Of Hikes and Beer

Hubby has been in the hiking mood. Last week we hiked Mt. Sugarloaf in South Deerfield. “Hiking” is an overkill word for Mt. Sugarloaf State Reservation. It’s just over 600 ft but the view was spectacular! Check it out:

Connecticut River from Mt. Sugarloaf

Connecticut River from Mt. Sugarloaf

Once we climb back to earth, we headed over to the “Scenter” of the Universe, the Yankee Candle Flagship Store. Have you ever entered a mall and walked into a wall of scent and realized you walked in front of a Yankee Candle Store? It’s the same with the flagship store but this place has more than candles. There’s a “Bavarian Village” that snows every four minutes, a castle with “safe” gothic stuff and a country store with pottery items and central Massachusetts crafts (my fave spot, BTW). O.K., O.K…we bought candles. Aromatherapy items for me (cinnamon and frankincense candles) and “anonymous” candles for Hubby. (I’ll never reveal what gets him going.)

Today, we motored back to the area and our destination was Mt. Holyoke Range State Park. There’s tons of trails and a few peaks. We made it up Mt. Norwottuck, which is just over 1,000 ft, with lovely views of north central Massachusetts. Look for yourself:

That's Amherst in the distance!

That's Amherst in the distance!

After our vigorous hike, we motored over to Amherst to the apted named Amherst Brewing Company (ABC). The food was good but the beer was better. I quaffed the Two Sisters Imperial Stout, Massatucky Brown, and the Patch Porter. Hubby stuck to the Brown and Porter but sampled my Stout. The beer was most excellent.

Only in a place like Amherst, home base to five liberal colleges, would a place like ABC have a bartender named Tucker, show MSNBC on the tube and have a bleached blonde with hot pink fingernails lament her biology class homework to Tucker. (“I’ve been reading the same sentence over and over and just don’t get it.”)

As I staggered back to the Matrix, I couldn’t take the liberal atmosphere any longer. I slapped my magnetic “Avoid Obama Trauma” bumper sticker on the hatchback door and felt much better.

Overall, it was an excellent day.

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