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Chicopee Massachusetts

Welcome back to #TravelThursday. 12 years ago this month the USAF sent me to Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee Massachusetts for an observation of how my counterparts there do the same job as me at their base. Me and my supervisor at the time flew in to Bradley International Airport (#BDL) on a Monday. Bradley is located in north-central Connecticut about halfway between Hartford Connecticut (15 miles to the south) and Springfield Massachusetts (15 miles to the north). We got our rental car, and we drove northward into Massachusetts towards Westover. It was my very first time ever into the states of Connecticut and Massachusetts, and I haven’t been back there since.

Westover Air Reserve Base (ARB) is the former Westover Air Force Base (AFB) – built in 1939 at the start of World War 2. It’s been an ARB for the past 30+ years, and it’s the largest ARB in the U.S. in both size and military and civilian employee population.

Chicopee is the city that includes nearly all of Westover. About 55,500 residents call Chicopee home. The city reached its peak population during the early-1970s, and it’s been dropping steadily since. It’s a northern suburb of Springfield which it borders. About 156,000 call Springfield home, and about 700,000 live within the Greater Springfield metro area.

“When at Westover – eat at Bernie’s“, and so we did. It’s a nice restaurant located inside a train car. It’s very unique-looking from the outside, and the food is pretty good inside. I remember it to this day.

The area sits near the foothills of the scenic Berkshires – a low-elevation mountain range that’s part of the Appalachians. It’s about a 45-minute drive to the west. On a future visit to the region (and I hope that there is one) I definitely wish to explore this area. Chicopee is known as the “Crossroads Of New England”. My first (and only to date) visit to New England was way too short (barely 5 days). It was a sneak-peek of a future non-work-related trip that will hopefully include more of New England into Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

Finally – I was wondering if Chicopee / Westover was the furthest north I’ve ever been here stateside. No. It’s near 42.2° north latitude. I’ve been further north – Detroit (42.3°), Milwaukee (43.0°), Syracuse (43.1°), and Niagara Falls (43.1°).

Next #TravelThursday we’ll visit ZooMiami. Let’s keep traveling together.

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