As both a poor college kid and a resident of a far-away state, I stayed in the dorms for Thanksgiving this year. Now, I know that sounds depressing, but it wasn’t so bad and I did have lots of time to do as I pleased. My holiday activities included singing in the shower (my roommates were out of town), playing the violin at odd hours (my entire building was basically out of town), and spending the day in Quincy.
Quincy, for those of you who don’t know, is just south of Boston proper, with four stops on the Braintree branch of the Red Line. It’s easy to get to, fairly safe, and is, among other things, the site of some pretty cool rocks. Because one of my close friends lives there (and was home for Thanksgiving weekend) we decided it was an optimal time for me to check out the quarries (which to locals, from what I’ve heard, are pretty anticlimactic. I’m easily excited.)
How we got there:
Tom met me at the Quincy Center T stop (where I got the first of several Vanilla-Chai Lattes–it’s my new obsession), which was conveniently also along the route of the 215 bus. From the station, we took the 215 to West Quincy (Copeland St. and Willard St. approximately), requesting a stop when his phone told us to (the bus doesn’t automatically stop along the route). After getting off in seemingly the middle of nowhere (I have a terrible sense of direction and had never been this far down the Red Line before), we walked across the street, under the overpass, up the highway, and down a side road until we reached a metal gate (you know those huge ones that keep cars from entering). We ducked under the gate and walked up the road, soon arriving at an open field: the edge of the quarry. The total travel time from Boston (if you start at Downtown Crossing) was about an hour, and cost around $3.50 each way for T and bus (sometimes buses don’t charge as much if you’ve just been on a train).
We were lucky that, despite rain the night before and below-freezing temperatures the day of, the rocks were not slippery/overly dangerous and we didn’t die. It was really cool seeing graffiti in such a natural setting, and I personally think the art made the place quite vibrant and cool. Tom and I somehow climbed to the top of a giant rock, from which we could see the Boston skyline (all pictured below). The pond was frozen that day, though rumor has it that you can swim in it during warmer months. I’ve also heard, however, that there are rocks at the bottom, so I wouldn’t recommend jumping in.
In my opinion, the quarries are definitely worth a visit. Best part: it’s (apart from travel) free!
– Go with someone who knows their way around or has a good sense of direction or a car (I believe there is parking, and it’s right off the freeway). I don’t know what I would have done without Tom.
– Bring a camera. If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to.
– Wear shoes that you can climb in. I was fine in flats, but then again, I’m really good at walking/running/climbing in flats.
– Go during daylight hours. Climbing in the dark is just not smart.