Room to Breathe

What pairs well with local beer and wine this week? My opinion: some peace and quiet. It’s not always appreciated, or sought out. But after a nightmare of an election season — full of vitriol, lies and low blows — I was feeling a serious need to go high.

I found companionship with the Seven Sisters, the series of ridgeline summits along the Holyoke Range between Mount Holyoke and Mount Hitchcock. Last Saturday, my clifftop view of choice was from Long Mountain, the 600-foot traprock mountain that divides Amherst from Granby along the Robert Frost Trail. It was a chilly walk, and a steep scramble in spots — I used my hands to grab hold of the earth a few times — but the vista up top filled me with a wind-blown, runny-nosed, teary-eyed sort of inner peace. Most leaves were down, save for the oaks. The blue sky had banished clouds. At high noon, I felt both chilled and blasted with sun.

Do your part, as we go forward, to take care of yourself, and those around you. More than ever, we have promises to keep, and miles to go before we sleep. But don’t forget to get away sometimes, too. These woods are lovely, dark and deep.


— Hunter Styles,