Berkshires

What? You wish there were more photos of me standing in front of autumn foliage and waterfalls? Well, ok. If you really like it that much, I am willing to oblige.

The destination this time around was the Berkshires. We are on a plan, here. Our weekend outings are following the foliage as it peaks farther and farther south. My job is to stand in front of it, and Yen’s is to document it beautifully.

We actually didn’t plan this weekend. A couple of months ago, Yen booked a place for this weekend somewhere out here – Great Barrington maybe? I don’t know. The way this works is my bag is always packed and I am delighted to move. He is the planner, and I am the enjoyer. I am also DJ, unscrewer of water bottles, and the one who presses the “menu” button on the GPS to enter the next destination. I also sing songs sometimes.

But after seeing the leaves in NH last weekend, we thought maybe we were heading to the Berkshires prematurely and let the reservation go. Then reports began to come in that the time was right after all. We woke up Saturday morning and decided to just got for it and – through the beauty of smartphones – knew we’d be able to find a place to stay wherever we landed.

Can you tell how much I’m loving all this adventure?

I think you might know that I lived in western MA for three years. And if you know that, you also know my tendency to get in the car and just drive. So knowing those two things, it should surprise you that this was actually my first visit to Mt Greylock, the tallest mountain in Massachusetts.

The summit is drivable, which means it wasn’t a good match for our usual practice of climbing to the top, rewarded for our efforts with a view. No, this view came with sidewalks, signs, and tourists taking phone calls (“Hello, yes? No, I’m on a mountain. Yeah. Can I call you when I’m done? Ok.”) So the view was fine and all, but it’s not the same as crashing through the forest, earning what you see. We knew we needed a waterfall after this, and I spotted a path to one on the way back down.

So, but here’s the problem. Just as we neared it, we heard the thumping of running footsteps and 20 RPI students came crashing in after us. They descended on the falls, and two of them began removing clothes, after which half of them started to scale the falls. You can see one of them behind me.

I don’t know whether I told you how cold it was.

I perched on a rock and Yen climbed up to get the shots he wanted. I hoped and prayed that none of them would fall to their death and I would have to wait around and be a witness for the police. Then I started to think maybe they would kill us in some kind of bizarre proto-engineer ritual. Before I got too far down that path of terror, Yen finished up and we headed back.

Next morning, we took a meandering route toward the south, stopping wherever we felt the need.

That included the Taconic Path, which apparently one can follow through MA, into NY and finally VT. Instead of doing all of that (I really, really need a restroom), we flagged down a local and she gave directions to a nice little clearing with excellent views.

I kept pointing out trees with striking white trunks until the photographer finally obliged and captured a few for me. Nice guy. Tolerant.

Finally we moved on, found me a (surprisingly clean) restroom, and headed toward yet another waterfall. Naturally we stopped off a few places en route.

We didn’t just take photos at these places, we also collected discarded bottles so we could dispose of them correctly. That just enrages me.

When we arrived at Tannery Falls, we found a little path leading to a giant, rusty pipe. Luckily a group smarter than us arrived and showed us an alternative to scaling the pipe, and we discovered a terrific falls.

The path leads you down along next to it, and whole scene is positively elven (not elfish; read your Tolkien!).

Caution! Adorable!

On the way back, we went through Great Barrington and historic Lenox (and Tanglewood, which I’d never seen). Yen knew of a little road that leads to a ledge overlooking the Stockbridge Bowl (Monty Python never played there; you’re confused).

There were DINKs taking photos of their dogs next to us, so I decided to be EXTRA cute in this picture.

Then, at last, we headed home. On the way, we stopped at Minado, which is indeed the ultimate sushi buffet. Considering we hadn’t eaten anything all day except nuts and apples, I think we were allowed. But my god, I’ve never seen so many crab legs in my life.

Next weekend? Not sure yet. But I promise I will be smiling in the photos.