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New and traditional ways of exploring the globe, and your own backyard.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Quasi-Leaf Peeping Random Road Trip

It was a lazy Sunday afternoon. The weather was beautiful – a perfect fall day with crisp temperatures but blue, sunny skies. And my boyfriend and I were brainstorming things to do.
The original thought was the traditional date of going apple picking. I don’t know why but unlike many of my friends this has never appealed to me as much as you’d think it would. I love apples. I love apple products. I love eating apples and apple products. But I don’t really have an interest in picking my own.
Not sure why, actually, because I do have fond memories of my parents taking me to local orchards and farms, like Gould. But, actually, my fonder memories are of eating the purchased cookies (my favorite were peanut butter) and drinking the warm or cold apple cider.
It was about 4 p.m., with only a few hours of sunlight left, and we still had not quite decided what we would do. So, my boyfriend make the executive decision of a road trip. We started with the intent of going directly to Vermont, but then I thought that visiting a fire tower in Grafton would be a fun experience this time of year too with the colored leaves.
So, I turned off Hoosick Street and headed toward the Grafton Lakes State Park. Beyond there, on Babcock Lake Road, is a side road called Fire Tower Road. As my boyfriend pointed out: “Hm, I wonder what’s down here.”
We drove past many nice, secluded and rustic homes into an area that I’m not even sure has power lines. On the left, there is another side road that I would not suggest a regular car drive up. On a prior trip, I tried with my old Honda. Um, not the best idea. At least I knew better this time around and parked at the base of the rocky, steep hill.
We walked up and then walked up the fire tower. And it was magnificent. You could see the whole county, and even a little beyond. There’s views of the Taconics, the Green Mountains, the Catskills, the foothills of the Adirondacks, and you can even see the Bennington Monument.
While the fire tower is in good shape, considering I’ve been told it’s from the 1940s, it’s still a little scary. So, we did not linger on top.
Once back to my Nissan, we followed Route 2 up the Petersburgh Pass into Massachusetts where there was an excellent view of the foliage and mountains. Into the Berkshire area we went, passing towns like North Adams and Williamstown.
I’d been as far as North Adams before, so after that we winged it. I saw a sign for Vermont and turned left to follow. Soon, we could see some of the Green Mountains and were driving through its foothills.
My rant in the last blog about Vermont being a must-miss location must have bothered me to the extent where I wanted to go there to remind myself of its awesomeness.
For a complete circle, we took another left eventually to head toward Bennington, where we had dinner at the Madison Brewery. I’m looking forward to eating my leftovers from there tonight.
I guess this trip just reminded me of how much I love this area. Where else can you go through three different states, see at least four different mountain ranges, admire the golden hues of sunset on a myriad of fall trees, and, at the end of the day, enjoy a beer called Sucker Pond Blonde?


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