The newbie to the Berkshires will be perplexed by some of the unique structures that are mounted on some of the automobiles that have the patina (mostly Subaru) of belonging to the year-round residents of this county. I am referring to the twin asymmetrical U-shaped appendages, one in front of the roof and one on the back. To the naïve observer, this could mean:
a) Antennae which help the alien occupants of the Subaru communicate with the Mother Ship!
b) They all belong to some occult cult and gather on full moon nights on top of Mount Greylock for an exotic car-fest.
c) And the most likely explanation, they are bike carriers for really weird bikes!
Of course the first time I saw a kayak strapped on to those structures the mystery was cleared up. I had to get myself a kayak, just so I could have those crazy carriers installed on my roof. I so wanted to fit in! But having a convertible precluded this. So I decided to do the next back thing. I would go kayaking, and at the next daily lunch gathering at my office I announced my plan.
I had a vacation coming up. One of my co-workers volunteered her kayak. She lived on the lake and she would put her kayak, along with a paddle and life-vest, out on her back porch. All I had to do was carry it 40 feet or so to the edge of the lake and I could start my kayak adventure. She gave me directions to her house and I was all set.
This is where it gets complicated. I was midway into my vacation week. The sun was out, a balmy 75 degrees. The few clouds in the azure sky were low enough that you could almost touch them. It was a perfect day to be out on the lake. I plugged her address into my trusty GPS and -- nothing!! Well I could just ride around the lake and I was sure I would come across the location.
An hour later, I was still driving around trying to locate her address. In my excitement about this kayak thing, I had assumed that there was only the lake. It had not occurred to me to ask her the name of the lake she lived on!
After the third lake and a bowl and no kayak in sight, I and my GPS were thoroughly confused. I had discovered Hoosac Lake. And Pontoosuc Lake. And Onota Lake. And the Stockbridge Bowl. (Why a bowl and not a lake?) Reluctantly I gave up my quest. I would live to go kayaking another day, that being the better part of valor and all that. The long days of summer still stretched ahead and I had discovered another jewel (four actually) and one more reason for moving to the Berkshires!
Serendipitously, a month later, one of my patients (I will call him KK) asked me if I had tried kayaking. I told him about my little misadventure. KK promptly whipped out his business card which advertised him as a rock mason and advised me that he was the kayak speed champ of Massachusetts and anytime I was ready, I could call him and he would set me up with a lesson.
Only this time I will ask him which specific lake I will be meeting him!
(To Be Continued)
A native of Bombay, Dr. Mehernosh Khan, a board-certified practicing physician with a specialty in complementary medicine, came to the Berkshires last November with his wife Karen and their cats.