2 weeks after my adventure with flat tires, I made another attempt to bike to Shelburne Falls. This time I made it! I took a slightly different route through Northampton, allowing me to stay on the bike trail much longer, and avoid a little hill climbing that I’d done before. The route through Williamsburg was mostly the same, and I rode the same road through Whately into Conway. After passing Conway center (and the point where my tube had blown out the previous time), I was in territory I’d never been in before.
The road is pretty level for a while, even declining a little, but then there is a good-sized hill climb. It was at least a 2-rest-stop hill. After that climb, though, the road gently declines for quite a long distance. Eventually, I passed from Conway into the town of Buckland, and saw this view:
Among the wild (?) flowers in this field, I saw this lily:
I was thinking that, at some point, I would pass into the town of Shelburne Falls, but I discovered that that there is no town by that name. Before too long, I arrived in the Shelburne Falls historical district of Buckland. And on the other side of the Deerfield River was the Shelburne Falls district of the town of Shelburne.
I rode across the river on this bridge to check out the lay of the town (and to look for a bike rack):
I did find a rack by the public library, and having secured the bike, started walking around.
I walked back over the iron bridge and saw the Bridge of Flowers, one of the attractions I’d come to see:
I approached the bridge:
I took quite a few photos of the flowers on the bridge, however I don’t know what all of them are. A few of the plants seemed to be labeled with little signs, but most of them weren’t. Here are a whole bunch, in the order I encountered them:
There were a couple of trees on the bridge, including this one with big seed pods:
These are delphiniums (blue):
Balloon flowers! (which we grow ourselves, as well):
Now it’s flowers in 3-D:
These looked like tiny roses:
White balloon flowers:
I thought these were really neat looking, and they had a sign:
They’re called crocosmia lucifer. Here’s a wider shot:
A poppy (which did not put me to sleep):
A more pastel shade of delphinium:
I think these are lilies, but the leaf structure is unfamiliar to me:
I don’t know what these are:
But the bees really liked them:
After I finished going across the bridge of flowers, I headed to the other main attraction in Shelburne Falls, the glacial potholes. Basically, they’re these interesting rock formations in a portion of the river (next to which a dam was built). Here’s the view down the river toward that area:
And here is the overview of the pothole area:
Followed by some close-ups:
The view upriver from the potholes:
There is an old mill building (apparently empty) next to the pothole viewing area (with a star o’mill):
As I headed away from the potholes, I saw this little zen garden in front of a yoga studio:
After seeing the sights, I had lunch at McCusker’s Market; I ate a lovely turkey and avocado sandwich with lots of veggies.
Following lunch, I headed west and a bit north out of town, and then picked up route 112 to head back south. It was a nice, easy ride until I hit the town of Ashfield, and then I began to climb, and climb. The hill seemed to go on forever, and required a number of rests (I was probably getting a bit tired at this point). I eventually got to route 116, and headed east (and downhill) toward Conway, heading south again before getting to Conway center.
The road I was on this time involved another climb, not as bad as the previous one, and then had lots of downhill riding toward Williamsburg. I passed through Williamsburg center, and headed southeast back through Northampton and toward home.
Including the nearly 2 hours I spent in Shelburne Falls, the trip took about 8.25 hours. My total riding distance was 68 miles, a new personal record for one trip.