Since moving back to Massachusetts, I’ve been looking for more opportunities to get outside. I would walk constantly when I lived in Jersey City. Everything I needed was within a 15 minute stroll and it was so convenient (and green) to not need a car.
In addition to being a necessity, it was a great pastime. Walking was how I got acquainted with different neighborhoods and slowly but surely made the city feel familiar. Once I walked a block, I could add it to the map in my head of places I knew. It was comforting.
Maybe it was my subconscious helping me accept that I was leaving New York, but during my last few months there, I found that I wanted my walks to have fewer people and more trees. I was grumpy about having to wait at intersections and far too willing to sigh audibly if stuck behind someone slow. Clearly, it was time for me to get out.
Now that I’m in an environment with a lot more trees, it’s been fun to explore some of the parks in the Valley, most recently, Mount Sugarloaf. It’s a quick hike (whether you take the road or trails) that ends with a great view of the Pioneer Valley. You can see south to the Holyoke Mountain Range (check out the Summit House at Skinner State Park if you’re looking for a view from the opposite end of the valley), green farm fields, the foothills of the Berkshires, and of course, the Connecticut River gracefully sliding through the whole picture. My dad and I did the hike by way of some back trails to celebrate my birthday. I might have to make it an annual tradition.
Knowing that this is the scene I have to look forward to in the fall, I think trading in the city sidewalks for more trees was a good decision.