Wednesday, October 12, 2016

New York: July 29, 2003

A continuation of the cross-country adventure I shared with Ben during the summer of 2003....

Day 53--Tuesday, July 29, 2003

We decided to skip "Kaleidoworld," which we figured was just a cheesy tourist attraction, and enjoy the natural beauty of the Catskill Mountains instead.  We drove to Kaaterskills Falls and decided to hike the trail there.  This necessitated quite a bit of a walk along a narrow, winding, and busy road to get to the start of the trail from the parking lot, but we survived.

The trail was very rocky and rain through the woods.  Sometimes the boulders made natural steps (or had been rearranged to do so), but other times we had to pick our path very carefully.  The trail was about half a mile, nearly all uphill, and was quiet, peaceful, and beautiful.  The trail culminated at the falls, which are the highest in the state of New York.  To us, it actually looked like a series of falls, starting up high and then letting the water rest for a bit in little pools before beginning the next stage of its descent.  The water flow seemed pretty slim, enough to flow continuously, but not enough to make much noise or look too impressive.  We settled down on some large rocks to rest and admire the view before hiking back down.

The trail down was simply hard because there were no trail markers, and the rocks pretty much all looked the same to us.  We spent a great deal of the trip discussing the Raymond Feist books, and Ben quizzed me on trivia and then pretended to be an elf and scouted ahead along the trail.  All in all, it was a really enjoyable hike.

After winding through the woods for a while, our next stop was the town of Woodstock.  I don't really know what I was expecting, but I wasn't overly impressed by it.  It looked like any other small, sleepy town, with the exception that it seemed to sell a great deal more incense than any other small town I've seen.  We parked and walked around for a while, checking out a few small shops and looking for magnets and postcards.  The community seemed to consist mostly of aging hippies, all very free spirited and artistic.  I guess that's about the best we could hope for from a town whose only claim to fame is that a famous concert was held nearby over 30 years ago.

We spent the rest of the day driving and got to the Shelburne campground outside Burlington, Vermont, right around dinnertime.  The woman who checked us in was very friendly, and the site was nice and clean.  We made pizza pot pies for dinner and spent the evening reading, doing crossword puzzles, working on school stuff, and writing postcards.  Well, I mostly did those things while Ben relaxed and stared into the fire.  We got to talk to all of our parents before turning in for bed before 10:00.

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