Saturday, July 4, 2009

North On The Fourth



We struck north on the fourth, with the plan being to end up at my friend's campsite up in Heath for a visit. We took the back roads up, mostly. Amherst being directly on our route of travel, and more serendipitously, their 3:00 July 4th Parade being directly in our window of opportunity, we stopped to check it out. We arrived just in time to plant ourselves on a corner across from the common as the festivities began...



Firefighting, police and public works vehicles and apparatus from towns all around formed an impressive convoy of wailing sirens and flashing strobe lights, constituting a good portion of the length of the parade.





There were a lot of emergency vehicles participating, causing Kelly to quip that there'd better not be an emergency anywhere...

There was a hubub in this town about their July 4th parade festivities, with some conflict arising between the town manager and the town's private parade committee about who could and should participate, and how those participants should represent themselves. It was (from what I gathered) basically a battle of the traditional versus the progressive in a town where the two ideologies often butt heads.

Concessions and threats were lobbed back and forth but in the end, the 4th of July parade remained largely a positive and reverent event.







Amherst; a proud, long-standing seat of book-learnin' and ideological debate.



With some of Hampshire county's long history of farming and husbandry sprinkled in for good measure.





Kelly, being always on the take, waved furiously for a cider doughnut as they were tossed out to the kids. They just waved back at her for a few seconds at first, before realizing what the adult in the sidewalk was doing...



Some Amherst officials were in attendance...



...and while the parade appeared mostly traditional, there were a few contingents with some opinions to express.





...and an opinion or two tossed in from the sidewalk...



Overall, it was a pretty traditional parade celebrating their town and our country...



But a hard-won traditional parade.



The parade was over and it was time to make tracks...



...and move on to far-off Heath.

We stopped for lunch in Greenfield, then headed out onto route 2 (Mohawk Trail). As Shelburne Falls approached, we decided we couldn't let it pass by without a quick holiday visit. We're not out this far that often. A quick stroll about the little town center, and a look at the famed glacial potholes...



...and a stroll across the more famous Bridge of Flowers to top off the quick visit. We were finally ready to press on to our final destination; Camp Berry, arriving at about sunset...

Campfire.



Satellite TV.



Friends and beer.



Summertime.

2 comments:

LarryK4 said...

Hey Tony,

You got me! I would have that photo embossed on my gravestone. Doing what I love best: cycling, blogging and honoring our great country.

(Notice after all the bluster and saber rattling over allowing anti-war protesters, the ancient ONE who did show up never lifted his sign.)

Tony said...

Yep, I figured that was a Larry Kelly moment the minute I saw it..!