Every year we go camping with a large group of our friends at
Savoy Mountain State Park near North Adams,
Massachusetts. In past years, we camped over the 4th of July weekend, but this year we selected a date
in mid-August instead. Why those dates? Well, August 12th is the peak of
the Perseid meteor shower and
we hoped to see a good show far away from the bright city lights. The group camping was the first weekend,
but our family (as well as the Kochanski family) stayed for the remainder of the week.
This year was hot. Very hot. Most years we go no a couple of hiking trips and maybe a bike trip. This
year we did a bike trip (more later), but it was always too hot to do any serious hiking (although we did
one early morning loop around Tyler swamp). We did spend a good amount of time at the beach however, and
also lazing around camp.
On the morning of the 11th, we had a group bike trip to Tannery falls. A bunch of the adults and most of
the kids saddled up for the couple of mile ride from the camp site to the falls. I remembered that it
was not that far, but I had conviently forgot about the giant hill you had to climb over (that means uphill
in both directions). It was a challenge getting all the small kids up the hill.
The falls were not very spectacular this year
(for example, see this picture)
because the water level was so low. But I had a good time taking pictures (some of which even came out),
and the kids liked splashing around in the pool at the bottom of the falls.
On Monday afternoon we also went on a commercial kayak trip. The trip, run by
Crab Apple Whitewater was a self
guided journey down the Deerfield river in "Funyak" inflatable kayaks. About half the group went on
the trip. We started by driving down to Crab Apple's headquarters which was around 35 minutes from
the campsite. They told us to get their by 2:30 and we just made it, except for Caroline, who was
accidently left behind in a fit of confusion.
Caroline eventually showed up by borrowing another car (which turned out to be a good thing). Then
we got fitted with life jackets and helmuts and instructed in the safety rules. Crab Apple shuttled
us to the put in which was around 8 miles up river. Then we waited around there until they had all the
boats ready. We didn't actually get into the water until around 4:00. (Later I learned that they
had to wait for the water release from the upstream dam before we put in.)
The trip downstream took almost four hours as we floated in the mild current in our inflatable kayaks.
There were plenty of low spots where you could get stuck and I spent a good amount of the trip helping
one or the other of the Coney twins get unstuck. There were some mild rapids, which the younger kids
really loved, but otherwise the trip was pretty tame.
There was one stop about two-thirds of the way down river where we had a food and drink break and they
took some pictures of us on the river. The camerawoman was using a Nikon D100 digital camera so the
pictures were ready for viewing by the time we got back to the Crab Apple headquarters. But they only
wanted to sell prints. They would not sell us the JPGs (oh well).
When we finally got back to the headquarters, Jim Bodmer has lost his car keys. We ended up cramming
in the remaining cars and heading back for dinner. Later, Debbie went back with her spare keys to pick
up the car.
Every year we do one service project. This year the older kids built a
new trail from the group
camping site to the nature center (not our idea), while the smaller kids did trask pickup around
The rest of the trip was much less eventful. Most people left by Tuesday or Wednesday and we were alone
with the Kochanski's and their annoying neighbors. (A family staying in the site across the street from
the Kochanski's had two children
who were lonely for attention, and constantly underfoot.) I read and
took some pictures; Daphne and the kids played Dungeons and Dragons.
It only rained once, on Friday evening during dinner (we went out). We ended up leaving on Saturday, a day
early because the campsite filled up on Friday night with some noisy campers. Also, the meteor shower
was not very interesting (both times we got up at 2:00am we did not see many meteors). But, all in all it
was a very relaxing week.
This web page (http://www.gouldhome.com/Savoy02.html) was last updated on August 10, 2002.
For any comments or suggestions about the site contact Daphne Gould.
Contents copyright © 1999-2003 by Joel and Daphne Gould.