Sunday in the Land of Rip Van Winkle
I don't even like that story, but I do love the Catskills. I thought of you driving up past Kaaterskill yesterday, @dev
- •Tried a new hike this weekend and hiked North Mountain. A great start walking through woods that went from typical oak-beech-maple forests to some red spruce and even a cedar here and there. This was Ashley Falls, which apparently is quite a sight when there's been a lot of rain. It was still nice even with a trickle.
- •This is Bad Man's Cave. Al isn't actually a bad man.
- •About 2 miles in you hit a nearly bald area and think you must be getting close to the top. I love these parts of peaks. I usually can find my favorite little dwarf scrub pines here.
- •You can't quite see over the tree line but it gives you a peak. The forests have been incredibly lush and verdant lately, which makes me happy. Our wild places are important.
- •The ledge was nicer than I had thought it would be. That blue strip on the left is the Hudson, the lakes are North-South Lake.
- •Whenever I'm at a peak I always walk around to see if there's a better vantage point. 20-30 feet away can make a big difference. This was the result of finding a smaller ledge nearby. I believe that's Blackhead Mountain in the back.
- •After we hiked down, I went to visit a friend who was renting a cottage after coming back from a year and a half in Nepal working for Habitat for Humanity International. I didn't want to leave. It was in the middle of nowhere and probably the most peaceful setting I could imagine.
- •I'm incredibly into small houses with character, this had an abundance of it.
- •We sat outside at an old wooden table and enjoyed some nice gin and tonics out of coffee mugs listening to My Morning Jacket.
- •I was able to spend my day surrounded by people I care about and enjoy, and didn't hear any bad news until I got down near my home and got cellphone service. The woods are a safe place, and if you don't already spend time in them, please start. You'll thank yourself later.