Having passed the “Fruitland” exit I continued along RT 2 heading west. There are a number of bridges along this route and a couple of them are really pretty. The first one I came upon that bears mentioning is the French King Bridge which crosses the Connecticut River. There is something about the clean lines of this bridge that just really appeals to me. I think I read somewhere that it is a 3 span “cantilever” bridge but I just think it’s nice. Apparently people who know bridges agreed with me because way back in 1932 this bridge was awarded “Most beautiful Steel Bridge” by the American Institute of Steel Construction.
I actually stopped and parked the car so I could walk out on the bridge to see the river passing under it.
Back on the road I pulled into the little town of Gill. As I passed the town line sign I spotted some goats in a pen by the side of the road. There were a lot of picnic tables around so I wondered if this was a makeshift petting zoo or something. I pulled into the first gas station I came to so I could top off the tank and then turn around to backtrack.
The little pen was set up next to the Wagon Wheel restaurant.
They were the cutest little family. I pulled into the parking lot and grabbed the camera. I dropped to my knees next to the pen trying to get some nice close up shots of the kids. They are such teases. They’d look at me and just as I got the camera focused they’d bounce away. While I was so engrossed a heard a man’s voice right behind me ask me “You want to buy a goat?”
Turns out the young man was the owner of this little family and the small produce stand that was offering vegetables, flowers, maple syrup and manure ( for fertilizer) for sale.
After getting a good chuckle I asked him seriously why he brought the goats. He said he would sell them but also people stopped to see them and that gave them a chance to see his farm stand. I guess it works. It got me to stop! 🙂
I began to chat with him and a couple of young ladies that were there as well. It turns out that he runs a farm called Lally Laggy Farm. The actual farm is located in Lydon and is farmed the old-fashioned way, with draft horses. Molly and Maggie are American Creme Draft horses and are very rare. There are fewer than 400 alive today. He is working 186 acres that he leases. He raises some grass-fed beef cattle as well as his goats. He said the farm has a Facebook page so I have to check it out. From the brief visit we had it sounds like he is really trying to make a go of this farm. He said he has hay and firewood as well as seasonal vegetables and flowers for sale. Before I left him we agreed that I can make arrangements to go out to the farm to really see what he’s doing with it. I can’t wait for that visit!
Since it was about lunch time I figured I’d try out the Wagon Wheel Restaurant since I was parked in their lot. I think their slogan was “roadside food the way it should be” or something like that. I liked the sound of it.
There’s seating inside or at the picnic tables outside. I ordered from the window for outside seating. When my number was called I picked up my sandwich and fries and retired to a picnic table to enjoy my meal. They have a drive-in menu reminiscent of older days: grilled burgers, hotdogs, salads, fresh fish, homemade soup and homemade ice cream plus soft serve ice cream….yum!
Lunch over I chatted with my new friends of Lally Laggy Farm for a few more minutes and then headed off to my next stop; the little town of Turner Falls.