We had a lovely visit up on Amherst. Mr. Pointy Sticks and I had a good bit of time on our own. Rachel is more and more independent and busy and we didn't want to disrupt her time (or Andrew's) any more than we had, too. So we spent some time exploring the area a little more than we usually do. Unfortunately, the weather was not terribly cooperative...it drizzled, poured, or misted all the time.
On one of our days we went to the Holyoke Range State Park and took a .8 mile walk along the Laurel Loop trail.
It's hard to see here but this is a very up and down spot that is full of laurel bushes. I wish they had been in bloom...it will be lovely, I bet.
There was a lovely little pool.
It was a nice and well-maintained path, though it was mighty wet. I was hoping for some birds or wild-flowers but it was just pretty woods.
There were some interesting things to see...look at these neat roots.
On another day we went to Skinner State Park in which Mt. Holyoke is located. We drove to the top of the park...rather tense making, as the road was very steep with lots of tight switchbacks. It was a very misty day so the view from the top looked like this:
We'll have to go back when the weather is clearer. I'd like to see what one can see from the top. Have to take some binoculars, too.
There was some impressive lichen.
Some pretty bleeding hearts.
And along the road, some wild columbine, growing among the ferns and moss.
We also saw some beautiful rhododendrons in South Hadley.
Looking at the map, there are lots of parks and things we can explore when we are back up there.
What else did we do while we were there? Well, we ate well. Had some tasty dinners at Osaka and Paul and Elizabeth's. Went to some used bookstores. Hit Webs, as mentioned in the previous post. And played with Rachel and Andrew's cats.
Sophie and Harley (Andrew's cats) -- somewhat deceptive picture as Harley is only a couple of months old and is smaller than Sophie. Here she looks larger.
Sophie trying out her soulful look...I think she's imitating an anime character here.
And ole Cooper, who is looking so good after having been on the raw food diet for a couple of months.
So it was a lovely trip (certainly better than being at work!), though the bad weather followed us home.
Note that the top of the George Washington Bridge is in the clouds.
And it's good to be home, too.
But I'm already looking forward to our next visit.