Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Jaunt on Spear Street

I tried to get connected with a friend for ride, but alas it didn't work out. I went on my own. I stopped at this sycamore tree. I'd driven by this white specimen for many years until someone identified it for me. They are not common in this climate.

Further on I took this half mile short cut. It's a pleasant diversion from pavement, made all the more special because of it's historical significance. This is the Ti-Haul Trail.

Photo credit: Harold Mock
A steamer, made in Shelburne in 1906, plied Lake Champlain's waters as a day ship until 1953.

My mother-in-law remembers this grand event.
In 1955 the massive boat was hauled overland 2 miles to where it's docked on land as part of the Shelburne Museum.

A visit to walk the restored steamer's decks, bunk rooms, grand staircase, and a peek at the engine and elegant dining room is a must for all Vermonters. On board, I never tire of watching the black and white footage of the painstaking process of towing this majestic boat. I didn't take in the museum on this trip. I played that reel through my mind as I pedaled it's overland route. I am thankful that the wonder of that ground voyage is now appropriately preserved as the Ti-Haul.

The other end of the Ti-Haul near Shelburne Bay.
I ate a snack at Shelburne Bay. Last year at this time the lake level was record high, closing this road. A tree is still toppled in the water. The white rocks in the foreground were added as buffer and ballast before road reconstruction.

On my way home I pedaled on a new path along Webster Road. It's wide enough for a car! But oddly it ends right before I climb a steep hill and it's an awkward crossing to the right side of the road before shifting into granny gear. I imagine that as a neighborhood connection it works pretty well. But like many routes in the area, linking one bike lane to another leaves unpleasant gaps with often dangerous merges with vehicular traffic. It's a common complaint from bicyclists.

At the top I take a breather to soak up sunshine and photograph the barn. Nothing like newly painted barn-red with white trim on multi-paned windows. I don't believe this is a working farm anymore. It lacks the animal aroma—if you know what I mean. I peek inside the open door but can't spy anything that gives away it's purpose.

Blooming forsythia adds a nice splash. In fact, this wonderful foliage colors much of my ride. I head home, missing my friend, but glad to have made it out anyway.


  1. Gosh! Nothing would make a ride seem more relaxed than thinking, "I could be towing a steamer!" :-)

    The sycamore tree is beautiful and I really have a weakness for red barns, sigh. Looks like a lovely morning's pootle.

  2. In my more upbeat moments, I like to look at inconvenient cycle path connections as an opportunity to show off the flexibility and adaptability of bikes and cyclists. We can go anywhere! We can do anything! Cars and motorists need straight, wide expanses of dead cement. Cyclists can thrive on modest paths winding through the woods, with fun little diversions here and there. In my more upbeat moments.

  3. That tree's gorgeous,my friend,and cool bit about the steamer. Sounds like you had a nice time :)

    The Disabled Cyclist


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