seize the weekend. Magic in the Berkshires.

October 24, 2015 |  Category:   favorite posts life seasonal travels


Sometimes it takes a little effort to find magic. In a totally spontaneous moment, we decided to drive up to Massachusetts last weekend without a real agenda. We just wanted to get in the car to see where it would take us. We were lucky to find a last minute room at an inn – using credit card points no less – so we didn’t think twice about booking the trip. The Northeast had a brief weekend cold blast (by contrast, it was in the 70s much of this week), so we piled winter coats, hats and gloves in the trunk. As we continued to drive North, the change in the trees became more vibrant and I felt this need to see something big, something that would take my breath away.

I can’t really explain why. Sometimes you can’t really explain what you feel. Our first day was spent wandering around a few towns and taking short hikes in the forest. The foliage was beautiful, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I wasn’t finding what I was looking for. Seriously? All these beautiful colors around me, the sun shining through treetops, the leaves crunching as we hiked around the forest, and it wasn’t enough?

But I woke up early Sunday morning a little after sunrise to see this scene outside our window on the lake. We pulled on our clothes and ran outside. That mist! It was a good sign. And then we decided to check out of our inn early and drive a little farther north up to the highest point in Massachusetts.


And the drive up the mountain was beautiful. I was so glad to have made the call, as last minute as it was. We were surrounded by color and had to pull off the road a few times just to stand in the quiet with the leaves falling on us. We drove a little further and then we saw it – just a small strip of silvery frost topping the treelines. The trees on this part of the drive were so fiery red too. The way that the color gradually crept down in a gradient was something that I hadn’t seen before.


We drove up some more and found another lookout point. Some snowflakes were starting to flutter down and we saw the frost up close dusted on trees. The clouds were dramatic over the landscape, but there were some breaks of blue.


As we drove to the highest point, the snow started coming down harder and it seemed like the clouds were engulfing us. The snow didn’t even seem real because they clung onto the leaves and flowers in big clusters. It was the driest snowfall I’ve experienced, if that makes any sense. The temperature was about 30 degrees.

No matter how sick of winter you were in previous years, that first snowfall is always like magic. And it did feel like magic, like being in a giant snowglobe.





Our visibility at the peak was limited because the clouds were so low and thick that we couldn’t see farther than a few tree lines away. But then the kids wandered away and we followed them and stumbled across a clearing that took our breath away. Yes, see? The whole drive up was magic, but the sky opening up to reveal this view was beyond – and we could have driven away not knowing what we had almost missed. But sometimes it’s all about timing right? Because after about 15 minutes of gawking at this breathtaking view, the clouds rolled back in and shrouded it all back up again.

But I had found what I was looking for, not knowing exactly what it was going to be. I think because I have been feeling so empty lately, I wanted to see something that was bigger than me. Maybe this is why I keep searching for views and sunsets – to feel overwhelmed by nature and not by my life.

P.S. You can watch the Periscope replays of the whole journey up Mt. Graylock on Katch.




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  • Laurie October 24, 2015 at 5:18 am

    I’m a long time reader of your blog. I’ve never commented before, but I just wanted you to know how much I enjoy your beautiful writing!

    • Jenna October 24, 2015 at 10:49 am

      Thank you for leaving a comment today, Laurie. Much appreciated 🙂

  • Kay October 24, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    We are western mass-ites. Come visit us more often!!
    My daughter’s class recently had a field trip to mt greylock and they hiked up the front apparently.
    Your calendar is beautiful.?

    • Kay October 24, 2015 at 1:23 pm

      That’s supposed to be an emoji not a question mark…

      • Jenna October 24, 2015 at 8:07 pm

        I was surprised at how fast the drive was – without city traffic. We do want to come back more often. I was pregnant the first time around when we were there last, so it had been a long time.

  • Barbara October 24, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    I’m saving this beautiful string of words: “Maybe this is why I keep searching for views and sunsets – to feel overwhelmed by nature and not by my life.” Thank you, for this stunning post.

    • Jenna October 24, 2015 at 8:07 pm

      Thank you, Barbara.

  • Melissa October 25, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    I loved this entry because I’ve felt unsatisfied on trips so many times and I think you’ve pinpointed why. I love how you captured that feeling of being overwhelmed by nature in your photos. I felt like I was next to you on this trip.

  • Nancy October 25, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    So amazing. I love the drive up to the Berkshires. We live in Connecticut so we sometimes take Route 7 all the way up, along the Housatonic through all the small New England towns. . The next time you head up there, visit MassMoCA, in North Adams, if you haven’t been. The girls will enjoy it–my kids do! You can stay at Porches, across the street.

    • Jenna October 29, 2015 at 10:33 pm

      I haven’t been to MassMoCA in years, but yes, it seemed like a separate trip than this trip. Would love to take the kids there!

  • LJ October 27, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    So lovely. Thanks for sharing, Jenna.

  • Jhope October 28, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    What a beautiful post.

  • Elfriede Munroe October 29, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    Also a longtime reader of your blog who has never commented before. Your photos and commentary are always amazing but this time you blew me away!

    • Jenna October 29, 2015 at 10:33 pm

      Thank you for commenting today! So nice to hear from you.

  • Melissa@Julia's Bookbag October 30, 2015 at 11:39 am

    I gasped a little when I saw these views – I can only imagine what it was like in person!!