Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Nostalgic Drive To Mount Greylock

On a hot, hot, hot Sunday afternoon I decided to leave the dogs at home because I feared that Seamus couldn't handle the heat and humidity if we hiked. And, to be honest, I didn't much want to be climbing uphill in such weather either. So I decided to drive, without dogs, to Mount Greylock in western Massachusetts. I used to live and work in the area, so this would be a nostalgic tour for me. But as I crossed the state line I saw, for the first time in my life, a giant windmill situated atop a green hill:

A bit further along, I spotted another hill with many of these windmills (click to enlarge):

As I got closer, I decided that there must be about 10 of them on top of Brodie Mountain. Apparently, the Brodie Mountain Ski Area is supplementing its income by hosting a wind farm. Jiminy Peak was still open though I never saw the Brodie Mountain signs. I couldn't decide if the windmills were a horrific blight on the natural landscape or kind of pretty in their own way - perhaps a bit of both:

I used to drive over Brodie Mountain on my way to work in Pittsfield, Massachusetts every morning for many years. Shortly after I moved to the area, perhaps 35 years ago, I got the job in Pittsfield and stayed in New Ashford, Massachusetts at a tiny motel consisting of a row of cabins while I searched for a house. The cabins were right behind this white shop which, at the time, was a Bible Book Store. A very sweet older lady ran it and lived in the house on the left with her husband. I stayed there for many weeks and she became a sort of surrogate mother to me. I was filled with emotion to view the old place, now abandoned and with the cabins now long gone. I'd kept in touch with this woman for many years, but of course now she is gone and her place is for sale:

I had some difficulty finding the road which would lead me up to Mount Greylock, but once I'd found it I began winding my way up, up, up. I caught glimpses of the surrounding Berkshire Mountains every so often as the road skirted the edge of the mountain. And what was that interesting purple wildflower? I've searched my field guide and decided it was Blue Vervain, Camassia scilloides:

The scenery was, of course, beautiful and it brought back a flood of memories from when I used to drive up here frequently:

I pulled off the road at a scenic overlook and had a nice talk with this handsome and friendly biker. He too had been driving up Mount Greylock for many decades and he too associated it with many powerful memories:

My little red car performed marvelously as it climbed higher and higher. I stopped every now and then for a nice view. I was almost to the summit, but I'll post more about that tomorrow:

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