Day 280, Year 6 Trip to Ashfield
Date: Sunday, July 31, 2011
Weather: Another Gorgeous Day, Temp in Low 90’s
Location: Eel Pond, Woods Hole, Massachusetts

This day took us from busy tourist country on Cape Cod to the back country in the mountains of Western Massachusetts. Our son Justin went to Hampshire College in this area. Five colleges–Hampshire, Amherst, Smith, Mt. Holyoke, and U Mass Amherst form a cooperative where students enrolled in any one of the schools can attend classes at any of the other schools. North Hampton is the town that is the central meeting place and the whole area is really beautiful. So after college, Justin stayed in the area and eventually started working at Double Edge Theatre here in Ashfield. Including his college years, he spent twelve years of his life here, so coming to visit is an important part of any trip to New England. He also met his wife Jo at Double Edge, so Ashfield is special to them both. Tonight we attended Double Edge’s summer performance of The Odyssey. Double Edge is the creation of Stacy Klein and it is located at the Farm-a permanent center of performance, training, research, and cultural exchange-in Ashfield. The performances combine original music, expression through movement in the Cirque du Soleil style, with the work of dedicated actors bringing true imagination to the stage. The audience moves around the Farm as the scenes take you from one location to another, both indoors and out. It is like no other theatre and the set design of tonight’s performance was truly magical. Bravo, Double Edge.

It is now after midnight. We are in the sitting room at the Inn at Norton Hill in Ashfield where we are spending the night and it is like no other inn. The welcome brochure explains that it should have been named the “check yourself Inn” as you simply walk through the front door and find the room you have reserved. As it states in their brochure, “Ashfield is one of the remaining places in the country where keys are an afterthought. This house was built in 1795 (a year before George Washington left office) and it’s never had a keyed lock on any door.” So why spoil a good thing? And the Inn is right across the street from Elmer’s, a local restaurant that Yankee Magazine says has the best pancakes in New England. So you know where we will be tomorrow morning. After that, we take off for a busy day in Boston.

110731 Day 280 Cape Cod, USA–The Odyssey at DoubleEdge Theatre