Posts Tagged ‘MA’

It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.   Herman Melville


Melville’s second floor study is directly over the piazza (porch – but I had to say “piazza” because that’s what he called it, and it’s the title of his short story collection, The Piazza Tales, written here).  It’s truly awe-inspiring to stand in the room  where he wrote Moby Dick, dedicated to Mount Greylock, which can be seen in the distance from the study window. Melville had his most productive literary years here, although, sadly,  he never got the recognition he deserved.  Ultimately, debt forced him to sell this beloved farmhouse and move back to New York City, where he worked as a customs inspector for 20 years. So, it’s rather poignant walking through his home, thinking about how he never knew the impact his writing would have on the world.  But, I’m going to prefer to think of him, out in the barn in back of the house, talking about writing and books with his friend and neighbor here,  Nathaniel Hawthorne.  Oh, to be a fly on the wall.


We also visited the grandly named, Berkshire Athenaeum, which is now just an ordinary public library in downtown Pittsfield, but which houses an extraordinary collection of Melville artifacts.

And we ended the day at the Old Forge , a rustic and always BUSY restaurant in Lanesboro, near where we’re staying at the Hidden Valley Campground.  We discovered that when you’re eating a dozen chicken wings, and bread and salad bar, and drinking beer, you don’t need an entire steak dinner to boot!  But, all delicious – and now we have leftovers.

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We’re singing “It’s the RV Life for Us” (to the tune of “It’s a Hard Knock Life for Us” from Annie) once again.  And once again, we’re heading from Maine to Wisconsin, taking the loooong way.  We expect to wander around between the two for about a month.  And once again, we spent the first night at Salisbury Beach State Reservation, MA, slowly weaning ourselves off of ocean views.  I posted a few pictures of it last year, see the June 3, 2009 post, or search for Salisbury Beach, if you’d like some deja vu.  Hmmm, I’m thinking, if we just went to the same places, year after year, I could just keep re-posting the blog entries with different dates.  Bad, lazy me.  NEW adventures – that’s what the RV life is all about.

So, our first new stop was Outdoor World Sturbridge, MA.We pulled into our campsite in the pouring rain, cozied in for the rest of the day with books and computers, then woke the next morning to a glorious fall day.

Outdoor World Sturbridge - view from campsite

We hiked in the hilly woods around the pond, found an old beaver dam in a dried up area, ate our lunch by the water’s edge, played ping-pong in the lodge, lounged outside with books, went swimming in their indoor pool, sat by the water some more, watching beavers tear limbs off a tree they’d felled across the pond, and swim, branches in mouth to the site of their new dam, then lit a fire, cooked hot dogs, sat in the fire-lit dark for awhile before finally climbing back into the Navion to plan the next day’s adventure.  A pretty perfect day in my book.

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