College, where naval officers are trained. When we reached the end of the line and returned, we had to wait again for the Navy police to open the gate to let us out.
We then left Newport and headed for Foster, RI, where the Swamp Meadow covered bridge is located. It is Rhode Island's only covered bridge. The first version was built in 1992 to honor Rhode Island's 350th birthday. Vandals burned it to the ground in 1993.
A new one was built in 1994. We took pictures from the road, being careful not to venture on private property. We were returning to our car, when a red convertible drove up. The driver stopped the car and invited us to come into his yard and take pictures. He owned the house nearest to the bridge. He was a friendly fellow, but I didn't get his name. So if, you read this--Thanks again. The lovely side view picture was taken from his yard.
November 11, 2007 - On Monday, September 10, Liz and I went covered bridging in western Massachusetts. We visited Burkeville/Conway, Creamery and Gilbertville/Ware.
Gilbertville is open to pedestrians only. Conway was rebuilt in 2005 and is also for pedestrians only. You just see a little bit of the barrier at the bottom of the picture with Liz. The Creamery picture is so dark because it was very foggy and Liz's film camera is showing its age. The Creamery bridge is not historic, but it is an authentic queenpost bridge on private property.
After we finished covered bridging we had lunch and the drove to the Furnace Brook winery at Hilltop Orchards in Richmond,Massachusetts.
On Tuesday, we went to the Shaker Village in Hancock. It poured rain the whole time we were there. See the picture of their round barn.
On Wednesday, the 12th, we left Pittsfield for Kingston, NY. We checked in at the Quality Inn and then left to visit Perrine's and Ashokan covered bridges. Perrine's is next to the NYS Thruway and we had to ask directions on how to get there.
The front view of Perrine's show the sign, although the picture is a little dark. Ashokan is located on a satellite campus of NYS New Paltz college. The NYSCBS website advises that you must get permission from the college first to visit it. We went to the main campus first, which was a waste of time. We then went to the satellite campus and had trouble finding an open office to ask permission.
November 27, 2007 - On Thurs.,Sept 13, we drove first to the Blenheim covered bridge, in North Blenheim. Blenheim bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places(see scan w. sign). It is the longest single span bridge in the world and one of only 6 "double barreled" covered bridges in the world.
In the afternoon, we drove to Arkville and visited the Millbrook, Forge, Tappan and Myers bridges. The Millbrook bridge, aka Grant's Mill bridge, had a sign inside it put up by the Millbrook town board. The sign explained that this was the Millbrook bridge and not the Grant's Mill bridge, which was located down the river a couple of miles until it was washed away by a food a few years ago. The sign stated that this bridge had been misidentified in the World Guide to Covered Bridges(WGCB), and in a book by Richard Sanders Allen, "Covered Bridges of the Northeast.". Although the sign did not mention the NYS Covered Bridge Society, its website also identifies this bridge as Grant's Mill.
There are 2 pictures of Millbrook, 1 taken by Liz w. a historic marker sign and 1 by me showing the dry rock support and wings. I climbed down the steep bank and fell in the process to get the picture. Myers bridge has been rebuilt and may not be authentic anymore. It has some steel support. I noticed that the Tappan and Millbrook both have wings.
We then returned to our motel, having visited the last of NY state's covered bridges. Liz wants to visit all 800 in the US. Back in 2000, we took a trip to visit cousins of Liz--1 in N. Carolina and 1 in New Orleans. I planned the trip to visit as many cbs as possible, and we saw 23--the most in any trip up till then. I said to Liz when we returned home:"So, since we found so many this year, that means we don't have to look for any covered bridges for a couple of years." Liz responded "Oh no, Tom, there are about 800 covered bridges in the US and I want to visit all of them." Liz is now up to about 450 covered bridges from about 100 in 2000.
On Friday, the 14th we took a cruise on the Hudson river out of Kingston. A replica of Henry Hudson's Half Moon was sailing the river during our cruise and docked next to us when we returned. The Half Moon painted on the back end of the ship is just barely visible in the dockside picture.