28 Degrees? No Problem!

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28 Degrees? No Problem!

Postby Rick F. » Sun Dec 02, 2007 7:46 pm

After a frenetic trip to visit my in-laws in Boston for Thanksgiving, I was more than ready for another motorcycle sightseeing adventure. The only available day, however, was Saturday, November 24--with a predicted high temperature of only 40 degrees.

When I set off at 9:00 am, it was all of 28 degrees. Fortunately, with the Gerbings heated gear set to "Broil," I was plenty comfortable. My destination was the historic Oatlands Plantation, near Leesburg, VA.

Getting there is half the fun, of course. And it's always a good idea to swing by the ruins of the Black Rock Mill on Seneca Creek. It was built in 1815 and operated until 1920. Among many other jobs, it sawed the logs used to build the Liberty Mill in Germantown, MD--which subsequently put the Black Rock Mill out of business.
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I crossed the Potomac on White's Ferry (top speed, 2.7 mph according to Herr Zumo) and putted through downtown Leesburg, which cried out for a return visit. Before long, Herr Z. had me on yet another, secluded, dirt road--this time, the aptly named "Woods Road," which led to Oatlands Mills Road. The Fall colors were retreating hastily, but it was a scenic ride nonetheless--especially with the occasional abandoned house to admire:
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Almost next door to the abandoned brick house, there was the first of two interesting places that were for sale. This one, the "Carters Mill Home," looked (and later proved to be) quite historic. (More about George Carter anon...) I didn't ask the price, since "if you have to ask..."
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Not much further on, I came to the Oatlands Plantation. It was built in the late 1700s by George Carter, who owned tens of thousands of acres in this area. His holdings presumably included Carters Mill, Carters Farm, and a number of other places with Carter in the name. Construction on the plantation mansion started in 1804 and was interrupted by the War of 1812. It was finally finished in the 1820s, and it remains largely unchanged--and striking.
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I had arrived just in time for the noon tour. Unfortunately, photographs weren't allowed inside, so I didn't get any shots of the octagonal drawing room, dining room, library, and other ground-floor areas. In fact, the only shot I managed to sneak in was this one, of an upstairs bedroom--that was used regularly by Eleanor Roosevelt when she visited Oatlands to see her cousins.
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Back outdoors, there were many other buildings and gardens to look at. The gardens were especially notable, even though winter is probably not the best time to tour them. This is the greenhouse, which is the oldest building on the plantation:
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Other buildings and shots of the gardens:
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Back on the road, I headed off to travel the famous Snickersville Turnpike, this time from south to north. Along the way, I encountered the strange sight of a wheeled fireplace and chimney. This obviously represented all that was left of an early, colonial attempt at a mobile home.
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Blumont sits near the northern-most end of the Turnpike and features numerous Cool Old Houses, such as this one:
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In my case, however, Blumont was mostly of interest because of the Blumont General Store--which had lunch. The temperature was still well under 40, and I'd burned a lot of calories so far. A sandwich and piece of lemon pie later, I was ready to tackle the rest of the trip.
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Based on one of Ted's Square Route Rally routes, I'd ridden through Waterford, VA once before. Since it was on my way home, I made a slight detour to visit it again. I just love this little town, which time has almost entirely passed by.
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The houses range from elegant to a bit ramshackle...
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...and this one is my favorite:
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This other log home, however, was for sale. I got a picture of the real estate sign, and I'm really tempted to call and enquire. But I have a nagging fear that even a fairly basic place in such an historic town is likely to exceed The Jolly Old Budget (by a bunch!)
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On the western and eastern outskirts of Waterford, respectively, were additional photo-op's involving water, geese, and graves. What a great place! (Thanks, Ted, for calling it to our attention.)
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From Waterford, I wended northeastward, recrossing the Potomac at Point of Rocks and hitting a few favorite backroads before ending up on Interstate 70 back to Catonsville. The trip was 175 miles and 7 1/2 hours. The temperature never did reach 40, and it didn't matter a bit.

Rick F.

PS: As always, if anyone would like the MapSource route, just let me know.
Last edited by Rick F. on Sun Sep 13, 2015 3:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Unity » Sun Dec 02, 2007 8:10 pm

Another great ride story, Rick. You've seen things I haven't seen, even though I've been there! :shock: :oops:

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Postby Rick F. » Sun Dec 02, 2007 8:28 pm

Unity wrote:Another great ride story, Rick. You've seen things I haven't seen, even though I've been there! :shock: :oops:

--John 8)

John,

Thanks! It helps to ride along at no more than 20 mph, so you have a chance to look all around...

Rick F.
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Re: 28 Degrees? No Problem!

Postby Hello Kitty » Sun Dec 02, 2007 8:59 pm

Another great report! Some of your pics really look like postcards. This one is just amazing!

Image
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Postby DUKR » Sun Dec 02, 2007 9:14 pm

Very nice, Rick - as always! Thank you! :D
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Re: 28 Degrees? No Problem!

Postby Rick F. » Sun Dec 02, 2007 10:12 pm

Hello Kitty wrote:Another great report! Some of your pics really look like postcards. This one is just amazing!

Image

Kitty,

Hey, maybe that's what I'll do when I retire--go into the postcard business!

Rick F.

PS--I guess that's why real photographers may wait all day to get just the right sun angle, etc. But every so often, you just show up and the timing is already right.
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Postby Rick F. » Sun Dec 02, 2007 10:16 pm

DUKR wrote:Very nice, Rick - as always! Thank you! :D

Michelle,

My pleasure--glad you enjoyed it. It was a really fun ride, despite how cold it was. Of course, on the guided tour of the mansion, with little kids, grandmothers, etc., I was the one with a Gerbings heated pants liner rustling around inside a pair of insulated fabric riding pants. I felt like I was 5' wide and made more noise than the rest of the group put together! (As my friend Cathy says, in the Old West they used to hang people for rustling...)

Rick F.
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Postby RocketMan » Mon Dec 03, 2007 8:28 am

You seem to have encountered quite a few yellow GS's, what's up with that? :lol:

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Re: 28 Degrees? No Problem!

Postby MrE » Mon Dec 03, 2007 11:39 am

Rick F. wrote: Before long, Herr Z. had me on yet another, secluded, dirt road--this time, the aptly named "Woods Road," which led to Oatlands Mills Road. The Fall colors were retreating hastily, but it was a scenic ride nonetheless--especially with the occasional abandoned house to admire:
Image
Image

Almost next door to the abandoned brick house, there was the first of two interesting places that were for sale. This one, the "Carters Mill Home," looked (and later proved to be) quite historic. (More about George Carter anon...) I didn't ask the price, since "if you have to ask..."
Image


The Woods Rd was always on my favorite "not the most direct route to work" ride. Some times of year there are sections that easily allow you to hit 70mph+.

Thanks for the reminder.
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Postby Maria V » Mon Dec 03, 2007 7:05 pm

Rick, I want to come along on one of your rides. I'll pay for your gas, pack a lunch, and hot cocoa too. :wink:
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Postby Rick F. » Mon Dec 03, 2007 7:33 pm

RocketMan wrote:You seem to have encountered quite a few yellow GS's, what's up with that? :lol:

RM

RM,

Image You're right, the dang things were everywhere!

Rick F.
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Re: 28 Degrees? No Problem!

Postby Rick F. » Mon Dec 03, 2007 7:37 pm

mrenloe wrote:The Woods Rd was always on my favorite "not the most direct route to work" ride. Some times of year there are sections that easily allow you to hit 70mph+.

Thanks for the reminder.

Mike,

I completely agree with your assessment. In fact, I easily hit 30 mph+ (at one point, briefly). I'm sure that another 40 mph would have been no problem!

Rick F.

PS: Sometime, I'd like to see a dirt-road GS match race between you and Neil Peart. Of course, my money would be on the tow truck...
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Postby Rick F. » Mon Dec 03, 2007 7:43 pm

Maria V wrote:Rick, I want to come along on one of your rides. I'll pay for your gas, pack a lunch, and hot cocoa too. :wink:

Maria,

Wow, now there's an offer I can't refuse! Image Of course, you'll have to sign the standard no-complaint waiver about making photo stops every 16 feet...

Seriously, let's work on finding a time and place.

Rick F.
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Postby Maria V » Tue Dec 04, 2007 7:30 am

A waiver? Send it over for my lawyer to peruse. :lol:
Maybe with someone along, you can appear in some of your ride photos. :D
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