Friday, February 12, 2021

The Waters of Turners Falls

 Not sure why I am drawn to this area. It would have been the last place I would want to be when I was younger. The polar opposite of a thriving, active city like Boston. But the wide main street, the brownstone buildings, the rushing waters of that ever-present Conneciicut River. Made me feel preconnected to the town 20 years ago.

I saw a few friends of mine play at a small club called The Rendezvous over the years. That place gave me hope for some kind of scene to develop, and it has. In years since, I have seen bands play at the Shea Theater, and even played there myself on one occasion. I played several gigs at The Voo, and have been a guests many times over the summer with my partner. 

Only a 15 minute drive away. I can show up and walk around to take pictures of the waters from the canal, and the old metal bridges that cross it.


Thursday, January 14, 2021

I Can See For Miles and Miles


I drive by this place so many times, I decided today would be the day I went for a hike. The view is amazing, and I have always driven to the summit. This time around, the access road is closed so you have to hike it. I had made a resolution to stay active, and start exercising more. Today was a decent day to start that.

I started on my way, and knew it would be a shot, but steep climb.

There wasn't much ice left, but there was lots of reddish mud. I got a bit of it on my clothes as I crawled up the side of the slippery slope.

All worth it for the view at the top. 

I'm going to try and keep doing this!


Friday, January 1, 2021

Water Under The Bridge

New Year's Day.
 A fresh start, and a farewell to a mostly awful old year. 

I woke up feeling restless and decided to take a drive along the Mohawk Trail. Past Shelburne Falls, Charlemont and up into the small town of Heath. 

I eventually hit the Vermont border, and decided to turn around and head back down Route 8A. I passed by a very pretty covered bridge and decided to get out of the car and explore it a bit.


I had never been on this road before and was totoally unaware of the existence of this quant covered bridge, Classic New England, I have always loved the smell of the old treated wood used to make these, and to walk through them to see the light peering in through the beams. 

I sometimes get inspired after such expereiences and hopefully this sparks something new for 2021.

This part of Massachusetts feels a lot like Southern Vermont, and the lines blur quite a bit. Hills and farms, small rivers and streams. Occasionally, you see historical schoolhouses, and an old mill. Many of the houses have fallen into disrepair and have been abandoned. Still, people come here for the peace and quiet, as well as the occasional pristine hillside views.

 It is old county, and I am always drawn to such sights, 

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Frost Advisory

 It turned chilly up in Northern Vermont during our brief visit. Waking up in Greensboro, it was in the 30s and time to checkout. The sun came out and it warmed up enough to go for a drive to Lake Willoughby. 

It may have warmed up to the mid '60s, and although there were no clouds in the sky, an odd haze existed. Turns out it was from the wildfires out West and they have drifted all the way over here.

You can see how there was still a glare in the picture I took below.

We took a drive down the east side of Lake Willoughby, with its amazing cliffs. 

Robert Frost wrote about this area when he stayed here, and the Willoughvale Inn has a year round cabin called The Frost Cabin. 

Guess that is where I am going next.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Wallace At Rest (Part Two)

Sign entering Barr Hill Snowshoe Trail. Right behind the Wallace Cabin. 

It started raining as soon as we checked into the cabin, and eventually got settled in. A General Store down the street had everything we needed, plus after stopping for gas in Danville, extra provisions were purchased in advance.

The next morning was brisk and cloudy, but perfect weather for a hike. Trails to Barr Hill were right behind the Cottage, so that was easy enough to follow.

Wallace wrote about life in Greensboro in a few of his books. "Crossing To Safety" and "Second Growth". I thought he might have been writing about Silver Lake in Barton in the latter novel, but indeed, it was all centered around Caspian Lake in Greenville. 

We continued our climb, not sure of what we would see. We encountered a few clearings and a giant open field. Finally, some mountain views emerged.

After Stegner's passing, his ashes were scattered at the top of Barr Hill overlooking Caspian Lake.

All of the adventures in Vermont have brought me to this moment, and much like my adventure to Saskatchewan had so much symbolism - it was where he started to evolve as a young boy, facing hardships and tragedy. But his soul rests here in Vermont. 

His works have since reached many new generations of enthusiasts, conservationists, poets, journalists, biographers... and a few musicians. "Big Rock Candy Mountain" was made popular in song long ago, but thru the movies, it came alive again in 2000. I was drawn into his life reading the book that referenced that song, and the pipe dream of a magic land out west.  

What is left for us out here in the east is a beautiful, green nature preserve for all to climb and discover. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Wallace At Rest (Part One)

  The "Wallace Cabin" at Highland Lodge, Greensboro, Vermont.

Several years ago, I discovered Greensboro, Vermont. I had already traveled to Saskatchewan, to stay in the childhood home of the author I so admired, and after finding out he spent half of his life up in Vermont made the story more interesting to add to.

I had stayed in one of the small white cabins pictured above (far left, hidden by trees) and thought it was nice and rustic. Great views and a fireplace. I attended the first Greensboro Writers Conference at the Lakeview Inn (and the following two after that) but then they stopped happening, and I still wanted to keep coming back. Two years went by, and I was doing a little more research on Stegner's Vermont roots. One of his books, called "Second Growth" was loosely based on events that took place in this sleepy summer resort town, tucked into the green hills of Caledonia County.

Set back behind the small white cabins, was a larger, year-round three bedroom cottage called the "Wallace Cabin". Three bedrooms is a lot when you only need one. And yet, the prices were nearly identical. The Wallace is set back further from the other cottages, but you see over them and the lake was in plain view. Solitude with a private driveway, no neighbors... and this framed picture on the wall, with a small description and story below it. 


The cries of Northern Loons were clearly heard at night as the rain continued to fall. I was going to suggest a canoe trip in the morning, but it looked like it would be too cold to do that on the second day of this wonderful adventure.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Over the Bridge of Names

   I found this place purely by chance over 10 years ago, and always wanted to return.