Friday, April 22, 2011

Westport, Ma. Turnip Country Or Investment Shelter.

 As always, click photo for big.  Click again for bigger. 

Distance       16.0 Miles
Saddle Time. 1:28
Max speed      37.7 MPH
Ave speed       10.8 MPH

Westport is a route that is kind of on the back burner.  It takes quite a while to drive to the central spot where the car can be left without worrying about it.  It's the old Village Bike Shop property.  Normally the ride is in excess of 20 miles but things conspired to keep the mileage low.  Road construction, time, wind.... all the usual stuff.

Without fail, I take a wrong turn somewhere on this route.  It happened again today and it was a real bummer.

 When I looked over at the signs, I noticed how all the related things naturally fall into place.

This route offers quite a few small but pre-season annoying challenges.  Only one was painful, but that one always is because it's at the end of the ride.  Not unlike Heartbreak Hill in the Boston Marathon.  I'm sure all the guys in the pickup trucks get a  chuckle watching bikers struggle up the hill at Hix Bridge Road.

This area of Westport remains very much like it was two hundred years ago.  It's upgraded, as much as farm country can be, but there is still lots of evidence of the history of the town.  It's most famous for turnips.  So much so that the locals call themselves turnups.   There is also very old money in town.  Big city money which attracts big city families.   Those are know as skukes, a bird that comes around during the summer, but flocks in the off season.  It's ironic that most skuke families have been a part of Westport years before the turnups started arriving.

Legend of the Turnips

Turnip farm on Main Rd. Westport, MA.

If you take a wrong turn you could end up here. 

The land near the ocean and river was gobbled up by the skukes many, many years ago.  Most have long private roads leading to their places. But the really old places, those from the 1700's sit at the end of main street near the ocean and Westport Harbor.

Private road leading to Westport River

 Probably not a Turnip farmers house.

Waterfront property is much more valuable than farm land.

There are two distinct cultures in Westport Ma.   Those who claim the right to farm, and those who claim the right to shelter their wealth.  Both manage to live side by side relatively peacefully.  Kind of.

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