Day 39--2nd Day Off in Northampton, MA

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Yes, if you do the math, my Birthday has warped into my Birth-days. I have not ridden my bicycle since May 20th when we rode from Little Falls to Schenectady. Jess rented a car that day and we drove it to Kingston on May 21st; to Mohonk and then to Hadley, MA, on May 22; and here I am on May 24th with my third day off. Tomorrow I will get back on the bicycle and pedal the last three days of my Heartland to Harbor for Hospice journey. And what a journey it has been!

Northampton's odd City Hall

The 1st church on the site was built in 1655, Cotton Mather was minister; 2nd church on site was built in 1661, Solomon Stoddard, minister; 3rd church on site was built in 1737, Jonathan Edwards was minister; the 4th church on the site was built to replace the 3rd; the 4th burned to the ground in 1876. This photo is of the fifth church built on the site. It was built in 1877 of sandstone in a Gothic revival style. Its interior is lit by Tiffany windows.
With the exception of lunch, I spent the day "getting organized." At noon, I met Earthwatch friend Ann Tompkins for lunch. We were expecting Jody Rosengarten to meet us in Northampton for lunch also, but she lives in southern Connecticut and suddenly realized that this was Memorial Day weekend. The traffic would be awful and she had a class to teach tonight, so had to cancel. Jody will come to brother Phil's place in Tiverton, RI, and we'll get together on June 11 instead.

The building that houses the Osaka Japanese restaurant

Ann and I walked Main Street a bit and then had lunch at Osaka, a Japanese restaurant. We both had salmon teriyaki lunch boxes and got caught up. Ann was supposed to go to Ghana on another Earthwatch in June, but needs unexpected surgery and treatment so had to cancel. Ann, at 79, has been on more Earthwatch Expeditions than any other person in the history of the program. I am proud of her.

Ann Tompkins, my Earthwatch friend

Ann also wrote a generous donation check to the JKH. Thank you Ann for your thoughtfulness and contribution! Followers: Now is the time to donate if you haven't already . . . and maybe even if you have already! I'd really like to raise at least $15,000, and am only $408 away by my calculations!

After Ann left, I went to the laundromat and washed a small load of clothes. While they were washing, I again walked the main drag. Northampton is known as an artistic, musical, and counter cultural hub and is very interesting with many unique "studenty" type stores and international restaurants.  There are five colleges in this area: Mount Holyoke, Amherst, U. Mass, Smith, and Hampshire College. On the way to Hadley yesterday we passed the Chinese Immersion School. While strolling Main Street, I bought an ordinary small coffee ice cream cone at The Chocolate Emporium . . . and nearly dropped it when the proprietor charged $5. Ouch!

Urban Outfitters in a huge old bank building

History of Women in Northampton mural across from the laundromat

After washing the laundry, I returned to the condo and repacked my B.O.B. bag. Now I am writing the day's blog and enjoying a cup of coffee. When finished, I will load up B.O.B. and then clean and oil the bike and inflate the tires. I'd like to get on the back roads of tomorrow's route early in the morning before I encounter much traffic. I must cross the river on 9E before turning east and heading for the tavern at Old Sturbridge Village, 40 miles away. At the tavern I will meet Beth Kirchner and Hugh Manon in whose home I will overnight. Hugh is a former member of  the OSU English Department.

The Old School Commons building where Judy Allen has her condo

Tonight Judy Allen and I will go out to dinner. Report on that tomorrow.

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