Friday dawned clear and bright, a warm spring day…finally! Clearly this was going to be one of the best days we’d seen this spring even if it was Friday the 13th. I just knew it was going to be a good day! The packing was done, the car was loaded, just one more chore and I would be on my way.
I turned the car northward on RT 140 to pick up RT 495. I hadn’t gone far when I spied a vintage auto on the side of the road. It wasn’t as pristine as the one I saw in New Bedford but not everything (or everyone for that matter) ages well. The car had a For Sale sign on the window. What a great opportunity for someone with a hobby of restoring antique cars.
After grabbing a couple of snapshots I moved on marveling at what a beautiful day it was after a week of gray clouds and rain. It really lifted my spirits. I think sunshine can do that to you and spotting that car, well, I just felt it was an omen for more wonderful discoveries to come.
It wasn’t long before I saw the on ramp for RT 495, a typical “super highway”. Now I’m not saying super highways can’t be beautiful but I was anxious to get beyond this leg of my journey because today my destination was the Mohawk Trail.
The Mohawk Trail started life as a Native American Trade route connecting the tribes of Massachusetts with those of upstate New York and beyond. The Trail followed the Millers River and the Deerfield River as it crossed the Hoosac range. Today the Mohawk Trail is part of Massachusetts RT 2 which was created as one of the United States first Scenic Highways. It follows much of the original trail from Orange, MA (known for its jump school for parachutists) to Williamstown, Ma (home to Williams College and Clark Art Institute). That’s about 65 miles of scenic highway through the Berkshire Mountains. Around the western portion of the roads you pass through Mohawk Trail State Forest which is known for Bobcat and Black Bear sightings.
Years ago when I first moved from New York to Massachusetts I would often take this route home as a change of pace from the Super Highway…US 90 otherwise known as the “Mass Pike”. It might be a little longer but there were no tolls and it was far more fun.
I was anxious to see what changes if any had been made to the area in the ensuing years.
My exit for Rt 2 came up quicker than I expected. I was picking it up in the middle of the state so I had the choice of RT 2 east or West. To the east is Walden Pond, home of Henry David Thoreau and the towns of Lexington and Concord, renowned for their part in the Revolutionary War. But my destination was to the west. I was on my way to visit my sister in New York and a pleasant, scenic drive was the way I wanted to travel. So now that I’ve made it this far, let’s get this adventure on the road!