It’s easy to take for granted the beautiful and interesting things that lie in your own backyard, so it’s always fun to hit the road and do a little exploring. Fall in New England is a visually inspiring time and a drive into the hill towns west of Northampton was the perfect way to spend a day. Sure, there was a distinct lack of fall in the air as temperatures hit the high 80’s, but the cider donuts from the bakery in Easthampton eaten in the car with the AC on were still a delicious way to start our adventure. Our destination was to meet friends at the Ashfield fair, but one of the best parts about tooling through the countryside is stopping at interesting places.
Roadside America came calling in the form of a large silver man made of stovepipe guarding a spectacular collection of rusted steel and installation art. The crunch of gravel under tires that came off the highway a little too fast announced our arrival into this fabulous world. There is an actual business buried somewhere amongst the art, something about stoves, new, vintage, repairs…whatever…who cares about that???! Places like this speak to my soul, they are raw expression. They come from a place so deep within their creators that it becomes a compulsion fueled vision. The vision overtakes the person and it becomes a lifestyle. Love it. People who create installation pieces around their lives expect and invite visitors into their world, so sure enough after about 10 minutes of taking pictures in and around the buildings the artist emerged from his house. I’m pretty sure he waits to see if you’re just a tourist taking pictures of the oddity or if there’s a real appreciation. I would, it weeds out annoyances. We had a nice chat with him and he invited us to explore his gardens.