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Autumn in Western Ma.

 View of North Adams

View of North Adams

When people think about Massachusetts they think of Historic Boston; Red bricked Federal-style rowhouses of Beacon Hill, Small gelaterias in the North End, confusing concrete tunnels of the Big Dig. Some may venture into the Metrowest suburbs where we call home. Office parks, strip malls, and historic downtown areas. 

But last fall Ed and I decided to drive west. Past Worcester, past Springfield, all the way west, to the city of North Adams via the Mohawk Trail. North Adams is a small city in Berkshire county that has developed a robust art community. We made a day trip out of it and of course, we took a drone and a camera. 

 

On the way, we made a stop in Sherbourne Falls, a picturesque village by the Deerfield River. I had heard about the glacial potholes on the river before, so I figured we'd go have a look. We walked on the flower bridge which was better than it sounds, we grabbed some coffee, met a cat, and got back on the road. 

This part of Massachusetts vastly differs from the suburbs we're both used to. There are long stretches where you won't see a single house for miles. Because of this, there are plenty of areas to fly the drone.

 

 Glacial potholes at Shelbourne Falls

Glacial potholes at Shelbourne Falls

We decided to stop in an area that had everything we were looking for. Beautiful leaves, big ol' mountains and a winding road. Our original plan was to capture some scenic views of the mountains covered in colorful fall foliage.  HOWEVER, we had a slight complication. Drones require regular updates to their firmware and software. And the newly installed software on our iPad pro needed us to log in, a standard procedure that would have been easy to achieve IF we had cellular service.

Because of the remote location, neither of us had a single bar (used to be dots) of LTE or 4G. This limits our drone to what is essentially a "beginners mode", which governs our altitude to a maximum of 75 feet. But we made the best of it. Ed was able to capture a decent photo of the mountains and leaves but no winding road. We also were able to test a polarizing filter. From the ground, I took some photos from of the river that runs along the road. Even now, I think about the image we could have captured. A great excuse to go back, I suppose. 

 Colorful Foliage at 75 ft.

Colorful Foliage at 75 ft.

As we approached North Adams we regained cell service and were able to fix our software problems. We hiked up a trail that overlooks North Adams and is just outside the 5-mile radius of the airport. We found a spot that was a perfect launch point and were able to capture some great images of North Adams with Mt. Greylock in the background. 

We drove down to the city, had some gyros and visited MassMoCA,  a massive contemporary art museum housed in old mill buildings. It was a great road trip and we hope to return.

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