TW200 Forum banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,931 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I was really enjoying your Fire Tower posts and they got me to thinking....They are not very spectacular like the ones in the Sierras... but we have Fire Towers in Rhode Island, too. They are not used anymore. Let's go find some!
So Mrs Trip and I set off this morning. Not far from home, we duck into the woods...its an old town road, now abandoned...



I had to cut that fallen tree a couple of months ago...so we could get the bikes through....



That's my riding buddy....



about a mile and a half, we pop back out onto a paved road.... soon crosses a bridge where a stream flows into a pond...



A couple of more miles, and we cross NooseNeck Hill Rd at the top of the hill, where the NooseNeck volunteer fire department has their station



and there's a Fire Tower, too! It looks out over the Big River watershed, and Noose Neck Valley. There were lots of deer in the lush valley in Indian times, and they would make nooses with the supple birch saplings that grew there to capture them.



East from there, then south on the old New London Turnpike



...chase the chickens out of the road as we blasted by....





New London Turnpike has turned into a hero section on the downhill, so we opted for Bell Schoolhouse Rd instead...







ooh...that's a nice looking bike......



...and this little piggies going to Idaho.....



...watch out for the muddy bits.....



OH! and the rocky bits, too!!!



...No Problemo....



That's Dawley Park Rd now...and it comes right out in back of Twisted Throttle World Headquarters....



...more to follow....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,398 Posts
Wow, you two have such good adventures whether it be scattering chickens or tracking down towers. Enjoyed the deer snare history lesson too.
Those towers got me searching e-bay for one of my very own...would be nice to look down on the neighbors.
However lately I'm craving something more in the line of a wooden water tower like that of Petticoat Junction. petticoat-junction-kristin-elmquist.jpg
A local restaurant has a nice one, but alas we don't have a Hooterville.

Now more pictures of that ride please!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,931 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Route 3 has 4 lanes and hardly any traffic in front of Twisted Throttle, and we turned south. This section of road is overbuilt, because it was used as the final section of Interstate 95 - from Florida to Maine- was completed. We only ride a couple of miles, cross underneath I-95, and back onto some dirt...



...north up Blitzkrieg Trail...







...across Rte 165 and through the trees... this is part of our route that runs from East Beach to the Puppy Dog trail through Vermont to the Canadian border.....



Through the sand....



...and through the scrubby pines....



...good, so far!



This is Barber Rd...





snakes its way uphill....



...then off to the northwest....



One thing we have a lot of is old graveyards.... there were over 2,000 people living in West Greenwich in 1790... by 1920, it had dropped to 387...the last census shows about 5,000...but as you can imagine, the settlement pattern is very different today....





...here's an old foundation.... a house, or maybe a tavern here at an old intersection....



...less than a mile, up the hill, and we encountered another rider....



It's the Rhode Island Trials Club, and they're having a meet. They have a special area where they are allowed to ride... a year ago, when we were in Colorado, they had a World Championship event here...the top riders from all over the world! We parked the bikes and checked some of the action....











I think that's his Dad. "Come on, little jimmy, ride your bike down this sheer rock face..."



The adults were getting into the act, too....





 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,931 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
We hung around for about a half an hour... I think the top classes were already done... but these guys were still pretty impressive....



The Trials Area is right where the dirt we'd been riding meets the paved Escoheag Rd, and we turned north as it gradually sloped further up hill. A couple of miles and we reached the top of Escoheag Hill, where there's another fire tower....



But Whoa! What happened to the little cabin thingy up there...it was intact the last time I was here... granted a couple of years ago... but then I vaguely remembered hearing it had been burned by vandals... an ignominious end for a fire tower!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,931 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
At the top of the hill, Escoheag Hill Rd becomes Hazard Rd and we continued north...





Soon enough, the pavement runs out. Dusty today, though.



Onto Lewis Farm Rd...





Then up Old Rice City Rd... Rice City was known for its taverns, gambling, and women of easy virtue... an overnight stop for teamsters a couple of hundred years ago...





Through the Swamp Meadow bridge on the old Plainfield Pike...



across the Scituate Reservoir, that cut off a lot of the old roads when it was built...



And over to Howards Chowder Shack for a late lunch....



Yum! Can't beat the Ocean State for seafood... or any food for that matter. Chowder, Clam Cakes, and Fried Clams... oh, yeah!
A greedy hand reaches for the chowder before I can even get a photo!



...west from the Chowder Shack to the top of Chopmist Hill... and another fire tower!



The fire tower is now at the district headquarters of the RI Dept of Environmental Management, but Chopmist Hill has some interesting history. In World War Two, it was the site of a secret radio "listening" installation, so powerful, they could evesdrop on radio communications between Rommel's Afrika Corps tanks! Global eavesdroppers: In World War II, dozens of radio operators in Scituate dialed into enemy conversations worldwide - News - providencejournal.com - Providence, RI

Then, in 1946, it was on the short list of possible locations for the United Nations! Quahog.org: Chopmist Hill and the United Nations
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,931 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Just down the road a piece from the Chopmist Hill tower is a beautifully restored old house... from the 1600's. It is what's known as a "stone-ender" a style unique to Rhode Island, with a huge hearth and chimney that form the whole end of the house...



We turned south from Scituate, and headed towards home. We can work our way on almost all unpaved roads...



another old cemetery....










What's that sign say? "Dead End" That's our favorite!





"You're not sneaking around some boulders there, are you?"







That's Pig Hill Rd...it gets increasingly rocky as it goes on....



...and the final hill. Mrs Trip is not a fan, but she's a trooper, and slowly picks her way down the rocky slope....



...and then just a couple of miles, around the pond, and we're home! Thanks, Fred! Both for the fire tower theme, and for the challenge to go ride!!! That was fun!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,931 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Wow, awesome ride. How did you get more than 5 pics per post?
My photos are hosted on SmugMug. I was limited to 25 per post by the forum... I had to go back and shorten one of the posts before the forum would load it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,328 Posts
Wow, that is some awesome country to ride with some really neat history. The image in my head of a "Turnpike" is not at all the "old New London Turnpike" you showed. Really neat roads. Is "old town road" like an old stage route? Kind of reminded me what the Oregon Trial would have looked like had there been trees out here!:D Never would have guessed there being fire towers back east. Weird how we perceive things in a different part of the country. Thanks for sharing!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
441 Posts
I love them parts of the country. I've not been to Rhode Island but, my Mother grew up in New Hampshire and I've enjoyed a lot of time up there.

Rock walls, old houses, old graveyards, expansive forests, colonial house, and Chowder too :D

Great ride report, I really enjoyed it :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,871 Posts
Very nice. Was that poison ivy I saw in your last post? I'm very allergic, so I spot it a mile away. lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,931 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Wow, that is some awesome country to ride with some really neat history. The image in my head of a "Turnpike" is not at all the "old New London Turnpike" you showed. Really neat roads. Is "old town road" like an old stage route? Kind of reminded me what the Oregon Trial would have looked like had there been trees out here!:D Never would have guessed there being fire towers back east. Weird how we perceive things in a different part of the country. Thanks for sharing!
It is nothing like in the west, but Forest Fires happen in New England as well. Here's a cool news clip:

The old Turnpikes are interesting as well. They were privately built roads that predated the railroads. They would charge a toll for use...hence the existence of "Shunpikes" as well...for the cheapskates who wouldn't pay the tolls.
The problem with the Turnpikes was they would build them straight as an arrow shot...regardless of terrain. It made them very hard and expensive to maintain. The New London Turnpike still runs from Providence, RI to New London, CT... some parts are a main commercial route... and some parts are long abandoned. I will find or take some photos of the part we avoided by using Bell Schoolhouse Rd...it's too tough for Mrs Trip to ride. We also ride the Shetucket Turnpike as part of the Pachaug Enduro Loop in nearby Connecticut.
Here's a photo of the Templeton Turnpike that runs from Templeton, Mass to Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire... right through a swamp!



The 'Old Town Roads' is not really a legal term, but they are old roads not generally used or maintained, but still public rights of way. The towns like to keep them on the books, since their highway departments get funding based on the total mileage of roads they have on the books. It is possible for abutting landowners to get control of them, though. So some are good, some not so much. We have not had much luck riding the old Central Pike...the landowner at the western end has threatened riders with a gun... and nobody's looking for a fight. There's a lot of roads because 200 years ago, there were small farms hacking a living from the stony soil spread evenly over the land...most of them cultivated using a hoe! The farmers would carry the rocks to the edges of the fields as the frosts brought them to the surface... over a couple of hundred years, they built the thousands of miles of stone 'fences' that way. By the mid 1800's they had had enough... people went to work in the new factories... Rhode Island was the Silicon Valley of the time.... or they moved west where land was cheap and far more productive.
The good farms then, are often still farms today. New England is the largest re-forested place on Earth... if you look at the old photos from the turn of the last century... there are hardly any trees.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,931 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Very nice. Was that poison ivy I saw in your last post? I'm very allergic, so I spot it a mile away. lol
I'll bet it is. "Leaves of three, let them be!" Probably one of the first things a kid in New England learns....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,871 Posts
Yep......I have to spray several times a year. My neighbor isn't allergic, so he doesn't ever try to kill it. As a result, it finds its way to my property. I don't know if birds spread it or not, but it's very aggravating. And itchy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
678 Posts
Wow, that is some awesome country to ride with some really neat history. The image in my head of a "Turnpike" is not at all the "old New London Turnpike" you showed. Really neat roads. Is "old town road" like an old stage route? Kind of reminded me what the Oregon Trial would have looked like had there been trees out here!:D Never would have guessed there being fire towers back east. Weird how we perceive things in a different part of the country. Thanks for sharing!
https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1dkrRJhbHM363eZxbPsx1my_7I9g&hl=en_US
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top