For the past week I’ve been visiting family in Boston, an early Christmas trip so we could see my nephew in his senior musical.
My brother and sister-in-law’s gift to my folks was to have family portraits taken, so the boy here was posing for a professional photographer. The session was quite a surprise–“Wear solid colors, we’re leaving at three!”–but we’re hoping for the best. It was probably best to make it a surprise, so we wouldn’t obsess about it, but Mom and I agreed we would have at least had our hair cut.
Rocks were kind of a theme–on Monday my brother took me on a rock-based tour of the area.
To get here we had to park in back of an apartment complex and climb a secret path. Paul tracked this place down from hints on a trail-biking site and google satellite photos.
To get to this rock we had to park in a suburban cul-de-sac and walk through someone’s back yard to a public access path. This rock is supposedly painted with symbols that prove there was witchcraft in Massachusetts during the time of the witch trials.
Maaaaaaaaybe there’s a bit of a caduceus there on the left. Paul does a lot of research on these things–this find was in a book called something like “Weird New England.” There were three pages in it on this rock.
This is the Salem Village Parsonage, though it’s in Danvers now.
This is where the Salem Witch Trials started, the parsonage where the girls started telling fortunes and seeing visions. It looks like the entire cottage would fit in my living room. It’s a public access site, but you get to it through a footpath between houses. From what Paul said it sounded like there was witch history scattered around the area but most towns were content to let Salem have the glory and the wax museums.
This is the Big Agassiz Rock, named after the Harvard geologist who first posited the theory that big rocks could be left by retreating glaciers. There is a Little Agassiz Rock too:
We got to these big rocks by a stumbly trail through the woods, at the side of the road, just beyond the posted warning that it was archery season for deer.
The last rocks we saw were the Bascomb rocks, which are full of helpful advice:
There were several of these rocks on a path through the woods. Paul said that the Bascomb who put the rocks there founded a college and tried to disprove the theory of gravity. After this he took me to the bar featured in the movie A Perfect Storm for a beer. When he asked the bartender to see their scrapbook, she said, “Oh yes! I should have given you that right away!” so I guess it was clear we weren’t locals. One customer told me I didn’t sound like I was from Georgia, either (not in a mean way. Apparently no one in the South can understand her accent when she visits.)
This is the Paper House, where everything is covered in paper.
The doors are open during the day and turning off the lights and leaving a donation are on the honor system.
Actually our last stop was at a Dunkin’ Donuts to get rid of the beer from the Perfect Storm bar, so our lunch turned out to be beer and donuts. Perfect!