Travel New England

I made a day trip out to western Massachusetts (MA) along the New York state border yesterday (2.25 hour drive from my home in eastern MA). I visited the Hancock Shaker Village located in the valley between the Berkshire (MA) and Taconic (NY) Mountain ranges, the Shelburne Falls Bridge of Flowers, and some of the small villages and towns in that area.

The Hancock Shaker Village dates to 1791 and was once the home to a several hundred strong community of the Shaker religious sect. This sect was first started in 1747 in the UK. Some of the group emigrated from England in the 1770s and settled in Revolutionary colonial America, with an initial settlement in the state of New York. They practiced a celibate and communal lifestyle, pacifism, uniform charismatic worship, and equality of the sexes. They are also known for their simple living, architecture, technological innovation, and furniture. The movement reached its height between 1820 and 1860 when it had 4,000-6,000 believers living in 18 major communities and numerous smaller, often short-lived, communities in New England, New York and several midwestern states such as Ohio and Indiana. There is only one Shaker village operating today with just two members, Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village located in Maine. Many of the former Shaker settlements are now museums.

Here are some photos from my journey:

The Hoosic Valley of the Berkshire Mountains near North Adams, MA

The Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls

The Bridge of Flowers deck surface over the Deerfield River in Shelburne Falls - foot traffic only

Hancock Shaker Village Gardens

Hancock Shaker Village round barn

Hancock Shaker Village

Hancock Shaker Village Dorm

The article below from 2014 will give you an idea of the importance of the fall foliage season in New England. It was estimated to bring in near some $3 billion tourism dollars five years ago to the six state region. The changing color of the leaves in the fall is truly a big business for New England. Hotel rates rise with rooms scarce while the roads fill up with cars and buses out to enjoy the scenery.

Fall foliage is worth billions to New England's economy

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I did a Fall Foliage tour to the Monadnock Region of southwest New Hampshire yesterday (13 October - 2019). This area is home to Mount Monadnock and several quintessential New England villages and towns. Here are some of the scenes I saw:

Peterboro - NH

Peterboro - NH

Greenfield-NH Covered Bridge.jpg
Greenfield - NH Cover Bridge

Mount Monadnock - Jaffrey, NH
Halloween 2019 - Salem, Massachusetts

The place to be each Halloween in the USA is the city of Salem. It was founded in 1626 by religious Puritans from England. It forever was made infamous by the 1692 Salem Witch Trials which resulted in some 20 people being put to death for suspicion of witchcraft. Salem to this day is still known as the Witch City and it has over time become synonymous with the holiday of Halloween. The town decorates itself for the season and people in costume flock to celebrate the holiday there every October.

The house from the film Hocus Pocus

The Salem Statue in the likeness of the Samantha Stevens character from the 1960's tv series Bewitched

The Salem Witch Trial Memorial to its victims
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We have been thinking about our next holiday and this looks a great place to visit. I'm afraid to let the wife
see it just yet or she will say yes before we have had a look around.
Winter made its first foray into southern New England yesterday (01-DEC-2019). Snowfall amounts varied in the region. Some places only 50 miles west of Boston received just under a foot of snow while closer to SE Massachusetts in places such as my town of North Attleborough got about 3 inches. There was snow, sleet, and rain where I live as the temperature started out below the freezing mark before slowly rising. Temps are expected to drop back down below freezing tonight with several more inches of additional snow probable.

20191201_201859.jpg The scene of falling snow outside my home last night
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A famous longtime resident of the region said it best:

“If you don't like the weather in New England now, just wait a few minutes.”

Mark Twain (aka Samuel Clemens)
Author: Tom Sawyer, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Resident of Hartford, Connecticut

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