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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default NW MA loop - long post!

    Since yesterday was my significant other's birthday, we decided the best way to spend it would be to take a local road trip. The weather was very nice for late March - the sun was out - so time to go!

    We started out on MA 9 and headed west until MA 47, where we headed north and into Greenfield on MA 2A. In Greenfield, we had breakfast at an Irish pub called Taylor's, on the North side of Main St. The food was really good and the price was reasonable, along with that was a really nice atmosphere.

    Afterwards, we walked up and down Main Street, a classic American Main St. with various different store fronts that you can actually window shop in. Looking around further, we came across the Greenfield Energy Park, which showcases solar energy and alternative building methods. The park itself is small, but given that Greenfield has seen better days, it was a nice sign.

    We left Greenfield for South Deerfield, to visit Magic Wings butterfly conservatory, which showcases many different species of butterfly from all over the world. Outside of the greenhouse area are displays of Australian walking sticks and Madagascar cockroaches. The walking sticks are about 8 inches long, and much larger than what most of us are used to seeing. The cockroaches were probably an inch and a quarter wide and 4-5 inches long. Ungh!

    In the greenhouse area are plants from different parts of the country, like the silk tree that I had last seen in Kentucky. Also in there is a Koi pond, and several button quail chicks running around. But the best part is the hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands, of butterflies. One woman had 7 or 8 land on her head, while another person had a large, bright colored butterfly land on his bald spot. The temperature inside was about 80 degrees, a nice escape from the cold temperatures of winter. We spent a long time in there. She was happy, so I was happy.

    We left there and headed back to MA 2, the Mohawk Trail, where we stopped at the Wigwam and Western Summit shop, to buy some fudge and get some photos of the mountains (I do this every time we're in the area). This is a place that still rents the small roadside cabins (in season) that used to be so popular.

    Heading into North Adams, we saw a sign for "Natural Bridge State Park" on MA 8, which of course must be investigated. After parking at a gate, we walked for quite a ways until we found the large structure, formed by years and years of erosion. We plan on going back once the snow has melted and exploring further.

    We headed into North Adams, which was more or less my home four Summers ago, and walked the Main St. of this former mill town. We stopped in a couple of shops, where I found some books on local history. I've always wondered why there are only old buildings on the north side of Main St. Now I know - urban "renewal" in the '70s and '80s.

    We ate a late lunch at the Freight Yard Pub, which is located in Heritage State Park, under a bridge (kind of a local secret).

    After eating, we headed south on MA 8 to MA 116, 112, and finally 9 back home, a good day spent exploring a corner of our home state.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Wow!

    Timbo,

    Great Post. Get any photos of the butterflies?

  3. #3

    Default

    That sounds like a nice day! The weather was great for it yesterday! I always like a trip out on the Mohawk Trail, which I get to do once or twice a year.

    I like to stop in Erving at the Boxcar Cafe and the antique store next door, both of which are right on Route 2 west of the paper mill.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default

    We didn't take any pictures inside - in our rush to get in, we left the camera in the car!

    Saturday didn't bring us by Erving, but I do recall the last time I was there, route 2 is being reconstructed, further away from the paper mill, most likely goig to four-lane, or at least limited access.

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