Great Barrington, MA, is a pricey little tourist town located at the base of the Berkshire Mountains along the Housatonic River. Summer tourism is supported by numerous nearby performing arts centers and arts festivals (including Tanglewood) and the town is the center of activity for Ski Butternut in the winter. Although Great Barrington only has a little over 7,000 residents, it boasts having over 50 restaurants. Speaking of restaurants, Arlo Guthrie’s song “Alice’s Restaurant” is based on true-life events in the area.
W. E. B. Du Bois was born and raised in Great Barrington. He was the first African American to earn a doctorate degree from Harvard and went on to co-found the NAACP. Great Barrington was also the first community in the USA to be lighted by an alternating current electrical system when, in 1886, William Stanley built a demonstration system to light the buildings on Main Street. Prior to this, the Edison direct current system was widely used and, after this successful demonstration, Westinghouse began installing A/C electrical systems later that year.
Sounds like a great hiker town, right? Wrong. In addition to being expensive, the town is very spread out which requires a lot of walking to get anywhere. There is one shopping center that has a conveniently co-located grocery store, hardware store, and laundry, but the only motel that is close to it is the Days Inn which charges a whopping $170 a night.
Today I am taking a zero at the Mountain View Motel and, since it has been raining all day, the zero appears to be a good choice. The motel is a half mile from the nearest convenience store, but the price is a lot more reasonable. And it is a nice quiet place to work on my journals. Thankfully, there is a really good Chinese restaurant right next door to the motel where I grabbed a takeout order for lunch and enjoyed a combination platter for dinner.
This afternoon, I called Linda the Trail Angel to ask if she could possibly give me a ride back to the trailhead in the morning and she readily agreed to pick me up at 8:00 am. Tomorrow I will be back on the trail and continuing my walk in the woods.