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A few days ago, my friend CJ, my brother J-Dub, and I went up to Stockbridge, MA for a day hike. We parked across from the town hall and police station and made our way into the trails maintained by the Laurel Hill Association. The first clip in was mainly smooth trails with a few small ups. Along the trail however there were a lot of interesting monuments like this stone altar commemorating a member of the Laurel Hill Association. This was acting as a reminder of the pervasiveness of religion in every facet of Massachusetts life until recent times:

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The beginning of Ice Glen itself is denoted by a carving into a stonewpid-20150817_131038.jpg, naming the person who gifted the land to Stockbridge and the Laurel Hill Association.

 

 

 

 

The Ice Glen is this fun little rock scramble (about a mile round trip) in the middle of a dense, Tolkien-esque, forest.

Start of the scramble

Start of the scramble

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Despite it being an incredibly hot day, the temperature drops provided by the caves and low points in the scramble were a welcome relief. It felt like walking into an air conditioned building.

J-Dub in an Ice Glen cave

J-Dub in an Ice Glen cave

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After going through the Ice Glen, we all decided to keep hiking and made our way up to Laura’s Tower. While the terrain wasn’t very rough, the path was mainly up, and after doing so much rock hoping, it definitely felt a little tiring.

blazes for Laurel Hill Association and the Laura's Tower trail

blazes for Laurel Hill Association and the Laura’s Tower trail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And of course, once we reached the top, the only place left to go was still up! We had to climb the tower itself, which isn’t something I’m too keen on. While they often have amazing views, something about narrow stairs cases always makes me a little nervous, especially ones that go 600ft up!

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However, once at the top, when we could look out and see the Berkshire mountains and ranges even beyond that outlined on the horizon, the fatigue and worry gave way to the exhilaration of the climb.

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