Thursday, July 25, 2013

Alton Sylor Memorial Bridge over Joncy Gorge

Here's the bridge mentioned in the post below.  At 274' it's the longest clearspan timber arch in the nation.  Hard to believe there aren't better photos available on the web to steal, maybe someday I'll figure out how to get the ones I took off the phone.
Those arches are made from 50 laminated 2''x12'' boards. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Trail of the Southern Tier and Then Some

Once again I found myself biking west across Central New York to get to the Great Blue Heron Festival in Sherman.  I'd taken two years off from the ride and needed to set straight certain people who took that as a sign I couldn't do it anymore.
Some random notes from the ride and festival:
I'm always tinkering with the route and this year was no different, found a great flat road that bypassed busy Falconer and the hilly city streets of Jamestown.  The trip started when Gail and I rode down to the Commons where we put our bikes on a TCAT bus and started riding in Trumansburg and she accompanied me until I started the descent to Watkins Glen.  During the first day of riding my odometer that I've had since August 2001 turned over 19,000 miles.  My ride was fantastic.  It rained hard every day after I got where I was going (there was even some flooding in places) but I almost missed riding in it completely except for an hour which lead me to eat lunch under the coolest bridge I've ever seen.  It's in Angelica and worth getting off rt. 86 sometime to check out.
The EMT and nurse at the festival took great care of my leg from the beginning and when the on-site doctor finally saw it after two days he said they were doing exactly what he would have done and it's healing quickly.  It was a banjo accident.   Saw a high school friend who said she's been going to Blue Heron for 20 years but we've never crossed paths.  She did admit to seeing me several times over the years from a distance.  Met a guy who rode his bike from South Africa to Turkey and played tunes until 2 am with a bunch of friends, all of whom played on stage in various bands during the festival, I was in way over my head but it was about as much fun as could be.  The musical highlight was a band making its return to The Heron, Lake Street Dive.  As music director David Tidquist put it, "I booked them to come back right away, I'll never be able to afford them again."  I missed them last year as they played while I was working, but this year I planted myself right behind the drummer for the whole set.  I swear, the bass player, who wrote this song, kept looking over at me and winking.
On my ride there I spent the first night in a hotel in Bath where I considered taking one, then on the second day I stopped for a snack after riding 20 miles.  When I realized I was eating almonds in Almond, the towns started clicking away with their various associations.

Trail of the Southern Tier and Then Some.
With apologies to Dave Van Ronk

 I was set free in Freeville,  near Varna, and decided to set out on an odyssey from Ithaca.  I quit my job as a mason in Perry City when things had gotten too hairy in Trumansburg from all my candor in Covert.  So got on my horse and  headed for Horseheads, raced through Watkins Glen, went up Andover, biked through Karr Valley, took an ark from Arkport, put in at Portville and caught the last train to Clarksville before stopping to play organ in Hammondsport. 
Then I was ready in Willing.  Took a bath in Bath, ate almonds in Almond and got the kinks out in Kanona, K-A-N-O-N-A Kanona.  Saw Howard in Howard, Tyrone in Tyrone, Alfie in Alfred, Carol in Carrollton, Scott in Randolph and Obi Wan Kenobi in Obi.  Met an angel in Angelica, a friend in Friendship, Simon in Bolivar and we started a revolution in Cuba.  
I caught a virus in West Nile, saw the horror in Amity, had some troubles in Belfast because of what I did with my johnson in Lyndon, but despite the high stakes in Belmont nothing was the matter in Alma.  Spent a warm winter in Cold Spring, got well in Wellsville, stoned in Rock City and refreshed in a river flowing from the mountains in Allegany.  Even after hearing the song of a killdeer in Kill Buck I still had reservations about Salamanca, which made me so mad I was boiling in Steamburg, got shot in Kennedy, formed a commission in Warren, ceded Poland, but still was hunted by a falconer in Falconer, chased by 10,000 maniacs from Jamestown to Onoville where the band broke up.  I acted like a butthead in Bemus, got busted in Busti and had a lotta splainin' to do in Celeron.
By Ashville I was burnt, so I didn't go as far north as Westfield or, believe it or not, Ripley.  Instead I crossed the canal in Panama, climbed into Clymer, sang in Harmony and marched into Sherman for the 2013 Great Blue Heron Festival.