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Monday, November 20, 2017

Williams College Division III Hockey


Williams College Ephs
We drove over the Petersburgh Pass yesterday to watch the Williams College Ephs (2-0) defeat the Colby College Mules (1-1) in men's Division III hockey. Great game and experience: 1) Good hockey, 2) No admission, 3) Non-commercial, 4) Cool retro uniforms, 5) Always fun to go to Williamstown. They made me a fan.
What are the "Ephs" (pronounced "Eefs")? Named after Ephraim Williams, "whose will and determination led to the founding of the college."
Last week, we went to the college and saw Blue Heron, a Boston-based professional vocal ensemble, perform 15th-century English and Franco-Flemish polyphony to a well-attended, 3/4 full Chapin Hall auditorium. Yesterday's hockey game at the Lansing Chapman Rink, as you can see from the photos, was sparsely attended. The College hosts many interesting events open to the community. I've bookmarked the Events page and now check it daily.


Click here to access the Williams College Events Webpage.
Click here to access the Williams College Men's Hockey Webpage.
Click here to access the Williams College Women's Hockey Webpage

Elphs vs Mules at Lansing Chapman Rink
Video Clip: Williams College Ephs vs Colby College Mules

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Merck Forest & Farmland Center


Several days ago, we drove 50 miles northeast to Merck Forest and Farmland Center in Rupert, Vermont. Merck is a non-profit organizaton encompassing 3,162 acres with 30+ miles of trails. A beautiful farm and forest on an A+ Fall day. We drove up New York's eastern border via Route 22 and returned via Vermont's western border through Dorset (really cool village!) and Manchester (home of Northshire Books, the best independent bookstore!) then down scenic Route 7A through Arlington and past the Robert Frost Stone House in Shaftsbury, Vermont.

Click here for a map of the trails.

Click here for a description of the trails.







Pixie in a tree

Stunning vistas


Those are American Chesnut seedlings -- bringing a threatened American treasure back from the brink.



See also
Berlin Mountain Hike
Fitch Trail Hike
Grafton Lakes State Park Hiking Trails
Grafton Lakes State Park Trails


Saturday, October 14, 2017

Ashuwillticook Rail Trail



Earlier this year, I posted (click here) about the Ashuwilliticook Rail Trail, an 11.2 mile, 10-foot wide beautifully paved bike trail that runs from Adams, Massachusetts to Lanesborough, Massachusetts. At that time, we had taken the trail from the norther tip in Adams down to Cheshire. Yesterday, we returned and rode from the southern tip in Lanesborough up to Cheshire. This is a beautiful bike trail, and I strongly recommend it.

Directions to the parking areas

Southern tip (Lanesborough): To reach the Berkshire Mall trailhead, take the Massachusetts Turnpike/Interstate 90 to Exit 2 in Lee, then follow US 20 west to US 7 north for 11 miles to downtown Pittsfield. From the Park Square rotary, follow East Street/Merrill Road for 3.25 miles to the intersection of State Routes 9 and 8. Continue straight through the intersection on SR 8 north for 1.5 miles to the Lanesborough–Pittsfield line. Turn left at the light for rail-trail parking at the Berkshire Mall.

Northeren tip (Adams): To reach the northern trailhead from North Adams, take SR 2 to SR 8 south for 5.5 miles to Adams. Follow the brown Ashuwillticook Rail-Trail signs. Take a left on Hoosac Street then an immediate right on Depot Street. Park at the Discover the Berkshires Visitor Center on the left. The trailhead is behind the visitor center.




Cheshire Reservoir





Thursday, October 12, 2017

Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site


Coolidge Homestead Visitor's Center
Last week, we visited the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site in Plymouth Notch, Vermont. Coolidge, the 30th President, didn't knock the socks off the Presidency, but he was a good, humble man who never betrayed his rural Vermont roots. The site is less than a two-hour drive northeast of the Plateau.

Wilder Horse Barn
Plymouth Notch, Vermont, is the birthplace and boyhood home of Calvin Coolidge. 

Inside the barn -- lots of interesting farm implements.

Always remember, to enlarge photos on this blog, simply click  on them.

Post Office and Country Store
The village is virtually unchanged since the early 20th century.

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I learned somethere here: snow was rolled and compacted, not plowed, back then.


Wilder House, now a cafe.

Coolidge Homestead

Union Christian Church


The flag marks Cal's pew.

Coolidge's father started this cheeese company here. They still make cheese her and are open for business.

Birthplace of our Nation's 30th President


No, that's not Donald Trump -- it's the 30th President, Calvin Coolidge.


Coolidge loved Vermont.


Silent Cal's simple, yet elegant, gravestone in Plymouth Notch. We could use some of his humbleness and restraint in the Office of the Presidency today.



We then took a scenic 20-minute drive to Woodstock, Vermont. Like all of Vermont, take your pick of wonderful inns and Bed and Breakfasts.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Hildene

Hildene - the front of the house.
We took the one hour drive north to Manchester on a beautiful afternoon to visit Hildene, the Georgian revival 24-room summer home of Abe's son, Robert Lincoln. While stately, I didn't find the house all that liveable. I felt just the opposite about Naumkeag, the Choate house in Stockbridge we had visited several days before. Yet, the grounds -- all 412 acres -- of Hildene are the most beautiful of any home like this I've ever seen, with mountains to the east and west and spectacular landscaping. It's certainly a visit worth taking.

The Library at Hildene -- always my favorite room.
Every Renaissance Man has their own observatory.


The Pullman car exhibit. In addition to serving as Secretary of War under two Presidents, Robert Lincoln served as President of the Pullman Corporation -- the largest manufacturing company in the country at the time.

Hildene - the back of the house.
Robert Lincoln died at the home in 1926 and his granddaughter Peggy was the last family member to live there up to 1975.