With the warm weather finally, grudgingly arriving, it's been fun getting out on the bicycle again, without having to bundle up so much that it makes pedaling a pain. I usually do my rides on the paved bike path between Northampton and Florence or Northampton and Amherst, but this week I got off the path.
Thursday I rode with my friends Rick and Rob out to a new lunch place called Barstow's on Route 47 heading towards South Hadley. It's a nice joint with great sandwiches and fresh-baked goodies. Here's a view (incorporating Rob) from their outdoor dining area, looking west toward the Connecticut River (which I don't think you can see in this image, but it's really just about a half mile away).
Then on Friday I took another ride with Rick, this time from Northampton over to Easthampton (coincidentally, to have lunch with Rob again). We took the back way on the dirt road which runs past the bird sanctuary. It can be a beautiful ride, with great scenery, even now when the trees are still pretty much bare of foliage. Unfortunately, there are a number of idiots who think it's a good idea to drive down this road and dump some of their trash along the way. I've see stuffed chairs, mattresses, couches -- even a DVD player. On this ride, I counted five different discarded Christmas trees (one of which you can see in this panorama). This is a swampy area along the way which doesn't fully dry up until later in the summer, and even then will sometimes get filled up again if we have heavy rains. We stopped here so Rick could check his email on his iPhone. -- PL