As I sit here writing this, I am in the throes of a nasty fall cold. My brain is muddled (that's a fair warning to my editor) but somewhere in the back of my head I seem to remember being sick last year right around Columbus Day Weekend. Is it something about the change of the seasons? The fact that my daughter is back in school surrounded by germs — or that I recently chaperoned a school field trip to Jaeschke's Orchard in Adams with 60-plus of the little germ carriers themselves? Or is it just my body's way of saying slow down, as fall is an extremely busy time of year for me in my "day job"?
Maybe it's all of the above, but I do hope I'm feeling up to some fun fall activities this Columbus Day Weekend. And since I was already speaking of Adams, let's start there, because, as the Facebook page flier says, "Adams is Columbus Day Weekend."
On Sunday, Oct. 13, Ramblefest kicks off with a party from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Adams Visitors' Center on Hoosac Street. There will be food, vendors, music, games and activities for the kids, and more — all to gear folks up for main event. And what's that? The Ramble itself, when thousands of people climb Mount Greylock via the Cheshire Harbor Trail all at once — well, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Here's the scoop on that: There will be a free shuttle from the Adams Free Library to the trailhead from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. with return shuttles running through 4 p.m. The first 2,000 hikers will receive certificates of accomplishment, and there will be awards for the first, the youngest and the oldest hiker to reach the summit, and to the hiker who has traveled the greatest distance to participate. Leashed pets permitted. The walk, by the way, is about 6.6 miles, takes about four to five hours and is considered moderately strenuous — but the views at the top will be worth it!
(And while you're in Adams, do try to visit Jaeschke's. Four-foot-tall germ-carriers aside, I had a lot of fun, and the orchard is teeming with delicious, juicy apples, and apple-picking is one of the best ways I know how to spend the holiday weekend! There are other places to pick; visit www.pickyourown.org/massveg.htm for some other local options.)
There are other things to do this weekend that aren't in Adams. On Saturday, kids can decorate pumpkins at the Berkshire Co-Op Market in Great Barrington. Kids should dress to get messy as they will be using acrylic paints to decorate the pumpkins. To sign up or for more information, call 413-528-9697, ext. 10, or visit berkshire.coop. And on Monday, a free Public Safety Day will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Dower Square Community Center at 253 Wahconah St. There will be a display of an array of the police's and fire department's vehicles. For more information, call 413-499-9367.
Whatever you do this long holiday weekend, stay healthy. Believe me ... you don't want what I have!
Berkshire County native Rebecca Dravis of Williamstown is a former journalist who now works for the Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Sandy Cancels Governor's Visit to Florida Turbines
Staff Reports On: 09:55AM / Friday October 26, 2012
Massachusetts is cut off on this graphic but it looks like rain for sure is headed our way.
Fourteen months after Irene deluged the region, another hurricane is headed our way. The sweetly named Sandy (now dubbed "Frankenstorm") is expected to arrive early next week just in time for Halloween.
We'll be meeting with North Adams officials this afternoon about emergency preparations and checking in with other towns. We'll do our best to keep everyone as up-to-date as possible on cancellations and closures around the county.
Sandy coulddid dampen the opening of the Hoosac Wind Project, which has had its own stormy path to completion over the past decade.
Gov. Deval Patrick and EOEEA Secretary Richard Sullivan Jr. were scheduled to arrive on Florida mountain with other state and local officials on Monday morning to celebrate with turbine-developer Iberdrola the near completion of the state's largest utility-scale wind power project. We learned Friday morning shortly after posting this that the press conference has been been canceled and will be rescheduled at a later date.
Meanwhile, the governor is warning state utiltities to have their ducks in row for this storm after complaints during last year's disasters of delays and poor communication with local officials. He's holding a press avail at noon to talk about the storm but no word yet on whether we'll be able to listen in.
None of the contaminated steroids linked to the outbreak are known to have been used in the area, Berkshire Medical Center and North Adams Regional Hospital told us several weeks ago; since then, all products from the New England Compounding Center (now under criminal investigation) have been removed from their stock.
Gov. Deval Patrick stops by the Rice Silk Mill in Pittsfield this afternoon for a ribbon-cutting and a message about Gateway Cities (of which Pittsfield is one). We were at the mill 10 months ago when developers were getting ready to turn the derelict building into sweet apartments. Can't wait to see the changes.
Looking for some bargains? The state's auctioning off some $435,000 in unclaimed property on eBay beginning Saturday and running through Dec. 22. Some of the items, including a diamond ring worth $17,000 and a 300-year-old brandy snifter were on display in Springfield. You can catch them today in Worcester (from noon to 5) or wait until they show up on eBay.
The Boston Business Journal has a pretty "hot" map: it shows where in the state the millionaires cluster. Dark red indicates fewer than 100 residents per million-dollar earner. Not surprisingly, the Berkshire millionaires are cluster in South County and Williamstown.