254 Days To Mt. Kilimanjaro – Parker’s Climb – The Berkshires – Williamstown, MA

We awoke this morning to the smell of coffee brewing and a chill in the air that made us sleep like babies. The termperatues in Boylston, Ma. dipped into the 30’s last night. Travis, Madeleine’s dog, a strapping Blue Heeler, slept next to my bed all night. He always likes it when Geoff comes to visit because Geoff will throw sticks for him to chase until he is worn to a frazzle. It was nice having a dog sleeping next to my bed last night – there is just something I like about that. On Sunday, Travis is making the climb with us up Mt. Greylock. So he officially becomes the Parker’s Climb Mascot – a title he will earn with honor!

Dinner at George and Larri’s was incredible as usual. George made grilled prime roast, a delightful celery root puree, fresh chilled green beans with olive oil and garlic and sweet corn on the cob. It was a feast and as always I came away from the table thinking that George missed his calling. He should be running a fine restaurant with limited seating where you have to wait weeks for reservations, and you get to watch the chef prepare dinner! I am thrilled I get to pull up a stool and just watch the master work!

Desert was also incredible as it was prepared straight from the heart. When presented at the table, it sent both of the Parker brothers down memory lane. George made Coffee Souffl’e- a recipe that came from their Grandmother, Eunice Parker. She was the mother of Geoffrey & George’s Father, George Parker II. The minute George sat the souffl’e next to Geoff he recognized the recipe, even though he has not eaten it for probably close to 50 years. It was decadent, served chilled with fresh cream poured over it. I really wanted a second serving, but knew having this powerful shot of expresso would keep me awake. I think we all got a burst of energy from eating it as we stayed up well past midnight. I had the great idea that George should bring the leftovers to serve for breakfast as we start our climb of Mt. Greylock on Sunday.

Geoffrey and I drove over to western Massachusetts in the afternoon and the three hour drive was just picturesque. We drove through the beautiful little town of Princeton where Geoffrey grew up. He took me up Westminster Road where there is a house that I would simply love to have – and it is still empty. I spotted it last August when we were here, and I have dreamt of that house many times. In retirement it would be a wonderful summer house with it’s view of the rolling hills.

The leaves are absolutely on fire with color. It may be one of the prettist fall showings I have seen. The reds and oranges and yellows are far more vibrant that I ever recall seeing. The air is really, really cold from a Floridian’s perspective. The high today was 46 degrees. Honestly, we saw snow flakes as we made our way west.

Arriving into Berkshire County you quickly start seeing beautiful Mt. Greylock in the distance. The mountain range seems to go on forever in length. It is densely covered with colorful trees, which I have to think will keep us warmer on Sunday until we climb above the tree line. Then I have to believe it is going to be bitter cold! I am so going to freeze! I have this picture in my mind of having on so many layers (of clothing that does not match) that I am going to look like the Pillsbury Dough Girl! Except I will look more like a patchwork Pillsbury Dough Girl! As long as I am warm – I do not even care what I look like!

Williamstown is situated in Berkshire County in the northeast corner of Massacusetts, bordering Vermont and New York, near Mt. Greylock. The historic town covers just under 47.0 square miles and has a population of approximately 8,000, including 2,000 Williams College undergraduates.

We are staying at The Maple Terrace Motel located just a short walk from Williams College, the Clark Art Institute, and the Williamstown Theatre Festival, just to name a few of the local attractions. This charming motel is situated on three sprawling acres which gives you the feeling of peaceful country living, but the convenience of being in the heart of the historical district. Fronted by a beautiful Federal-style home, the Maple Terrace features 15 guest rooms and two large apartments with kitchens. We were lucky to get one of the apartments and I would like to just stay – until the first snow fall or all the leaves are gone, which ever comes first. Then I will be ready to go back to the warmth of home!

Tomorrow we will seek out parking at the base of the mountain and we will spend the day seeing historical Williamstown. I have business cards and flyers to pass out around town. It is parents weekend at Williams College so this beautiful mountain town should be bustling with activity!

Tonight I can see puffy white clouds lying on the mountain top. Soon I will see that mountain top summit with our new friends from Williams College – with David from Sturbridge, with George Jr. and Christine (and friends) coming from Vermont, with George, Larry, Madeleine and our Mascot Travis and on this trip we welcome Ella, Geoffrey’s niece, another beautiful Parker!

Happy to be in Williamstown tonight – Happy to be nestled in a delightful guesthouse with a view of Mt. Greylock! Happy to be walking in the footsteps that Geoff took during his early years growing up in Massachusetts. Just happy to be with Geoffrey and seeing fall foliage in it’s peak!

Parker’s Climb is going to the top of Mt. Greylock! We have a summit to meet – we have a cause to raise awareness for – We proudly climb to benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation, and to raise donations for research to end Parkinson’s disease.

Join us in our quest! Help support the life-changing research by donating to Parker’s Climb! Your donations go directly to the Fox Foundation! For the Cure!

Bring It On! Bring It on!
Pamela & Geoffrey

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