When life gives you lemons, go ride Lemonade!

The Catskills, Connecticut and Rhode Island

After surviving New York City the ride up the Hudson was fun along Hwy 218.  It was not a long highway but it was a very welcome highway.  For the last month we have been riding in cities or freeways.  With the short exception of the day spent riding the poker run at Gettysburg Bike Week we have not ridden a good motorcycle road since we hit Philadelphia.  Since then it has been Atlantic City, Outer Banks, Williamsburg, Washington DC, New York City and the heavily travelled multi-lane roads in between.





This road gave us some nice views of the Hudson as we rode along the winding and hilly route.











We are headed to the Catskills, a range of hills (that they call mountains here) that has a road reported to be good riding.  They are right, it is about a 50 mile loop, not long but enough to keep us entertained for a few hours.

The small town of Woodstock, famous for its 1960's music festival, is along the route and worth a visit.






After the easy day in the Catskills we are headed to Connecticut and some more tourist stuff.

We stopped at Gillette Castle.  The home of William Gillette the 1800's actor that made the role of Sherlock Holmes famous.  Gillette is the one who invented the image we imagine today of Sherlock Holmes, pipe, magnifying glass and Deerstalker hat.  These are not mentioned in the books but are entirely the invention of William Gillette who played the role onstage more than 1300 times across the USA and Europe.  He built this house out of "fieldstone" and wood.  Each door has an intricate latching system all out of wood, with each of the 47 doors being a unique design.  The raw stone outside of the castle gives it a forbidding and macabre appearance that is totally different from the warm and inviting inside.

Just below the castle, on the Connecticut River is a ferry that has been running constantly since 1769.  Of course the actual ferry has been upgraded several times but it is still a small ferry on a back road carrying, first carts and horses and now cars and motorcycles, as it has for almost 250 years.  It is not big enough for trucks.








We cruised the roads of Western Connecticut past fieldstone walls and cemeteries with thin flat headstones from the 1700's.  Very unlike our grave monuments today that are solid works of art, the earlier headstones are like a wooden board that has been set into the ground at the head of the grave.  After a couple hundred years they are often tilted, or broken as well as very weathered.

Mystic Seaport is a recreated whaling/fishing seaport of the 17-1800's.  It has buildings and ships, both salvaged and recreated, from that time period.


It has craft persons, left a cooper making barrels, and several museums, right of figureheads, in the various buildings.




Rhode Island is next with a quick stop at the famous Cliff Walk.  This is a three and a half mile walk along the waterfront in front of the houses of the rich and famous.  The very, very rich decided this would be a great place to have a summer cottage and they moved here in droves.  The Vanderbilt's and the Carnegie's and others built homes with over a hundred thousand square feet as "Summer Homes".  We did not walk the entire route, there are places to enter and exit it at street ends between some of the houses.





This is the Vanderbilt's 133,300 square foot home of seventy rooms and all the modern conveniences like dual fuel lights, gas and electric in the same fixture.  They could use whichever one was working at the time.  And indoor plumbing for each of the multitude of bedrooms.

No pictures were allowed inside so you will have to imagine the glory.  Think of the painted ceilings and walls of the castles of Europe and you will have an idea.  Not quite as ostentatious but close.



Now we are off to Massachusetts and Vermont.