Boats and Bikes ~ Boats and Boatbuilding at the Adirondack Museum

 Guideboat under construction

direct video link 

 

 

 

One day it rained. Almost all the day it rained. We could have stayed inside by a window and read, but instead went to the Adirondack Museum on Blue Mountain Lake; because a) it’s a really great museum with lots of very cool stuff to see, and b) I remembered they have a terrific collection of boats on exhibit. Continue reading “Boats and Bikes ~ Boats and Boatbuilding at the Adirondack Museum”

Boats and Bikes ~ Bixi Montreal

pianos and bikes in the park 

 

Montreal was founded hundreds of years before the automobile, and never really got on board with the whole idea. Many streets in the old quarter are still cobblestone and narrow, more suited to carriages and peddler carts. That’s part of the appeal. And like many old cities, they’ve only grudgingly made concessions to cars. Parking is a hassle. Within 8 hours of arriving, we got our first parking ticket. That’s what the nice lady who let us in was trying to say: We had to move the car by morning for the street cleaners, and shuffle from spot to spot like a shell game every few days, or we’d start paying fines. Once we found a safe and free place to leave the car, we did, and didn’t fool with it again for the remaining three days in the city. And, fortunately, didn’t need to. Bicycles were a much better way to get around. Waaaay better.

 

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Boats and Bikes ~ Montreal, Quebec

Montreal Cathedral by night

 

Getting into Canada was a real a pain. The drive from Burlington would normally take about 2 hours door to door. But there was some sort of security alert in effect, coupled with a whole bunch of Canadians returning from some weekend event in the States. It took four+ hours, two of that to go one mile at the border. We almost went through a back country crossing, one we saw at the north end of Lake Champlain, but didn’t have a map or GPS for the country roads beyond. Should have. Even lost and wandering in the woods would have been a faster than the highway.

 

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Boats and Bikes ~ Island Line Trail

an elegant classic sloop shoots “The Cut”  in the video

 direct video link

 

Back when Burlington began reclaiming the waterfront, one of the first things they did was reacquire the old railroad bed running along the shore, a strip of land that effectively put the lake behind a fence. Once in public hands again, not only was access restored to most of the shore, but the graded bed provided a perfect foundation for a walking and biking trail. That’s how the Island Line Trail was born, and it now runs roughly 12 miles north out of Burlington.

 

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Boats and Bikes ~ Shelburne, Vermont

 

What you give up with airbnb is the comfort of predictability. There will be no desk clerk paid to wait for your arrival, no bellhop to take your bags, no beige carpet or generic art on the walls identical to that in 200 other identical rooms. What you gain is the unexpected. You typically stay in people’s private homes, with no formal checkin process, with hosts who have a natural interest in meeting other people. That was certainly our experience.

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Boats and Bikes ~ Burlington, Vermont

panorama of the harbor on Lake Champlain, Burlington 

 

Thomas Armstrong, over at 70.8%, would applaud this series. His interests range widely across art and history, but his flights often start from and circle back to sailboats and bicycles. The two modes of travel are amusingly compatible bedfellows – one for water and one for land. Both experienced their heydays at the turn of the 19th Century. Both are engine free, efficient, and often elegant means of transportation – and remarkably functional anachronisms. After a recent trip I can confirm how well they compliment each other.

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