Exploring Western Mass, all on me onesie

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Friday, 10-May-13 through Saturday, 11-May-13

Friday, 10-May-13

  • Start the weekend out slowly… no rush leaving work, and no rush packing the car.  I grab dinner at home before making the final sweep to make sure I didn’t forget anything, and then jump in the car, pointing the nose toward the West.
  • A long drive… and actually a cold one at that.  Before the chill gets to me though, the rains hit and I have to pull over to put the top up.
  • I arrive at Beartown park late… maybe 10:30 or 11:00.  Exploring leads me to a near-perfect campsite – close to the main road, but far enough from other people that I don’t really need to worry about being loud.
  • I learn that I do need to worry about the height of my car though… and that it IS possible to get the Mustang stuck on a rock.  I leave it where it is for the morning, since I can’t really see anything.
  • Set up camp, start a wee fire, and relax ‘till sleep takes me.

Saturday, 11-May-13

  • I start the morning off right – actually waking up at a sane time, and going for a nice hike around the lake which gives the park its name.  It’s nice… kind of a boring trail, but relaxing.  I wish I could start more mornings like this!
  • I meet an interesting group, taking a pair of German Shepherds for a walk.  The dogs seem friendly enough, but the family is terrified of me getting near them – they leash the dogs and run back 20+ feet off the trail when I pass them.  Sure, why not?
  • When I get back to camp I shoot the breeze with the ranger for a bit – talking about places that I could find climbing, what times of the year are unbearable due to the blackflies, etc…
  • Move on into town to find some climbing!
    • Great Barrington holds some possibilities, a few good routes off a road aptly named “Quarry Road”.
    • The main climbs are kind of boring, but there’re a ton of good cracks that could use some exploring and wire brushes… I think I’ll come back!
    • Next I move on a town called Westfield… I think.  It’s right off the highway, and you can see some huge slabs from I-90.  I drive into town and follow my eyes and gut, finally finding myself at an old abandoned power station at the base of the rocks.
    • They look good, really good.  But the area is… sketchy, at best.  A lot of decrepit houses and cars, with a good number of folks who look as if they’d like nothing more than to release me from my mortal coil.  So I move on, without stopping to explore.

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