The search for nature

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The country just ain’t what it used to be. We know, because we tried to take the scenic route and were a little hard pressed to find it.

Here are some examples of the scenic route:

First we got off the New York Thruway, and took what our AAA map had designated a scenic route from Kingston going north. Hah. First we saw the tatters of an old commercial strip, and then we moved on to a modern strip mall where we found the likes of Barnes & Noble and Bed, Bath & Beyond. What a scene.

Then we saw this wonderful cement plant.

We saw the view of this billboard in the far distance. This must have been a very cheap billboard, because we saw so few cars, and that means not too many people pass it by.

We also saw some real views, but all in all we were puzzled by the designation on the map.

Part of our trip involved a visit to my friends in Schenectady. My friend Bobbie does energy portraits and is quite serious about them. Here’s a link to her website. My friend Lee (Bobbie’s ex-husband) was in town from Hilo, looking like he was a visitor from a Neo Rauch painting (more on Rauch when I get home–there were a bunch of his pieces up at Mass MoCA along with some other German artists who all went to art school in Leipzig after the Berlin Wall fell).
We also saw Bobbie’s mother who was my second mom when I was going to college and needed to escape from dorm life.

Then we headed into Massachusetts, taking the Mohawk Trail, also marked on our AAA map as a scenic route. Well, you seen one country road, you seen ’em all. We even passed one of those bogus Indian Trading Posts, concrete Indian statue, concrete teepee andconcrete garden deer sculpture.

In the non-developed areas, I noted that the only time you seemed to see country roads like this in the movies was when they wanted to put a young woman in the path of danger, alone and stranded. I began not feeling very comfortable in the country.

Trying to get nice shots of the Deerfield River while Murray was driving driving driving wasn’t so easy. Here’s a picture of the road’s guard rail instead.

And here’s a picture of our dashboard as we arrive in the country. We met our friends and hosts, Debbie and Phil, in a parking lot. They took us up a bunch of rocky, dirt roads, unmarked by street signs and bearing no relation to a map grid. I became convinced as we rode in that this was a big joke. To the left, we are following them into a big field. This is really where we were staying. This is not the first time one of our friends took us so far from our natural habitat that we were convinced it was a practical joke.

I’ll tell all about Mass MoCA when I get back.

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features & interviews, reviews, the search for nature

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