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May 3, 2012

     the berkshires are renowned for the beautiful scenery that frame our communities.  naturally, there are many outdoor activities that are popular with locals and tourists alike, such as hiking, skiing, biking, fishing and boating…..but, the one activity that this berkshiregirl longs for, as she dons her boots and mittens in the long berkshire winters, is kayaking.  i find it is then,rowing in my own little, purple kayak,  that i am fully immersed in the beauty that is the berkshires…..the serene waters… the stately mountains, blanketed in their colorful, deciduous forests…. wildlife at ease, as they welcome visitors, such as myself, to their homes…..all of these things call to my heart, and foster my love of the kayak.

     there are countless places to go kayaking/canoeing in the berkshires.  depending on your skill level and your mood, you could take a short trip or make an entire day of it.  there are several ponds, lakes and also rivers….the main river of course, being the housatonic. i have spent time on the housatonic river in almost all of its seasons….from the almost frigid waters in spring, with the return of the canadian geese overhead and the mallards floating beside me, to the last glimmer of autumnal wonder that is profuse in the berkshires….the  river never fails to inspire me.  oftentimes, the beavers and river otters join me, as i paddle along….many times, the great blue heron, who at other times, appears elusive, jumps ahead to the next oxbow, and  leads me on my journeys….

     if i am short on time, i will usually head for stockbridge bowl, as it is close to my home, and i can make it around the lake in a relatively short amount of time…the bowl is nice, usually fairly calm and you get great views of the surrounding mountains, including a great view of kripalu, the nations leading yoga center.  the waters are usually calm enough to row whichever way you choose, and the birds and water lilies make it a calming and dreamy adventure…. the shores are taken up by million dollar second homes, which actually adds to the wonder of the place…..often times i imagine what it would be like to live in one of those houses, or see myself, back in time,  rowing past president james garfield, as he fished its shores…..

     other spots in the berkshires that are popular for kayaking and canoeing, include buckley dunton pond in becket, goose pond in lee, and the green river in south county…..wherever you end up, dropping your kayak in…you are bound to find bliss and happiness, as these berkshire waters infuse you with a medicine that cannot be found anywhere else on this earth… most locals own their own kayaks/canoes, but places to find them to buy or rent include the arcadian shop, in lenox and berkshire outfitters  in great barrington…… happy rowing….


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