The Campground we are staying in is beautiful (Bonnie Brae Campground). Lots and lots of tree. Perfect I would imagine in the heat of the summer. But a tad dark as well. Found I need to have the lights on inside most of the time and I think they feed their mosquitos up here on steroids. The gentle mozzy hum in the evening is more like a full blown orchestra, accompanied by the ever prevailing smell of Deet. But we came this far north to avoid the weather, and Monday dawned beautifully sunny.
We had a lazy day, visiting Lenox, another quaint little village just south of Pittsfield, where we spent a bit of time at the visitors centre chatting with the wonderful lady there. She was so helpful in suggesting places for us to visit while we are in this area. We passed back past the Campground for a quick lunch before heading off into the Wahconah Falls State Park and walked into the look at a the waterfall. (Great chance to try my new LL Bean Boots out).
We got on the road early for us on Tuesday (ha ha 9:30 ish – seems every day is a weekend) and headed further north to North Adams to go to the MASS MoCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art). The Museum is in a converted factory that started its life as a Print Works way back in the 1800’s.
So without even the amazing art works inside the building alone was amazing. But then the art work. As the name says, it is Contemporary Art and I have to admit I had a wee niggle in the back of my mind that maybe, just maybe the TOH may not enjoy it. How wrong I was. We both were in awe of the art work on display and the magnitude of it. Just stunning. Oh how I would love to get No.2 up here. He would just love it.
With great thanks to my cousin, we had a catch up with the Museum Director who took us out to see the AnselmKeifer display. Not often you get a private tour with the Museum Director, so not only did we see the showing, but learnt so much more of the history of the artists and how the pieces came to be at MASS MoCA.
North Adams does seem to be out of the way for most tourists, but believe me, if you find yourself in Albany or anywhere within a 2 hour drive of North Adams, this museum is an absolute must.
The size of the MASS MoCA, meant that it took the entire day to get around and see everything, and in reality that was rushing a lot and 2 days would probably have done it more justice. But we had hoped to also make it to the Hancock Shaker Village, so we extended our stay at Pittsfield for another day.
The Hancock Shaker Village, certainly took us from the very modern art of the Mass MoCA one day to the old craftsmen (artist) of the 1790’s. Their craftsmenship in all that they made was inspiring just as the modern art of yesterday was. Every thing they made they made to be beautiful for they believed they were making heaven on earth. They were the first to build a Circular Stone Barn. The Shakers (a religious order) believed in pacificm, communal living and gender equality. It seemed that they nearly had it right and I felt that if they could have survived their beliefs would have been what a lot of us strive for today. But there was one major flaw in their beliefs and that was that they believed in celibacy…. total celibacy. If you joined The Shakers as a married couple you had to have your marriage annulled. The only way this group could grow was if they gained more converts. Hence by the 1960’s they had all but died out. I believe there are a few left in Maine, enough to count on one hand.
Tomorrow we will head south and hope we have missed the bad weather. Bring on summer and sunshine.