Basking snakes (both alive and dead) are the new dead squirrel tail. I saw at least 100 snakes on the road today (please, let’s skip the whole Samuel L. Jackson thing, shall we?), mostly very small except for the one that was not small at all and which I went way out of my way not to run over, which was tough considering how fast I was sailing down that hill. Sadly, here it is October, usually a month I can simply cruise through, and a 45k ride in the rolling hills of Schodack is a challenge because I’ve done so little training. Blame the rain, blame the busyness, blame my brain (which is, after all, trying to kill me), but no matter who I blame, I didn’t get even close to a century this year and it’s no one’s fault but my own. I expect next year will be even tougher because of changing situations, but no sense worrying about that yet. There are still some great fall rides to be had.
This Columbus Day weekend was phenomenal, the One True Weekend that we’ve been wishing for all year, clear and bright and warm (in the sun — the October sun only warms what it touches in these climes). We went to Chesterwood, the home and studio of sculptor Daniel Chester French. They promised a fall festival, and as we drove through West Stockbridge we were confronted by hundreds upon hundreds of people at a similar festival at the Berkshire Botanical Garden, and I feared for the worst at Chesterwood (for me, crowds are the worst). But, no, just a couple of miles down the road and we had the place nearly to ourselves. We toured the house and studio, had a delightful walk through the outdoor sculpture exhibit, had a delicious meal, and the girls made jack-o-lanterns of some very nice sculpting clay. A grand day.
The rest of the weekend was some family things, finishing touches on the stoop and slate sidewalk I’ve been building (I’m unsure on the white marble edging around the slate sidewalk. It may be too much), a little painting, a couple of bike rides, a drive through the cemetery. The girls even went on a hayride. My god, what didn’t we do this weekend?