Near the Holyoke/Easthampton line, Rt. 141 runs almost all the way up Mt. Tom and back down the other side. At the top is a large banquet hall, a restaurant, a parking lot for hiking trails and a small brown guardhouse-looking shack....
But the only security provided by this shack is the knowledge that your caffeine fix will always be met.
The little brown shack is the home of Mt. Joe To Go, a unique walk-up/drive-thru takeout coffee shop. One window (closest to the road) services hikers and the other window services cars. It's actually a prime location - the only coffee shop between the I-91 exit for Easthampton and Easthampton center itself. Not to mention there's a fabulous view right next door (it's best from the restaurant parking lot). And for such a small operation, they actual have a lot to offer, like hot and iced coffees in a variety of flavors, cappuccino, lattes, fruit smoothies, cookies and muffins, to name a few.
I can be a bit picky about my coffee, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect here, but I wanted to give it a try just for curiosity's sake. The first time we went a few weeks ago, I ordered a gingerbread iced coffee and Mr. valleywriter ordered a strawberry mango smoothie. There was only 1 woman working and there was a fairly good line behind us, so after waiting 5 minutes for our order, I didn't have the heart to tell her she got it all messed up when she gave me a hot gingerbread coffee and Mr. valleywriter got a strawberry raspberry smoothie.
We were disappointed that we didn't get what we'd ordered, but we had to admit that what we did get was decent. So when we were craving another caffeine fix on an early Saturday morning jaunt, we decided to give it another try. This time we each got a different flavor of hot coffee (pumpkin spice for me, french roast for Mr. valleywriter). Our order came out within a minute and was right on the money - and quite tasty. We were in, out, and on our way.
Since the coffee's been good both times, I'm going to chalk the first visit up to a busy worker (who maybe hadn't had her coffee yet). I have to say, now that I've tried it, I feel a little safer knowing Mt. Joe is watching from his guard shack high on Mt. Tom, securing my God-given rights to regular caffeine and sugar fixes. Thanks Mt. Joe!