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After lamenting the lack of "legal" off-road opps for me and my lil' Tee-Dub, I decided to do some exploring today. It was a beautiful, crisp Autumn day in Upstate New York, and I knew that there were some pretty interesting things around here, so decided to take the bike out and see what I could see. I was headed to "Gelston Castle", an old historical site in nearby Jordanville (est. @1790), passing by another landmark, the Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Monastery - This opulent compound is very incongruous, being that it is built up in the middle of "nowhere", with cornfields surrounding it.





Being that I was riding the bike, I couldn't go into the church due to the "rules"...



A short way down the road was the Monastery's graveyard:







Then, I was off down the road to Gelston Castle...

(to be continued...)
 

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Gelston Castle has a fascinating history, but at the present time, the current owners have chosen to use the grounds for a variety of music festivals. This summer, Moe.down was held here. Approaching the property, the garish sign is impossible to miss...





a packed gravel road leads to the iron gated entrance: (the sign says "No entry without permission". Nobody's around, so I decide to continue up the drive...)







It's hard-packed gravel, and the TW has no trouble climbing the gentle hill... I get to a tree with signs that obviously were put up for the big music festival last month.



further up the road is the Henderson House, the first structure built on the property. You can see the remains of the castle in the background





 

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The castle itself is worse than a shell now; it has totally collapsed, and every year, becomes little more than a huge pile of rock:











The blue pattern window film, I assumed, was from the last use of the Castle (late 60's, early 70's) as a retirement home.





Moving on from the sad spectacle of the castle remains, I head toward the modernistic mansion built by the Russian Conductor, Mstislav Rostropovich, who fled to the area, and purchased the property because of its close proximity to the Orthodox Church there. He had apparently originally wanted to restore the castle, but was told that it was not worth it, and instead built his own home:







The entire property is on a ridge, overlooking the Mohawk River Valley:





The gravel road continued toward another iron gate, beyond which the road turned to dirt and grass:





I knew that the Robinson Family Graveyard was somewhere down this path...



and it was - about a quarter mile, in the middle of the woods, surrounded by an iron fence with trees growing through it



 

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For reasons unknown, the entrance to the graveyard was strewn with colored glass, mostly blue (seen under the fallen leaves:





All of the gravestones were the same pinkish-orange colored granite. I didn't know why each headstone had a large "X" at the top.







The sun was getting low, and it was beginning to get cool, so I decided I'd better take my leave...

waved to one of the multiple security cameras on the property:



and headed back down toward the town, deciding to take a loop around to the library there...
 

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taking another "back" road, I discovered hulking behind the town, a large gravel quarry! It looked like it had been there a LONG time...









came around from the backside of town, and pulled into the lot of the historical library:









By now, it was getting downright chilly, and I had neglected a neck gaiter, so I hopped back on the TeeDub and headed back to the house on Canadarago Lake, and went to work on this post
 

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Nice pics, nice ride.



Sorry about the dearth of offroad riding there, but connecting the dots to historic sites is pretty good use of time as well.
 

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Really nice pictures of some really neat historical area's. Just goes to show you (me that is), one does not need to go off-road to see really cool stuff.



Thanks for sharing and keep the ride reports coming, when you can, I know winter is coming!




P.S. I always wanted to build and live in a Castle, but I know its not practical, but I can dream!

 

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This is an old Russian tradition, usually practiced by gypsies.

The colored glass is said to confuse evil or mischievous spirits and chase them away from the guarded area.



For reasons unknown, the entrance to the graveyard was strewn with colored glass, mostly blue (seen under the fallen leaves:

 

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Good photos... and riding.

Those Autumn color photos are very nice to enjoy from here in the desert. ^^;

Already Fall, and in a couple of months, many TW would be in sleep mode ???

Thanks for the sharing.
 

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Look up "chi-rho" on the 'net. Something in there could lead you to an explanation of the "X's" on the headstones.
 

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This is an old Russian tradition, usually practiced by gypsies.

The colored glass is said to confuse evil or mischievous spirits and chase them away from the guarded area.


Look up "chi-rho" on the 'net. Something in there could lead you to an explanation of the "X's" on the headstones.


Wow, thanks for helping me fill in some of the blanks. Makes the trip that much more interesting... and still intriguing -
 

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Wow, thanks for helping me fill in some of the blanks. Makes the trip that much more interesting... and still intriguing -


I got curious when you pointed that out, so I ran a search. Thanks for keeping me up all night




I spent a bit of time decyphering headstone hierroglyphics while chasing my ancestors in rural Kentucky, but never encountered the freestanding "X". This stuff generally has its roots in some religious faction, but could even be related to service in some foreign military, or even participation in some obscure battle in same.



It might be common as rocks in some parts of the country, and someone with the info may give you the answer, as SRS did on the gypsy glass thing.



Hard to say. Now YOU can stay up all night. lol.
 

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I hear you lizrdbrth, ever since this post, and the mention of what the X could be on top of the headstones, not that it kept me awake, but I kept thinking about it when I was awake!



Possible meaning of an "X" on each headstone. Being this was a cemetery, on Castle grounds, with people who possibly originated from England/Britain, could it be this:









"Crux decussata" ("decussated cross") or "St. Andrew's Cross": called "decussated" because it looks like the Roman Numeral "10" (decussis), it is also called St. Andrew's Cross because St. Andrew was supposed to have been crucified on a cross of this shape.



Another:



St. Andrew's Cross



It is believed that the apostle Andrew was crucified on a saltire (X-shaped) cross; hence the name St. Andrew's Cross. He is said to have told his executioners that he was not worthy to be crucified on the same cross style as Jesus, and persuaded them to alter the shape. If this is true, it's a remarkable example of stoicism displayed by a man, no doubt beaten and starved, yet retaining the mental energy to plead such a thing with his brutal executioners.



Detailed records of his crucifixion only date back to the Middle Ages, and these records are influenced be the imagination of the medieval artists. But even if the origin is a myth, the cross shape reminds Christians that they should exercise humility.[sup]1[/sup]



In Greek, the first letter for Christ (Chi) also happens to be 'X'-shaped
<A href="http://www.seiyaku.com/customs/crosses/andrew.html#sup02">[sup]2[/sup], as in the Chi Rho Cross.







 

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I did poke around a little online, and fthought it probably wasn't a chi-rho. The St. Andrew's cross sounds like a possibility. The "X" is on the large cross in the graveyard, too. Thanks for the input! It won't keep me awake, but probably will keep me wondering
 
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