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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.