Berkshires, 2015

Tom and I did a short get away to the Berkshires to do some hiking and visit the MassMoCA.

Friday August 7, 2015

Tom picked me up at around 7 and we drove out along route 2 to western Mass. The sunset was gorgeous, very colourful with the clouds catching the changing light. We made it to Greenfield at around 9pm and stopped at The People's Pint for some food. I loved the bike themed decor and 20's music. The flourless chocolate cake was good though there were some unadvertised nuts and the blueberry sauce didn't taste much of blueberries. There was a baby in the booth behind me, quiet but interested in the moving people faces. There was a bit of a mix up in our ciders, I'd ordered the driest and Tom the sweetest, we ended up each drinking half of each. From there it was a quick drive to the Red Roof Inn for the night. We'd just missed the pool's opening hours though. It ended up being a good economy choice that split up the driving. The air conditioning was also very enthusiastic, I ended up putting on a sweater to sleep.

Saturday August 8, 2015

We were up early enough in the morning to catch some time in the pool before checkout (which was noon rather than the 11 we'd thought). A mother and son were splashing around, the son floating in a ring and enjoying being towed around. I did a few laps but mostly just lazed about. The open shower next to the pool was a bit odd, but would have been fine if it didn't take so long to warm up. The pool was a nice size too and a good temperature - the room around it was big enough and had enough windows to allow trees to grow inside as well.

We checked out and went back into downtown Greenfield to The Brass Buckle for breakfast. There was a guy sitting at the counter who seemed to keep staring, but sitting so I didn't see him out of my peripheral vision was fine - I think he was just squinting out the restaurant windows past me, though I was dressed casual-goth and was a bit of an inkblot on the casual vibe of the place. :-) The decorations were neat, wild west mixed with space opera. I had huevos rancheros and tea, both were good, though there was a bit of a wait. We popped in to Greenfield Games a couple of doors down to browse for a bit. I was tempted by a gorgeous world map puzzle with 3000 pieces, but it was $70. Puzzles have become complicated and expensive since I did them a lot!

On the drive to North Adams, we stopped in Shelburne Falls so that I could see the Bridge of Flowers and the glacial potholes by the dam. The flowers were amazing, so many showy ones, some with blooms bigger than Tom's hand. The potholes reminded me of the river in Maine where we could walk out onto the rocks. The town had hosted a road race that morning, so there were lots of runners strolling about. I popped into a cute gift shop by the river and ended up with two small prints and a card, as well as some hand made soap.

Next up was Mass MoCA. I had been convinced to stop in due to the Bibliothecaphilia exhibit, that was close to the entrance and our second stop after the basement restrooms. I'm counting that as the first stop since I was enthralled by the industrial design of the rest room and was taking some pictures before I noticed a postcard series about gallery and museum bathrooms posted right out side. :-) The book based exhibit didn't have many pieces, the exploding book with pages from a palm reading text was the most dramatic, the fully highlighted blank pages were interesting, but the bulk of it was made up of bookshelves of second hand books that had bookmarks in them noting places were others had annotated them. There were too many books to feel like I got a sense of what would be most interesting, I checked and moved on. Sol LeWitt's murals took up most of the museum, with three floors showcasing his early, middle and late work. I liked the minimalist black, white, grey and blue ones best, some of the super colourful ones were just overwhelming and made me squint. :-) Made me think about ink block prints, his works were mostly just descriptions of shapes and colours and were painted new on the walls of the galleries by others. The scribble ones were neat as well. The Octogonal Room by Dion was reminsiscent of the packed study that you were allowed to explore at the Hendrick's event I attended at the Cyclorama, or Sleep No More. The thing that caught my eye the most though was the shelf of bottles of ashes, generated by his burning his papers.

We were pretty effiecient going through the museum, spending around an hour there, but I was getting hungry again. We went over to Plubic eat + drink for a late lunch. Their cocktail list was too tempting, I got the Gin Christopher since it had some soda to water it down, it was perfect. I did the combo plate of a chicken taco with the Public salad, both were delicious. There were quite a few cyclists eating there as well, I could watch them heading out to continue their rides from my seat near the window.

Another short drive and we were pulling into Clarksburg State Park. The ranger waived the day use fee for us, maybe because we didn't look like we'd be doing much hiking, but we used the new bathhouse by the pond to change into adventure ready clothes as soon as we pulled into a parking space. :-) The Pond Loop trail was as advertised, circumnavigating Mausert's Pond with minor elevation changes, and lots of different bog and stream crossing bridges. It was pretty with some fern carpets and a mix of pine and deciduous trees. It was about three miles around to the camping area, then another half mile or so to get back to the car from there, with bit of it along a much less well maintained Shoreline Trail. It took us about an hour and a half to complete it, it was nice to hike without a heavy pack on.

I'd wanted to catch a birthday/summer party that evening, so we headed back to Boston after cleaning up a little bit. I ended up eating my trail snacks in the car and skipping supper.

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