This past Thursday, I went on my seventh trip, heading south and east from home to a town I had never been to, and had only barely heard of. That would be Wales (not to be confused with the slightly more well known place in the UK).
I began by heading across the CT River into Chicopee, and going south until I crossed the Chicopee River, then turning east on Route 147. I followed this road across the northeast part of the city of Springfield, and then headed into the town of Wilbraham on Stony Hill Rd/East Boston Rd. That’s a nice, tree-lined road, and at one point the trees almost form a tunnel (click on photos to enlarge):
Just after this point I got onto eastbound US-20. Some more riding brought me to Nine Mile Pond:
A bit later, I passed by this horse and sleigh:
That is displayed in front of this business:
In most of Wilbraham, there is a small amount of shoulder where one can ride a bike and not be in the traffic lane, but as one gets farther east, near the Monson line, there is an official bike lane for a couple of miles. Here’s a picture of it:
This lane might be partly in the town of Monson, as Route 20 skirts the northern border of the town for a while.
The road then headed into the town of Palmer, and through downtown, where they emphasize the railroad history of the place. Here’s a typical sign from the downtown area:
A couple of blocks from that sign is this partial old depot building:
That is part of a little park that has a small play train (presumably for kids to climb in):
I continued east from Palmer on 20, and passed through a small spur of Monson before entering the town of Brimfield. In that little bit of Monson, I crossed the Quaboag River. Here’s the view south from the bridge:
The road had been pretty close to level up to this point, with only minor climbing, but there was a long stretch in Brimfield with a gradual climb. Soon after that climb, I came to the point where I turned off south, onto Hollow Road, which took me down into Wales. Here’s the town line sign:
It’s a pretty wooded town – here’s the section of road where that sign appears:
A bit farther south there is a little marsh off the east side of the road:
I had to climb some more on this road, until I got near the center of town. In the center, they have this monument I came across when I intersected Route 19:
Here are some details of the monument:
I went just a bit further south on 19, then began heading west. I passed this pond just after leaving the town center:
From there the road went downhill a whole bunch. It was almost all downhill as I headed into Monson, and passed just south of that town’s center. Then I started to climb again as I continued west. I had an initial, slightly steep climb, then some more gradual climbs as the road turned to the southwest. It eventually headed downhill again, as I entered the town of Hampden, before running into another road where I turned west, and headed into Hampden center. Here are some pictures of that area:
That monument is apparently to soldiers from the town who served in World War I. Near here there was a town park where I stopped to eat my lunch. I ate in this empty picnic shelter:
which was right by this playground:
One gets from the parking lot to the picnic/play area on this little bridge over a ditch/creek:
While I was eating, there was a parent with a small child on the playground, and at one point the parent pointed out something on the edge of the playground, which I could soon see was a frog hopping away from them. It went down into the ditch, apparently into the water. Later, once they had left, I took a look in the shallow water, and found a frog – likely the same one:
I went a bit more to the west, and then headed north by northwest to leave Hampden. I passed through a corner of the town of East Longmeadow, and then into the southeast part of Springfield. I made my way north through the city, eventually getting back into Chicopee. I crossed the Chicopee River in the same spot as I had in the morning, though with a better view of the dam there:
From here my path was the reverse of the way I started out. I got home having ridden 59.88 miles, bringing the September total to roughly 387.
Coming next: the final ride of the month!