Thursday, May 28, 2009

Interchange

Wednesday's misty/foggy atmosphere made for some cool scenery as night time came about. I stopped to take this pic of a trucker taking a break in Holyoke, across from Barnes and Noble,



...then on the way home with trucks on the brain, I decided to stop and get out near the Mass Pike exit 6 interchange, where it meets route 291, for a couple more.



Chicopee touts itself as the "Crossroads of New England", and this is the actual crossroads they're talking about; where the Turnpike meets interstate 91 (via the short route 291). Looked at it on a road map, this interchange does indeed form a huge cross in lower New England.

I parked near the intersection at a tractor trailer lot and rushed across the on-ramp, with the camera already mounted to a tripod and set for a couple quick pics. The idea was to get in a couple shots from the median dividing the entrance/exit to the pike before a curious state trooper might pass by and ask some potentially unanswerable questions. But sure enough, not 10 seconds after I planted the tripod down on the median who should come around the corner but a statie. I held my breath, but he must have been en route to bigger fish; he whipped by giving me a sideways glare as he passed...



I got my pictures and skedaddled.



The parking lots all around here are loaded with tractor trailers parked overnight or dropping off trailers or refueling or idling while their drivers check in at one of the several nearby motels or diners or fast food joints.



The most prominent feature at the crossroad is a tall, waving, top-hatted man in white...



It's a statue that's now become kind of iconic in this area. For a long, long time it was painted like Uncle Sam and graced the dealership lot at Mutual Ford on Bay Street in Springfield. I remember seeing that big Uncle Sam from my earliest memories, it stood there for over 30 years. That dealer had since closed up, and about 10 years ago the statue was painted all white and transplanted here; given new life greeting weary travelers as they get off the Pike.



I've heard the statue is also used as a visual marker for the C-5 Galaxy pilots flying low as they go to and from the nearby Westover air base...it certainly stands out above the terrain...

4 comments:

cookingwithdadtv.com said...

Tony, again great pictures. I haven't been enjoying this wet weather, but it made some nice pictures of places & stuff we drive by everyday without noticing.

Mary E.Carey said...

I didn't know Chicopee was a crossroads. Nor have I seen the statue. It's great! This is a very atmospheric post.

CBL said...

I never knew what that statue was, even having lived around Chicopee for three years. Thanks for the info. And like everyone has already said, great pics.

Tony said...

thanks, the statue story must be told..!