I’m in the Berkshire Mountains now, soaking up the fresh air. SA and I have taken his mother to her place here because she needs the help, and since I’m in this beautiful part of the world, I’m taking advantage of the country roads for some longish walks.
From West Stockbridge on Iron Ore Road I went up Cone Hill Road, turned right on 41, and entered Richmond, about 6 miles.
Before leaving Iron Ore I walked around the neighborhood to see if anything had changed since I was here a year ago, but the same tidy houses with the same tidy lawns greeted me as I passed.
People here have lovely gardens of perennials–tiger lilies, Black-eyed Susans, sylvia, Queen Anne’s lace.
On highway 41 I picked up a menu at a barbecue place called Lakota, across the street from the Richmond fire station.
Crossing over the train tracks reminded me of a book I just finished called Bold Spirit, the story of Helga Estby and her daughter Clara and their walk in 1897 across the U.S. from Spokane, WA to New York City. They walked most of the way along railroad tracks so they wouldn’t get lost.
They faced tremendous criticism for even going on such a walk because women were supposed to stay at home to raise their children. This was before women had the vote, and many men thought women were too weak to endure such an arduous trip.
Helga accepted the challenge to walk because the person who completed the journey would receive 10,000 dollars, money she would use to save the family homestead from bankruptcy.
I didn’t face one tenth of Helga’s hardships when I made my pilgrimage to Santiago, but traveling alone in Spain was not exactly easy. Women have to be on their guard while walking alone, even if we are no longer young.
On my way back to Katherine’s house I went along Furnace Road where former Governor Duval Patrick has built a home. He built on plot of land next to Mud Pond, an old quarry where we used to swim. Patrick bought up all the land around the quarry, so now there’s no access to it. Our sons would swing from a rope swing there along with many other locals. We would also swim out to a fallen tree floating in the center. It’s sad that now no one can swim in the cold, clean water just because one person wants privacy.