It was the first day of summer, and a day trip to the Catskills was the plan… the goal was to climb Overlook Mountain. We got an early start, and managed to be at the top, having a snack while sitting up on the steps of the fire tower at 8 AM! We were back down and on the road by 10:30, so there was time for some more exploring. After a quick stop in Woodstock, and a ride down to check out the Walkway over the Hudson, it was only early afternoon. While flipping through the hiking book, I found an “easy” trail, that would be right on the way home. The Saugerties Lighthouse on the Hudson River was at the end of a half-mile nature trail. The grounds around the lighthouse provided a peaceful setting to sit and relax. I was intrigued by the shape of the lighthouse…square as opposed to round. Square lighthouses were built so the light could be an integral part of the dwelling for the light-keeper, rather than a separate tower.
I took a little road trip to Vermont, where I visited with my “oldest” friend. His family and mine lived on the same street the year we were both born, and the friendship has stuck through the myriad of events that make up life and death. My life has become rather solitary, so it was with great pleasure that I could immerse myself into the chaos of his life and young family. They had just moved into a 250 year old farmhouse 2 weeks before I arrived. This view from their backyard is fabulous. With 3 kids of their own, plus some assorted other comings and goings – kids, dogs, hikes, swimming holes, ice cream, an agonizing Scrabble game, and great conversation, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute.
On the drive up to the Landis Arboretum, I passed a great view of a farm and its out buildings. I told myself I needed to stop and take a picture on my way back down the road. Well…while on one of the trails at the arboretum, I turned around and saw the farm framed by the great oak tree and some other vegetation.
New York State History was one of my favorite subjects, and the Erie Canal’s contribution to the westward expansion of the country, was a favorite topic. I am fascinated by the way locks work along the canal. There’s a height differential of 568 feet between Lake Erie and the Hudson River. I arrived at Lock 8 in Rotterdam just in time to watch this pleasure boat from Buffalo continue “down hill”.