Where in world...?

An old friend phoned the other day. He never phones. But this time he just had to know: "What are you doing living in Florence?"
He thought I was in Florence, Italy. I told him it was Florence, Massachusetts.
Here are some answers -- my occasional wanderings through Florence, MA and the surrounding Pioneer Valley.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ghosts and Machines

On Saturday, Joey and I took a little road trip to Becket, Massachusetts. We were going to meet two of Florentina's college classmates, who were eager to meet Joey. Becket is just outside of the Pioneer Valley, putting it in the Berkshires, that hilly section of western Massachusetts that lures people to Tanglewood, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, Canyon Ranch health spa, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, and quaint bed-and-breakfast inns.

Becket is really quiet, and the three of us women with a dog decided to go for a walk in the woods. Near the house where the classmates were staying is an abandoned quarry. P. is an avid photographer, and she was happily snapping photos of foliage and Joey along the way. When we got to the quarry area, we found some interesting abandoned things, such as motor vehicles from the 1920s or 1930s, and dilapidated buildings. These things are carefully labeled as part of the self-guided walk through the historic granite quarry. We weren't the only groups up there with dogs, either. Two other groups were walking around at the same time, adding to the festive atmosphere on the trail.
When you get closer, you can see the springs in the driver's seat.
The quarry looks like a nice cool swimming hole for the summer. Apparently some daredevils have videotaped themselves cooling off in the water, though there are easier and safer ways to get into the water.

We didn't know anything about this place.  Oddities have been reported and supported or debunked, none of which we detected by anyone in our pack, including the dog. Apparently some of the stories  include references to dogs and their reaction to weird vibes at the quarry, Something about odd voices...  A local person has weighed in on this controversy and said it's all okay -- no ghosts there!

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