Western Massachusetts

Wow - what a weekend! I took a tour of Northwestern Massachusetts, and headed "out west" with some friends to go hiking and camping. I learned more about the geography of Massachusetts on this trip, heading west on the Mass Pike, and north on I-91, passing Northampton and Amherst, and just north of Deerfield (the first town burned in the King Philip's War - remember?!), headed west on Route 2, which runs east-west from the New York border into downtown Boston, where it becomes Commonwealth Avenue eventually.

Our first stop was North Adams, where we went to Mount Greylock, the tallest mountain in Massachusetts, placed right in the northwestern corner of the state. There are many trails to the summit, and we took Thunderbolt Trail, which is one of the steepest to the top. We were running a little late, so we couldn't take the longer, less steep, and more leisurely route. It was a great workout and an absoultely gorgeous hike. The views were just spectacular from both the trail and the summit. I got a little poison ivy on the way to the top, so note to self: always wear long pants while hiking on trails, even if you are hot!

At the summit, we took a few pictures, including this picture, which is a view of downtown North Adams, Massachusetts at the bottom, and the Green Mountains of Vermont on the left in the distance, and the White Mountains of New Hampshire in the distance on the right. At the top is a watch tower, where they take measurements and scientific readings, but it was all closed for renovation. Needless to say, I was pretty bummed, because it meant I could not visit a museum.

We climbed down the other side of the moutnain, via The Appalachian Trail (which almost seemed tougher - going downhill is terror on the knees!), and set up camp at Clarksburg State Park just down the road, where we had a campfire, roasted our hot dogs and s'mores, and I slept in my new REI Half-Dome tent - it was just great. I did a lot of research for my tent, and invested in this one, which is three-season, durable, and can withstand the wind and rain (but not snow...). It was a low of 35 degrees (yes, 35 degrees - in August! Yikes!), so it was a bit chilly, but beautiful outside.

The next day, we headed to scenic Williamstown, Massachusetts, which has a cute little downtown area, for coffee and breakfast, and we strolled around the small shops and visited Williams College. My friend Adrienne is an alumna of Williams College. Now she is in law school at Northeastern, but if you work hard, you too could attend Williams College! It was a beautiful ride back heading east on Route 2, south on I-91, and east on the Mass Pike. I don't remember much, because I slept the entire way!

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