I love the smell of cow manure and hay, I love being able to see the stars at night, bonfires and beers in a corn field, and sometimes I just love being hours from the city. The air is a million times fresher, it’s quiet, a slower pace, and people are actually friendly.
Yesterday afternoon, I left my Boston office at 2:00 thanks to our holiday closing, and I headed straight to my favorite Friday place, the Copley Farmers Market. Sadly, maybe due to the hurricane brouhaha, the market was missing my favorites, Siena Farms and The Herb Lyceum, where I planned to get lunch for our journey west. Instead I grabbed some fresh raspberries and apple cider and headed for the train that would deliver me to my husband a bit further west.
Being a UMASS grad, I have some great memories of the western part of the state, and our hunger and those memories convinced us to stop in Northampton at the Northampton Brewery for a quick dinner on our way to the Berkshires.
The brewery makes great beers, and since I wasn’t driving, I enjoyed one of their Conundrum beers, a lovely dark, malty brew that tasted delicious on a humid Friday after another not-so-great week at work.
We shared small plate of nachos with salsa and tons of jalapenos.
And we both picked at an avocado and cajun shrimp Caesar salad and a plate of chicken tenders with lots of yummy house made sauces. The orange one is an apricot jam honey mustard, and it was amazing.
Once we had eaten, we hit the road again to make the rest of the journey. Windows open, James Taylor blasting, I could totally feel the tension of city life and the past summer melt away. The views were breathtaking.
Since we were running late, we decided to head straight to the bride’s parents’ house which is a farm waaaay out in the country. Unfortunately, we trusted the GPS.
And we got very, very lost in the middle of a mountain pass in dark on a road that turned to dirt, then to gravel, then to a hiking trail. Ever the blogger, I was trying to snap shots of our adventure when my husband politely asked me to help him reverse down the road about a mile. . . flanked by ravines on either side and pitch black, it was impossible to turn the car around without falling off the side.
Eventually, after dodging the Blair Witch, we made our way back to the main road, found our hotel, regrouped and finally made it to the farm, where cold beers and a bonfire in the cornfield awaited us. As we spent the night laughing and breathing in the beautiful farm smells, I literally felt my shoulders drop about 4 inches. Sheer bliss, and exhaustion ensued.
After a good night’s sleep we wandered the small town of North Adams and found Petrino’s a cafe focused on local food. An iced coffee and a scrumptious goat cheese, local egg, spinach, mushroom, and hot sauce burrito later, we were on the road to Mt. Greylock for a morning hike.
Oh yes, we hiked. The trails were densely forested, and terror of encountering a bear crippled me, but we forged on, sometimes walking in the woods. . .
Sometimes stopping to enjoy the beautiful views. . .
And sometimes making our way to the main road and running up big hills. That’s me! At the summit, we found a unique and beautiful memorial to MA veterans.
And I did a little downward dog.
We explored the inside of the beautifully rustic Bascom Lodge and climbed to the top of the memorial.
The hike down was, as always much easier! We ran part of it and made it back to the car in no time, then headed to Shelburne Falls for lunch and to check out the glacial potholes where my college roomies and I went swimming one hot summer.
And then it was back to the farm and then the hotel to prep for night before the wedding fun.
I am delightfully sleepy and might just take a nap before dinner. I love long weekends.