So this is what happens when I get to the coffee shop with books to read and realize I left my reading glasses at home...I go for a ride and take photos (this happened a week ago as well).
One of the (many) things I love about Buffalo is that there are still somewhat wild places located within the city proper. And no, I am not talking about scary neighborhoods, but more of, well...urban wilderness. And all of this is within a half-hour bike ride from my front door.
Anyhow, after realizing I forgot my glasses, I thought I'd go seek out the SS Columbia, which arrived here last summer. Here's the beauty of the times in which we live. I googled it's location, and found it was docked at Marine A in Silo City (for those not from WNY, this is where most of our remaining grain elevators reside, some of them are in use and some are not). Seeing on the map that Marine A was not accessible (unless I wanted to scale a 10' fence and risk getting shot at, I thought I'd circumvent it and follow roads that hugged the Buffalo River from the other side, which went through the Old First Ward.
I took a few photos of the elevators from a different vantage point from which I am usually accustomed, and then I rounded a bend in the road and there was the ship...and she certainly is majestic.
I wanted to get a closer look so I continued on down the road and found an open gate. It was pretty creepy because of the uninviting sign (bottom picture). But I went in and knocked on the door to the building (there were trucks outside and smoke coming from a chimney). No answer. After a few more tries I rode past the building to the dock to take photos. I had a great view of the boat across the river, which are the resulting photos here. But the whole while I kept turning thinking the guard dogs would be released at any minute.
On my way back I stopped on the desolate road to tie the lace to my boot (the road is pictured below). A pickup truck passed me and slowed as he did. The only vehicles I encountered were pickup trucks or tractor trailers. The driver in the truck just sort of looked at me...like, "what is this middle-aged guy on a bike doing down here on a cold winter day."
Anyhow, it was a really great ride, probably 10 or 15 miles in all. And one of the things I enjoy the most are all the city animals. Tons of dear and rabbits, and in the past I've seen racoon, fox, skunk, and falcon. But I've still yet to see the elusive snowy owl. Maybe next time. As usual, click any photo for a larger view. For other posts on Silo City, click here.