With the completion of a year-long building project, and our first anniversary since simultaneous heart surgery for JJ, and the loss of my dear Mom, we luxuriated for a couple days in Salisbury, Connecticut at the White Hart Inn.
The Inn, established in 1806, was recently renovated, and the frumpy florals and flounces in the bedrooms, from a bygone era, have been replaced with beautiful white wainscoting, earth toned wallpaper, comfy beds and pristine baths. They have a few kinks to sort out, but I suspect that after a costly renovation, they need to replenish their coffers for a time.
The northeastern corner of Connecticut is bucolic, with rolling meadows, a suggestion of the Berkshire Mountains in the distance, active farms, and antique homesteads lovingly maintained. People seem content with their lives, and oblivious to keeping apace with the next new thing. It’s ever so peaceful and refreshing.
Up with the chickens our first morning, we drove over to the Housatonic River for a float trip with a fishing guide named Greg. He is an interesting young, local man who entertained me with his amiable chitchat, while JJ hauled in one small-mouth Bass after another, and I took notes on the local flora and fauna.
This beauty is a small-mouth bass. When we reached a deeper section of the river, Greg pulled out his bad-boy flies to try to lure in a pike, similar in temperament and appetite to a shark. I was very excited, from my secure position on the boat, to see a ferocious river fish, but it was a hot day, and these outlandish showgirl-like lures were not enough to draw the pike up from the cooler deep.
Meanwhile, I watched scores of birds feeding on a hatch of insects, weaving through the air over the river, scooping up the minute fledglings in an effortless aeronautic dance. They flew like swallows, but new to bird watching, I need to consult a professional to give them their rightful name. I thought they might live in these holes in the mud cliffs at the waters edge, but there was no one home. Meanwhile, Greg kept me entertained, describing his new favorite drink – a Moscow Mule, his girlfriend’s decorating ambitions, his day job with his father’s excavation company, and his mother’s work with the Kissingers at their weekend home nearby.Greg is an all-around good guy, and steered JJ to some fine fish, all freed back to the river, probably wiser.
If you find yourselves in the area, make reservations at The Woodland for dinner. The food is very good, the patrons local, and the atmosphere very neighborly.
There are some great garden centers and farmers markets in the area, too. A must visit is to Campo de’ Fiori, just over the border, in Sheffield, MA.
Alas, we don’t drive a pickup truck, but if we did, I would have come home with a new variety of river birch called ‘Shiloh Splash.’
I haven’t given up on it. I’m trying to figure out where I could shoe-horn one in…..