The Bay State’s Sparkling Southwest


July 3, 2019, Great Barrington-

In all the years I lived in the Bay State, even when I was in attendance at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, there were areas to which I never quite made it for a visit.  One is the region of the Berkshire Hills that lies south of the Massachusetts Turnpike.

This morning, as I drove from Poughkeepsie, through Connecticut’s Taconic Hills and into the state of my birth, the opportunity to spend a bit of time in the southern Berkshires, entering at Sheffield and stopping for lunch at Egremont Market/Mom’s Cafe.


I enjoyed half of my sandwich at a picnic table, outside by Hubbard Brook, which is hidden by a lush forest.  The New England and Mid-Atlantic states have a fabulous forest cover, surprising to some-given the density of population between Boston and Richmond, or Charlotte, for that matter.  I never once, growing up in the Boston area, felt at a loss, when I needed a forest break.


As I was finishing my meal, a man who was through-hiking a section of the Appalachian Trail, that he had previously missed, sat briefly at the next table. As we conversed, he mentioned needing a ride to the Post Office in Great Barrington, the largest town in the southern Berkshires, so as to pick up his mail from General Delivery. Samuel seemed a pleasant sort, hailing from Houston, so I agreed to take him up to GB.

His tips could be useful, should I ever follow the long-distance hiking option, one of three post-retirement routes I’m considering.  Certainly, a series of General Delivery boxes eliminates a major impediment to such travel.

After dropping Samuel off near the Post Office, I took a few minutes to pick up a replacement for an implement that had broken, earlier this journey, and took a few photos of Great Barrington’s downtown.

Here is St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church.  Up the street, in the background, is First Congregational Church.


First Congregational is better seen below.


There is much that would lend itself to a longer stay in the southern Berkshires, but for now, I must head to the town of my childhood and youth.  Besides, it’s hot and my passenger side window is not working right.

NEXT:  Reflections on A Holiday Weekend, “Back Home”