While the activities continue at Grand Horizons with shuffleboard, dominoes, mahjong, cribbage, card making, paper crafting, pinochle, euchre, luncheons and a great deal more, several different trips were taken by some people who left Florida during the summer months and returned to their homes elsewhere.
One such trip was taken by my husband and myself. We visited the Berkshires. We went up Mount Greylock where we saw breathtaking views. This is 3,491 feet to the summit. We then went on the Mohawk Trail, which is always a delight to travel. The trail went through the deep forest and historic towns, and past world-class art museums, souvenir shops galore, hikers and dramatic vistas while crisscrossing five major rivers.
The Bridge of Flowers located in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, was our next stop. There, we saw where more than 500 varieties of annuals and perennials are planted and tended to by local volunteers to ensure continuous blooming throughout the seasons. The bridge is the only one of its kind in the world. It was originally built in 1908 as a trolley bridge across the Deerfield River, between the towns of Shelburne and Buckland. Now, the trolley line is abandoned, and the Bridge of Flowers, which is now a walking path, takes its place.
Also in Shelburne, we saw the falls and the potholes. There was an overlook on Deerfield Avenue that provided a great viewing area of the falls and glacial potholes. It used to be a special fishing ground, but it is now used for generating hydroelectricity.
From there, we saw several covered bridges, which are always a delight, as their numbers are dwindling. Driving beneath the covered bridges always makes you recall the times of long ago.
Then, it was on to Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, which citizens stepped in to preserve in 1960 and is a national historic landmark. Here we saw village buildings, woodlands and gardens. There was also a farm with baby animals. It is a setting untouched by time, yet so alive. There are 750 acres of countryside, a collection of Shaker furniture and artifacts, and a legacy of Shaker values and traditions. There are 20 historic buildings, including the world-famous Round Stone Barn. There were costumed interpreters and demonstrations at each attraction, plus several gardens to walk through.
By Helene Rubenstein
Published June 8, 2016