I was back home almost 19 hours, and it was time to get out again for some serious driving and exploring. BLUE BELLE you may recall had to get a piggy-back ride home just before I ran overseas, and BLACK BEAUTY has been temperamental, but she deserved a chance. Ends up she behaved very well for 58 miles in 5 plus hours. In a reply email from someone I met on QM2, “… 58 miles is not a long distance- it must have been a very slow drive!” But, you all know that I never know what I will find along the way to do in between those 96+ Km/H open runs between “need to sees”.

Map time – I pulled mine out to decide what to do. LEMPSTER and UNITY – I had not been to either. Close by, but not on the way to anywhere, you have to specifically go there. We took Rt 123A out of Alstead past Acworth. Still a horrible road surface, most dirt roads are far better. I knew I had to make a left turn at some point, and was pretty sure I found the right spot. Still a rough road, but deserted along the Cold River (did not know it went that far). I was right, I soon dead ended in Lempster on the Second New Hampshire Turnpike.

Downtown Lempster, NH, from the attic of the 1794 Country Store. (more on that shortly)

Downtown Lempster, NH, from the attic of the 1794 Country Store. (more on that shortly)



Lempster’s meeting house was built in 1794 and is currently under restoration. In addition, at this intersection is the old county store, the old stage coach stop, and the brick home. BLACK BEAUTY is the tiny black dot on the right. And just to the further right was this fascinating sign. Rural electrification in NH began here in 1939. You know my affinity for old country stores, so I crossed back across the “old turnpike” to take some shots.



You know I also have an affinity for pictures with reflections or through windows or framed in other ways. I began crawling around on the grass to frame the correct reflection in the store’s window.


As I crossed back across the road a gentleman on an ATV came up along side of me. “You lost,” he queried. I explained my love of exploration and old country stores and attempt to get the right picture. “My neighbor was concerned about your strange actions crawling around on the ground.”

First pole in NH for Rural Electrification.

First pole in NH for Rural Electrification.



I then commented about the Rural Electrification State of NH Marker, and he said,”do you want to see the original pole?’ No need to wonder, you know my reply, and he had me hop on the passenger trailer he made for his ATV. The pole was just across the road on the side of the country store. (remember you can click on my smaller images to see them in a larger size.




Next, my host Richard, invited me into the barns attached to the country store. Ends up he owned the property. He has lived across the street since the early 1970s saving his barns through his own ingenuity. Originally built also in 1794, the country store closed in 1988 and he purchased the property in 1994. Stabilization of the building has been a love in process since then. I love architecture, I love old stores, and I love a good story-teller. Explaining all his techniques, Richard was fascinating.


I loved the early and unusual beam construction in the roof area. And, you know that I like images with texture and unique composition. Here is the bowing side of the barn.


When we finally went outside, three horses were coming up the road. “Ray, is that you?” one rider called out. It was Terry, my doctor’s nurse — still a small world. Richard then showed me the restoration work he had done on his barns at home. But after maybe close to two hours, I had to let him go. Here is Richard, and the trailer I got to ride behind his ATV.  Oh, and if you would like to buy the store, I can put you in touch with him.


I then when through Unity, and can now say I have been there also. Ending up in Claremont the road from Unity comes in close to Stevens High School. It was late afternoon, and I just assumed I could find a deli sandwich in Lempster or Unity – WRONG – headed into Bellows Falls for a late lunch / early dinner. But on the way discovered a plaque on a stone on Route 103 that I have missed for 13 years. Now another story to write about.


From the title of this post, my intention was to include adventures from the 12th and 13th. But between weather and BLACK BEAUTY getting sick, I did all on Saturday the 12th instead. And, before you think all my adventures are picture perfect and phenomenal – sometimes you make the best of things. Even lesser experiences are still good experiences.

Below is a map of Labor Day’s 58 miles (in pink), and yesterday’s combined jaunt in yellow. Xs mark spots I have commented on.



SEP-28The plan was to take in the 240th anniversary celebration of the Westminster (VT) Massacre on Saturday, and on Sunday head east to the 44th Dublin Gas Engine Meet. And, there was a sign I needed to see in Sharon – more on that a tad later. I strongly encourage you to read my August 2013 “Did You Know That…” article on the Massacre (click on the article image to open a full size PDF). Yes, the first shots of the American Revolution, and the first American deaths were just across the river from me. The incident occurred just over four weeks prior to the “shots heard ’round the world” at Lexington and Concord. This “fast fact” is guaranteed to win you drinks at bar bets.

Saturday did not start off well. I promised BLACK BEAUTY a bubble bath, but she came down sick, and would not start. I isolated her malady to an ignition problem, and let her rest. I headed across the river for the Tory Lunch prior to the Massacre reenactment. A tad disappointing, but thus had time to run over to visit Sports Car David to get some hints on BB1’s problem. He closed his repair business earlier this year, but it is still fun to visit him and his dairy barns of cars. I returned for the reenactment, which was hokey fun, but I could have gone without going it ends up.

Now fueled with rum, the “Yorker Tories” fired on the soon to be Americans.


Two were killed in the courthouse, the first deaths of the American Revolution – four weeks before Lexington and Concord.


And, when war is over, you go home.


Prior to heading to bathe BB1 I checked the weather and thought it may be best to include Sunday’s adventures to Saturday’s list assuming the Massacre was completed early – it was. The trip to Lempster on the Second New Hampshire Turnpike got me back to wanting to finally understand the colonial turnpikes in New Hampshire, and specifically in Walpole which had two. Thus, I decided that for my next “Did you know that…” article I had to learn more about the Third New Hampshire Turnpike. I discovered that NH Historical Marker Number 68 in Sharon honored the turnpike. I had not been to Sharon, or neighboring New Ipswich, so now would do so following the 44th Dublin Gas Engine Meet.

I headed out of Westminster and back across the Connecticut River at 2PM to pick up 101 in Keene to head east. The gas engine meet was in a field just east of 101 and 137. You may recall that Alex and I attended a similar show in Orange, Massachusetts in June. That was great, and this one was also but different. I have always wanted a “hit and miss” engine, and here I had never seen so many uses for the engines in actual operation. Remember you can click an image and see them larger.

I love cars in original condition. I talked with the owner of this early 1928 model A Ford Touring Car about LADY RAB’s radiator frothing affinity. He offered some suggestions that I will try soon. He recently found this original car that had been sitting since 1950.


And, this was an amazing tractor.  Not steam driven, but powered by a large hit and miss engine with an interesting cooling system.


And, for your viewing (and listening) pleasure (the movie speed gives a stop motion effect on the flywheels):


One room school, Sharon, New Hampshire.

One room school, Sharon, New Hampshire.


So, then it was off to find the sign, and click off two more NH towns that you have to go to to get to, because they are not on the way anywhere. I turned south on Route 123 out of Peterborough to Sharon. With a population of about 340, Sharon was first settled in 1738 as part of Peterborough Slip. It was called Sliptown until 1791 when renamed after Sharon, Connecticut. I knew from preliminary research that this brick school, used from 1833 to 1920, would be all I would see.



Continuing south, I turned west on Route 124 coming upon my quest in short notice.


Turning around on 124 I needed to see New Ipswich. Route 124 is named appropriately Turnpike Road. But arriving in New Ipswich, it did not look like the wonderful 19th century photographs I had checked in one of my turnpike and tavern books. When I turned south on Route 123A (Main Street) I did come upon some great colonial architecture. Maybe that was the original route of the turnpike and not 124 east from its junction with 123A. New Ipswich I learned was an early textile area, and The Barrett House, was built for the son of the mill owner.

Barrett House, New Ipswich, NH

Barrett House, New Ipswich, NH

Time to head home. I meandered back roads into Massachusetts to pick up Route 119 west. Turned north on US 202 to Jaffrey planning to turn left on 124 around Mt. Monadnock and maybe stop at one of the old inns for a drink, but seeing Route 137 straight ahead, I decided to take that back to 101 not having been on that stretch. I can say you don’t have to travel that route to see the nothing I saw, unless you need to shortcut to/from Jaffrey.

So, it is a rainy Sunday and I am glad that I did today’s list yesterday. Today I have been remembering and writing, even though not terribly “over the top” exciting for you to read. I have lots of articles I need to write, so now onto that, and I still have my documentation of a Trans-Atlantic Crossing on the Queen Mary 2 to share with the world.

My daughter-in-law just arrived in Africa to conduct some research, but she posted a link on Facebook to an award my son, David, just received. I always have a hard time describing what he unassumingly does, but this article finally made it clearer for me. Just a proud father copying this down – no need to read, but you may and might.

Thanks for all, as always, yours, RAY

David Boas to receive SPIE Britton Chance Biomedical Optics Award for neuroimaging advances

Research in imaging oxygen, blood flow has improved study of human brain activity, physiology

11 September 2015

BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA, and CARDIFF, UK — Brain researcher David Boas has been named as winner of the 2015 Britton Chance Biomedical Optics Award, the Awards Committee for SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, has announced.

Boas is Director of the Optics Division of the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor in radiology at Harvard Medical School, and is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Neurophotonics, published by SPIE.

His contributions have significantly impacted the development and application of optical spectroscopic and correlation methods to measure oxygen and blood flow respectively, both macroscopically in humans as well as microscopically in animal models, the Awards Committee said in issuing the award. The citation commended Boas for developing novel, high-impact biomedical optical technologies, as well as following through with impactful application studies, and fostering the widespread adoption of these technologies.

Boas’ long expertise in utilizing microscopic measurements of brain activity to form a microscopic model of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has proven to have predictive power, and will help to improve the quantitative interpretation of measurements of human brain activity and physiology, the award citation said.

Following the example of his mentor Britton Chance, Boas is strengthening the community through fostering open discussions and sharing of tools, and by organizing educational workshops and conferences to bridge between biomedical optics and the clinical and health science fields.

Among Boas’ accomplishments, the Awards Committee also listed:

  • development and translation of one of the first commercial systems to image human brain activity with functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS)
  • invention of diffuse correlation spectroscopy to measure blood flow
  • obtaining the first multi-spectral optical images of cerebral hemoglobin changes to complement laser speckle contrast images of blood flow.

The Britton Chance Biomedical Optics Award is presented annually by SPIE in recognition of outstanding lifetime contributions to the field of biomedical optics through the development of innovative, high impact technologies. Boas will receive his award at SPIE Photonics West in February.

About SPIE

SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, an educational not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based science and technology. The Society serves nearly 264,000 constituents from approximately 166 countries, offering conferences and their published proceedings, continuing education, books, journals, and the SPIE Digital Library in support of interdisciplinary information exchange, professional networking, and patent precedent. SPIE provided more than $4 million in support of education and outreach programs in 2014. SPIE is a Founding Partner of the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies and a Founding Sponsor of the U.S. National Photonics Initiative. www.spie.org



Amy Nelson
Public Relations Manager
+1 360 685 5478

This entry was posted in Day (or maybe two) Trips, ROADS and ROUTES and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Marian says:

    Ray. I laughed so hard at you crawling on the ground and man was concerned. They could have called the guys in the white coats. Now we know you can talk yourself out of any situation. -:)

    A huge congratulations to David. Very impressive. You have a right to be so proud.

    Lots of apples there for the cider. I pealed a bunch the other day. They were too small.
    Never doing them again.


  2. Carol Crolle says:

    Meandering the highways and byways with you is always so much fun! Thanks for the “ride”. Congratulations on your son’s impressive award…the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree! Carol

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