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
  1. 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.
  2. This is Bad Man's Cave. Al isn't actually a bad man.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. I'm incredibly into small houses with character, this had an abundance of it.
  9. We sat outside at an old wooden table and enjoyed some nice gin and tonics out of coffee mugs listening to My Morning Jacket.
  10. 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.