Monday, January 6, 2014


We thought it might be fun to go up to the Berkshires the last weekend of the kids' Christmas vacation.   We drove up Friday afternoon, the day after the "blizzard".  The major highways were all cleared and there was barely any traffic on I-95.  Yes, you read correctly.  No traffic on I-95.  We spend a lot of time in the Berkshires, usually at our friend's summer camp.  This trip we decided to stay at the Clarion Hotel in Northampton.  We've stayed at this hotel a handful of times over the years.  There's an indoor pool which is great for the kids in the winter, and it's a little less than a mile from the center of town.  Northampton is a bohemian college town.  There are trendy restaurants and funky boutiques all along Main Street.

I had two runs on schedule for this weekend, a 4 miler and a medium long run of 14 miles.  Because of the snow, I thought I was going to do my long run on the treadmill until I found out there was no hotel treadmill.  I had to make an "emergency" shopping trip to the local T.J. Maxx to pick up some cold weather running clothes.  Yay for me!  I found warm Layer 8 leggings, a lined gray turtle neck, and a lined gray Layer 8 zippered jacket.

Pete informed me that he was off on Monday so I decided to move my runs up a day. Sunday morning the temperature was around 10 degrees when I headed to the Manhan Rail Trail.  The Trail is almost exactly one mile east on Mount Tom Road from the hotel.  Mount Tom Road is right off of Interstate 91.  Cars go pretty fast.  Luckily, the shoulders weren't completely covered with snow and there was enough room to run.  I arrived at the entrance to the trail only to discover the paved path had not been plowed.  Plan B, I continued running on Mount Tom Road into Easthampton.   At the two mile mark, I turned around and headed back to the hotel.  I stopped at the Oxbow (an extension of the Connecticut River) to take a picture because it had frozen over,  It was a beautiful sight.  A couple of cars honked at me while I did this.  One, they thought I looked cute taking a picture of the Oxbow; or two, they thought I looked crazy taking a picture of the Oxbow on the side of a major road in the freezing cold.  Whatever the reason, it's extremely irritating.  Please creepy drivers, just keep your admiration/disdain to yourselves.  Don't honk.  I digress.  So after I snapped the picture, my phone quit working.  I remember The Petite Pacer  mentioned she sometimes had trouble with her phone in the cold weather.  I knew the mileage, but I could no longer time it.  I made it back to the hotel safe and warm.

Manhan Rail Trail

Frozen over Oxbow

I finally got my 14 miler in today at 3pm when the rain subsided.  I did my usual 8 mile loop and then my usual 6.38 mile loop.  The temperature rose to 43 so the snow and ice, thankfully had all but disappeared.  The run was pretty uneventful.  I passed the Molloy College men's something team running down one of the residential streets.  I'm not sure if they're on the track team or if a run is part of their warm up.  This is the second time I've seen them.  At mile 10 I saw a gorgeous sunset over one of the elementary schools.  The sun set pretty quickly because by the time I figured out my camera doesn't quite capture colors as it should, it was almost gone.

It was much prettier a minute before I snapped this.

A video clip from Mile 10: 
Starring Keyser Søze as The Sun
Chazz Palminteri as Me


  1. Northhampton is a really fun place. I spent a fair amount of time there during college visiting friends at UMass and Amherst. Have you taken the kids to the Eric Carle museum? Good move on the Layer 8 buys. It's like TJ Max's house brand. I've got a fair amount of L8 gear myself.

    I liked reading about your running adventures and get the frustration of seeing less intensity on your phone pictures than what you'd actual photographed. There are filters to increase saturation, but no app can bring back the sun once it sets!

    1. I was going to go to the Eric Carle museum one year. I can't remember why it didn't work out. I've been to the Norman Rockwell museum in West Stockbridge which I loved.

      Maybe you can show me the fancy filters next time I see you. I've seen friends on FB post photos that look like paintings. Cool.

    2. There are lots of photo apps and capabilities built into iPhone itself. Remind me to show you next time.