The leaves upstate this time of year are seriously a wonder of the world. Find a way to get there stat.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
While you're up there, you can also park yourself on a bench and student watch because the 116th stop also services Columbia attendees.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Both the cabin and the yurt had a electricity; however to keep warm at night in the yurt, we created a fire in the wood burning stove.
You can be in the woods without roughing it:
Lots of people out there share this philosophy. A quick search of the web brought me to this blog, which documents the wonders of little living and puts an architectural spin on the saying, big things come in small packages:
Small House Style
Small Home Oregon
Monday, October 18, 2010
Ashokan Reservoir is an unlikely day trip, but its magnitude and its mountainous borders will make your finger sore from snapping pictures. Located at the eastern edge of Catskill Park, visitors who make the drive can stretch their legs on the paved path that leads around its western shore and ultimately across it.
Walk it. Bike it. Blade it. Go there and be thankful for tap water.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
I chose a particularly foggy day for this trip, which actually ended up adding to the experience as it weeded out some of the fair weather visitors. The Mountain Top Arboretum is perched 2,400 feet above sea level at the top of one of the Catskills' many hills. The word 'Arboretum' is a little misleading - this park, which is free and open to the public, is basically 23 acres of alternating forests and meadows.
The nearest town is Tannersville, which is a colorful, hippie ski village about fifteen minutes away. There you can find a variety of cuisine and heady hostels like the Grateful Bed and Breakfast. Here is a good place to stop and dine before heading home once you finish in the forest.
Platte Clove Road, which is a seasonal highway that is closed from November 1st through April 15th. I just made the cut off, driving up at the beginning of October and already, the road was precarious. It is tiny and winds along the side of the mountain, so you end up driving no faster than 35 miles per hour while you're on it. As it climbs, the trees thin out and you are able to look out across the Platte Clove Valley.
Along the highway are gems like this abandon hotel, and the ruins of a summer home destroyed by fire. Don't be intimidated by the horses in pastures near both that will stare at you when you get out of your car to poke around. I definitely felt like they were giving me the stink eye but they ended up just being curious about the city kid on their property.
Getting There: Borrow a car (or get a friend to drive) and head North! The Arboretum is off Route 23C and Maude Adams Road.
Cost: Gas money. The park itself is free.
What To Bring: A rain jacket and/or an umbrella. This destination is at a high elevation and is likely to be in cloud when you visit.
Monday, October 4, 2010
The Catskills are old and witching and when I think of them, I think of fall and leaf peeping. Once some friends and I took a drive and got lost in them for an afternoon and had a Rip Van Winkle-of-a-time. The leaves were peaking and if you blurred your eyes, the woods appeared on fire. We were totally alone and were able to hear things that normally only something with sonar might pick up.
You can Google Catskill Park and plan something, but I recommend driving and pulling off the road when you find a trail head - I think that is more in the spirit of the Catskills. People have been getting lost out there for hundreds of years and the lore of the mountains should be celebrated.
On our journey we had several bizarre encounters including a pit stop at a bar in an old home decorated with ancient taxidermy (the bartender had a clouded, glass eye) and a meeting with a Japanese tour group deep into the thick of the forest. To this day, I question both as being real.
I am just one of a million settlers with a similar Catskill story. I suggest this fall, you get out there and see what you might find in those woods.