Showing posts from July, 2019

A Harnessed Hooksett Pool

As a railfan I'd often heard and seen the long dedicated coal trains that stoked the boilers of the 520 megawatt Merrimack Station electric generating plant in Bow, NH.  During the 1970s the Bow facility was the destination for many unit coal trains hauling bituminous product from mines in West Virginia.  Back then the trains consisted of about a hundred 100-ton cars and were pulled by 5 or 6 locomotives.  A very informative article Bituminous to Bow by H. Bentley Crouch appeared in the Boston and Maine Historical Society's  Fall 1977 Bulletin.  According to Crouch the facility was built by Public Service Company of New Hampshire in stages between 1957 and 1968.  The first stage was completed in late 1960.  "When Unit No. 1 first went on line coal was delivered as needed in carload lots.  Anywhere from two to three cars at a time to several dozen would show up at Bow for unloading.  This was certainly not the most desirable, reliable, efficient, nor the cheapest method

One Cape, Two Challenges

How sweet the month of July has been for this paddler.  Cape Ann (in the northeast corner of Massachusetts) provided human-powered boaters/boarders not one, but two challenges to participate in on the same weekend.  The Cape Ann Rowing Club's  Blackburn Challenge was held in Gloucester on Saturday the 13th and the Misery Challenge was on Sunday the 14th.  Both events provided participants ideal Cape Ann conditions. During the Blackburn I'd paddled about 8 miles when I heard the theme song from the movie "Rocky" blaring from a shore-side house near Andrews Point..."feeling strong now, won't be long now, getting strong now...".  Don't know about others but I enjoyed hearing fact I couldn't get it out of my head for the next 10 miles or so.   Humming the song along with some helpful currents propelled me across the long and seemingly endless stretch between Thachers Island and Eastern Point.  For me, this is the point in the event wher