The poet and the prints.

I’ve taken to using Fridays as a day to explore, just drive around randomly or pinpoint spots I want to see. My first Friday here I had a plan to check out the area of the Emily Dickinson Museum, and in Googling around right before I left I added another stop – one of DINOSAUR FOOTPRINTS.

I shit you not, I was looking up “Pioneer Valley,” and stumbled upon this gem of a site located in Holyoke. It’s an area of more than 130 tracks embedded in sandstone that researchers believe were made by small groups of two-legged carnivorous dinos that were up to 15 feet tall.

It’s on a rando spot on Route 5 and I almost flew by it! You pull off into a small parking area that can fit maybe four cars, then walk down a wooded embankment to the site. There are signs everywhere explaining what you’re about to see.

dino print sign

facts about prints

history sing

The slabs are smaller than I expected and, to be honest, they just looked like chipped and jagged rock – until I took a closer look.

dino print

This was the best picture I could snag, one that very clearly showcases a foot. THIS IS A FOOT. OF A DINOSAUR. And I stood in it, and many more. It was an insanely cool and unexpected surprise, as was the river that ran alongside the site, which was beautiful.

river bank 2 river shore 1

And then back to Amherst it was, to see where Ms. Dickinson made her stomping grounds (pre-homebody phase!).

I was in no way disappointed with the atmosphere of it all. All I could think about as I walked was how she strode the area and, inevitably, drew inspiration from it.

As I was fumbling with my GPS so I could walk in the correct direction of things, I fell upon the Amherst Book Store, which looked to me like it could have once been a library, now turned college/everyday book store. My favorite part was the ladder on rails along the wall – HOW “BEAUTY AND THE BEAST” IS THAT?

amherst book store


Then up the road I ventured, towards the museum, and was interrupted by a glorious sight that I’d only glimpsed on Pinterest: An artistic setup titled “Poetic Dialogue,” two metal silhouettes of Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost on boulders, seemingly having a conversation, with “books” open near each that told their lives’ tales.

poetic dialogueDickinson book frost book

From there I went past the museum (little did I know that that day admission was free if you were able to recite one of Emily’s poems!), a GORGEOUS building, and then on the search for Emily’s grave. I couldn’t find it! I walked up the street I researched it to be on, but to no avail.

Sadly, about a week later, Boy and I were driving down said road and saw the cemetery, so you can bet your ass I’ll be going back soon.


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