Ken in Byfield village, Newbury, Massachusetts, 26 May 2012

I was hoping to go to New York City for Memorial Day weekend, but as I had been hit with this terrible spring flu that was going around, I decided that I better not do anything too strenuous and stay at home for the weekend. That being said, I didn’t want to just stay in the house the whole time, so I decided to think of places that weren’t too far away that I’ve never been to and wanted to experience. What came to mind was that I had never driven up the New Hampshire Seacoast (it’s only 18 miles!) so I figured that I’d also try to hit a whole bunch of towns off the Meditate Mass 351 Challenge while I was up in that area. It was a beautiful warm late spring (more like early Summer) day, so I thought that I could visit a whole bunch of towns in the northeastern corner of Massachusetts, as I don’t make it up there too often. This would be a marathon day, as I had plans to make it to six (yes six!) different towns. I packed my lunch and headed up I-95 and got off at Newbury.

While that’s technically true, I actually got off the exit for the village of Byfield. Newbury was one of the first towns in the area, and many of the more populated parts of it broke off and became other towns (such as Newburyport and West Newbury), so Newbury is really a bunch of small villages without a discernable center. I was there before in Byfield a number of years ago when the New England Sacred Harp Singing Convention was held there in 2009, and I stopped at the same venue this time. Byfield is basically an intersection with some official building (post office, churches, a few stores, etc.) but it’s really pretty quiet. It’s only 1/4 mile off the highway, but it’s not on a numbered route and it’s not on the route to any major destination.

After staying for a bit, I looked at my map and started heading off to West Newbury.

So, when have you been in a quiet place just around the corner from a busy place?

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