Saturday, March 10, 2007

Pride Comes Before The Fall, and I Get Right Back Up

Sorry for taking so long to update. My roommate brought home the most lovely flu bug and it has kept me a bit occupied. I had just been bragging to a coworker that I have a cast iron immune system and I almost never get sick enough to be kept out of work... then WHAM!!! I get taken out by nature for a week. On the upside, I feel much better now and went out for a 14 mile cross country skiing excursion today. I slid on over to the next town and explored a side trail that I'd never been on before. I chased the setting sun up over a ridge of small mountains... only to lose it behind another ridge. The trip up was a heck of a workout and the trip back down was crazy-fun, except for the fact that older cross-country skis like mine are much harder to control when careening down steep, narrow trails at high velocity. So the trip back down, while exciting, was done to the tune of "aaah, ouch, *crash* $%##@!!! *crash* ouch, ouch, *crash* %@#!!! whew! Yeeeehaaaaw!" The sunset was a beautiful shade of peach with touches of pink (curses for not bringing my camera this time) and after the sunset the landscape took on a surreal palette of blues, it almost looked like a cross between Van Gogh's 'Blue Period' and something out of a Robert Frost poem. As much as I am frustrated with the lack of culture in this area, the scenery more than makes up for it.

And as promised three posts back, here are the pics from my last cross-country ski trip.

First covered railroad bridge headed south east, the trail that I follow is part of the "Rails To Trails" program which converts old railroad lines to recreational & nature trails. This bridge is a leftover from the era when there was still a working rail line running through this very spot. Note how high the openings are (about 22 feet), this was to accommodate the high stacks on the locomotives.

Interior of the first bridge

Shot of the river taken through a gap in the boards

The second covered railroad bridge

Interior of the second bridge

Underneath the main highway bridge in Kelleyville/Newport


JayV said...

Oh these are great photos. Where is the bridge? There's this cool small uncovered bridge up the river from you, between Lyme and Orford (I grew up as a kid/teen in Orford). My brothers and I used t bike down the River Road towards Lyme and would picnic by the bridge.

Mike Airhart said...

The covered-bridge pictures are charming! (The picture of you is nice, too, of course.)

I moved to Connecticut from D.C. last August, but the fact that I live in New England apparently hasn't sunk in yet. You've inspired me to check out the rail-to-trail behind my home and drive out to see some of CT's covered bridges.

Craig Della Penna said...

There are two covered RR bridges on this trail. In fact there are about a dozen bridges on the entire trail--most of which are unusual or rare. The Society for Industrial Archaeology gives tours up there from time to time. There are actually five, covered RR bridges still standing in New England.

I live in Northampton, MA and there are over 200 rail-to-trail projects underway within 100 miles of Northampton making the network being developed--the densest in the nation.

I used to work for Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and still do advocacy work in this realm all over the region through a small consulting frim. I have a free html newsletter set up that comes out monthly. Go to to sign up if you are interested.

Craig Della Penna

Anonymous said...

I agree that the pictures are nice, and make me want to ski thru them too!
I *have* to ask... is that the infamous Kellyville Killer bridge?
Thanks for the feedback on She's Come Undone. I'm going to have to pick it up now :-)

E said...

I had just been bragging to a coworker that I have a cast iron immune system and I almost never get sick enough to be kept out of work... then WHAM!!! I get taken out by nature for a week.

That's precisely why I avoid telling people that I don't get sick very often. Wait, I just told you. Oh dear...

nonsequitur said...

Jay, both bridges occur running almost parallel to Chandler's Mills Road (the one connecting the southern tip of Claremont to the Newport/Kelleyville region, currently closed to through traffic due to mud season).

Mike, thanks again for visiting, glad to have been helpful ;)

Craig, thank you for dropping by and for the info. I love the rails-to-trails program! I intend to do more biking on these trails come late spring/summer.

Angela, yes, it IS the infamous Kelleyville Killer bridge.

E, I hope you don't get sick :-p

Cuarentayuno said...

dude, that is one awesome set of pics! you handsome devil, you!