We woke up today in Williamstown this morning where I feel at home, having gone to Williams College in the mid-80s.  Living in Boston I continue to make it back to campus each summer for the Williamstown Theater Festival and I was glad to be able to make that a part of this trip. It was fun to show Justin and Dave part of the campus yesterday:  Spencer House where I lived senior year, 

Papa Charlie's where I read the sandwich choices for a long time and always order the Gilda Radner, and of course the Purple Pub. The pub has been completely rebuilt since I was a student and is no longer considered a dive. 

This morning we packed up our stuff at the Northside Motel (Williamstown needs some updated lodgings) and biked around the rest of the campus before heading east. I had shown them the campus south of Route 2 last night so we biked by Chapin Hall,

the new Paresky Center,

the Freshman Quad,

and a new building I had never seen before, the new Sawyer Library addition to Stetson Hall.

After the final tour of campus, we headed east on Route 2 and started our climb out of the Purple Valley. This would be our last significant climb of the trip. Despite my memories of a very steep road, the grade was not bad at all which made the climb very satisfying. Because we climb at different speeds, we decided to meet up at the hairpin turn.

The hairpin turn is exactly what it sounds like, a 90 degree turn or switchback up the mountain.

At the hairpin turn, there's  a great view of the Purple Valley of the northwestern Berkshires.

We then continued over the Whitcomb Summit and enjoyed a spectacular descent for miles. The road had been recently repaved and there was no traffic in our direction.

Eventually Route 2 meets up with the Deerfield River,

which we followed into Greenfield where it empties into the Connecticut River. The small towns we biked through along the way were charming.
Over the course of the day we began  seeing signs for Boston where the mileage was in double digits!

 In Greenfield, we stopped for lunch at a grocery store that had a prepared foods section.  A few days ago I weighed myself on Gretchen's bathroom scale and learned that I had lost about 8 pounds. My goal was to try to maintain my weight (Justin was even and Dave had lost just 3 pounds).  I was now conscious that I was burning more calories than I was consuming so when I saw two sizes of chicken pot pie in the grocery case, I went for the family size.  At home when something says it serves 3, that's usually about right for me, so on a cross country bike trip, this pie that served 6 was perfect.

Our goal for the day was to bike about 90 miles, leaving 60 for tomorrow. We were having trouble finding a place to stay but through a connection of Justin's (Justin's friend Ryan's friend Adam's mother Gail) we found a house in Fitchburg where we could pitch a tent. However, when we were about 10 miles away, I heard a voice from a car yell over to us, it was Peter and Dane in the Volvo!  It was a wonderful surprise visit, easily made as we were just about 70 miles from Boston.

They brought baked goods and drinks for an impromptu picnic,

 reserved hotel rooms in the next town and offered to take us to dinner.
After spending almost an entire month with just two other people, this sudden introduction of two "outsiders" was a necessary first step in out gradual reintroduction to society. We had dinner at the Old Mill restaurant in Westminster MA.

 It was much nicer than any of the restaurants we had eaten at the entire trip. We needed reservations and again this more formal meal was another small step in a process to reacquaint us with societal customs.

After a great dinner, it was back to the hotel for bed. 

For those who have been asking,  our plan for tomorrow is to meet at 7 AM for the free breakfast here at the Wachusett Village Inn. We will depart at 7:30 AM, which will give us ample time to be at the beach in South Boston to ceremoniously dip our front wheels into the Atlantic at 11:30AM.  A picture of the location is below, but it is just south of the small park where  East Broadway ends at the water. It's called Marine Park but may be better known for the statue of Admiral Farragut ("Damn the torpedoes!")  that stands within it.  Anyone in the area is welcome to meet us at 11:30. We've left enough time so we should not be late.


  1. Congratulations ! Look forward to meeting you all this evening. Ciao.

  2. That is a ridiculous amount of chicken pot pie and I'm sure it was consumed in record time.

    Good luck on the home stretch!

    What a fun surprise to have baked goods and a hotel reservation!

  3. Thanks for the beautiful pictures of Williams College and the Berkshires...love the use of the Panoramic feature of the iPhone...Congratulations on your last leg!

  4. Wow! You guys are pros. Amazing.

  5. Ann Hwang7/26/2014

    yay! congratulations on making it back home! what an amazing journey!!

  6. Melanie7/26/2014

    The shot of the empty chicken pie plate is priceless!