Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Fishing, hiking and letterboxing. Life is good!

Sunday was one of those days where you are lucky enough to spend it doing the things you love, with those you love.
The day started early for me. My wife works nights so while she slept I snuck out for some early morning fishing. I headed out to a pond I have been wanting to try for quite some time now out in the Berkshires. It turned out to be well worth the drive. Around 7:00 am I was pushing my kayak into the water.

The scenery on this pond was worth the drive in itself. It is completely surrounded by the mountain and only smaller boats and kayaks occupied the water with me. Fishing was very, very slow. I threw everything I had at them, but only managed one nice bass. Weighed in at just under 3 pounds, but was a very healthy looking fish.
At about 12:00 pm the heat started to roll in pretty thick so I packed it up for the day and headed home.
My wife was now awake and wondering what we could do for the day. I suggested looking for some letterboxes up on Mt. Tom I had been wanting to find. She liked the idea so we got some snacks, water and our letterbox book and hit the road.
For a quick answer on what letterboxing is click HERE
The two letterboxes were were hunting for were on the B-17 trail on Mt. Tom. This was perfect because we could also hike by the ampitheatre and see how things looked as far as turnout and layout of the concert.
To get to the B-17 trail we parked just before the bridge at Mountain Park and hiked up the access road on the right of the park, blocked by a yellow gate. As we trekked up the winding road we were able to see some great views of the new Mountain Park. We snapped a few photos as we passed it.

Security stood watch is all types of places. As we walked up the trail we spotted "guards" in the forest line all the way up. I'm assuming he will eventually put a very large fence up to prevent any Woodstock style free shows from happening.

We made it to the B-17 and headed out after letterbox #1

I'm glad I brought some water. It was a super hot, humid day! Thank god for my Kleen canteen.

This trail was the old rail way for passengers to reach the old summit house on the peak. Here is a before....

And after.......

There are some great views and scenery along the way. Some beautiful rocks and plant life!

Grabbing letterbox #1. I can't show you EXACTLY where lol.

Letterbox titled "One if by train". Most are themed and relevant to where they are hidden. You can see, like most all letterboxes, it contains a guest book to sign and a custom made stamp for you to stamp in your book.

I find them, my wife stamps and signs them.

About half way up we came across the B-17 memorial. For an emotional video on the site, click HERE
It is a memorial for a B-17 with a 25 man crew that had crashed on into the mountain on it's way home from the war. No survivors.
The first sign of the site was the flagpole standing high and proud in he sky.

Next was the birch trees that were planted for each passenger that died.

An actual piece of the B-17 that still lays at the site

People had searched the site and collected all the pieces they could find that are still on the mountain. Amazing to see.

After paying our respects we headed off to find the next letterbox.
There are asome amazing rock structures along the way.
The mandatory, make yourself look like a fool photo. At least one per trip!

Shortly up the road we found letterbox #2 titled "Two if by air"

Since we were so close we decided we might as well continue up to the peak. This was my first time up in this area. As we got closer we could see man's mark on the mountain. Radio towers galore and electric generators call the old Summit House location home now.

Here stands the old footings for the building, surrounded by transformers and new buildings.

What a spectacular view from the summit. I couldn't believe I had never been up here before!
I was always curious where this star shining high above Easthampton was located. Now I know.

Old meets new. They kept some of the original structure and used it to incorporate the new additions
Taking it all in.

What remains of the old Summit house patio

The view then..........

The view now.................

Classic "top of the world" photo

Now we were already at the top, it was just a short hike to good ol' Mt. Tom
This is the first time I have been up here since I last snowboarded down the mountain. The view brought back some great memories.

Ski lodge over looking the wave pool.

The deep end wich was now home to much trash and two giant bullfrogs!

Surfs up.

It started to get dark and we decided it's time to say good bye to an old friend. We headed back down hoping to catch some sounds of the Sunday show at Mountain Park.

As we got closer you could here the music. It was a great treat after a long hike. The crowd was slowly multiplying and the band sounded great. I couldn't help but chuckle at the fact that we had great free seats on our way up and down. I can only imagine next year this "issue" will be resolved. We grabbed some good shots of the crowd. For some better actions shots from in the mix check out In the Valley's post and Rambling VanDogs post.

The lots were really filling in. Even though the band had been playing for a few hours, the cars kept rolling in one after another.

all in all a great day to be outside, from am to pm. Good fishing, music and company. What more could a man want?


  1. I am so glad Peter passed out your link! This post made me a little teary eyed. Thanks!

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  3. Thank you Christine. I'm glad you enjoyed it! It was a great day from dusk till dawn. I'm curious wich blog is Peter's? I'd liek to check it out.