Gary's Third Pottery Blog

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Gary's third pottery blog

WRITE TO ME! Come see me! Open studio HERE! November 25-26 (11-4 each day); December 10, Little Red Wagon at the Space at Greenstar. All material on this blog unless stated otherwise is copyright Gary Edward Rith 2016

Saturday, September 29, 2012

of travel, quests, and OBSESSION

When I was a kid and drove with my family through the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts, and all through the many many many times I drove through as an adult, it was always like "wow, I sure wish I could stop here!" and you hear about a mythic and remote mountaintop waterfall and you KNOW that the fall colors are peaking this week....and then, the wife has for YEARS wanted to visit the Crane Paper factory and museum in the same area, and it closes for the season next week, and you realize that Melville's famously obsessed quest for the white whale was written in that same area AND when the wife was a kid her grandparents lived in the same area and she had not been back in over 42 years....well.....we had to pack our dog and go on our own quest:  to see the mythic and remote falls IN FALL, Melville's house, Crane Paper and also what remains of her grandparent's place .....15 hours driving, 5 miles hiked in 1.5 hours, and 527 miles driven with a cooler full of peanut butter sandwiches, cookies and coffee, one beagle and a bag of dog food.....

This is the roadside of rte. 2 near Mohawk Trail State Forest....

We were SO relieved, after searching for quite awhile, to see a little sign on a tree leading to Tannery felt like the middle of nowhere, and it is.  The wife asked "do you have the cell phone?" and I am like "well, its back in the car..." which was miles behind us, and parked in the middle of nowhere too....  the guy at the general store who had given us directions is like "I have lived here 80 years and never been up there...they say its very difficult to find and get to...."

It is pretty spooky to be on top of this mountain near nothing and nobody and come across a 200 year old cemetery.....somebody used to live up here....perhaps there was a tannery, therefore the name Tannery Falls?

These are the top sections of a long series of falls leading down the mountain....

Penny travels VERY well, esp. when she has the chance to climb a mountain and then eat and take a nap for the rest of the day....

Penny at Crane Paper Co...they have been making the paper for wedding invitations and US dollar bills here for more than 2 centuries!  There is no gift shop, but the original riverside workshop is a museum and they give out a LOT of beautiful free paper samples...

It was sooooooo awesome being at Herman Melville's house.  He wrote Moby Dick here and other great works....BUT was not a success as a writer in his lifetime. Famously, the publisher and printer of Moby Dick made some mistakes and everybody at the time hated the book because they had forgotten to add the final chapters!  Melville had to give up writing and get a job!

The house the wife's grandparents had is gone, victim of fire and neglect and improvement by parking lot...but the beautiful barn and grounds remain....


Little Miss Sunshine State said...

I love the Berkshires.
My first thought was "Wow, they're dressed like it's cold out there"

Michèle Hastings said...

thank you for sharing your lovely adventure! it really looks like fall there, beautiful.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

cold to me feels like 63 and below....and yesterday was colder :)

Busy Bee Suz said...

Looks like a lovely area....I've never been up there; must go one day! I'd love to put on a jacket/sweater sometime soon!!!

Reverend Awesome said...

Quite an adventure! You know how I love places like that. ADVENTURERS!

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

Such a pretty place! thanks for sharing your pictures with us. It finally feels like fall here (down to freezing at night) but the color of the leaves and the misty fog in your photos makes me REALLY think FALL!

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I am a full-time studio potter, sculptor, and dog walker, married to superhawt Missus Tastycake.