How did NJ62864 end up in the Monterey woods?
Photo by Matt Petricone
Bob’s Way off Route 23 in Monterey is a pleasant hiking path owned by the Berkshire Natural Resources Council—but it comes with a surprise. Resting near the trail in a wooded area is a 19-foot motorboat clearly bearing the registration NJ62864. It is at least a half-mile from any road, with no large pond nearby.
Did some weekend sailor transport NJ62864 here simply to discard a no longer useful boat? Why would anybody go to the trouble of hauling a boat across hills and through thick woods? If it had been simply a matter of disposing of the craft, it would make more sense to haul it a hundred feet off the road and just leave it there. There are even some personal items—papers and such in a compartment near the steering wheel. Plenty of evidence indicates that this boat was not casually discarded.
Theories abound, the most intriguing being that the boat was transported there by a tornado. Bob’s Way lies just east of the center of Monterey, roughly the lift-off point of an F4 storm that raked across Great Barrington on May 29, 1995. That storm did major damage to the old Great Barrington Fairgrounds, swept over East Mountain, tore a swath near routes 23 and 57, killed three riders in a car, and continued east.
Could it have lifted the boat from a pond or driveway and flung it into the woods a few miles to the east? We await a sleuth to solve the mystery of NJ62864.