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Flowers and Potholes

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:

Begonias, perhaps?

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):

Lilies:

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.

Posted by seaking on 08-18-2011 at 10:08 pm
Posted in Biking

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1 Comment »

  1. Hey! Those flowers with bees on them? I’m pretty sure they are bee balm (leaves are right but mine wasn’t bright red like that). The lilies with the unfamiliar leaves are indeed lilies, but I’m not sure what type (not day or tiger, I looked them up). I also suspect the picture right under that one might be some form of clematis but only because the flowers look right and it’s a climbing thing (which the plant is doing in your pic…climbing that is). The potholes remind me a lot of the shoreline of Lake Superior. Very cool.

    Comment by Boo — August 22, 2011 @ 15:06

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