As promised; here is the second part of the post. Following Wednesday’s trip on Thursday they headed out for more hikes. The destination was Bastion Falls and Kaakterskill Falls in the Catskill Mountains nearby. After picking up more bug spray and the dry cleaning they headed out and pretty quickly found the winding and steep road up to the park. Neil is starting to notice a pattern here in NY; everything is uphill.
They quickly parked and found Bastion Falls right next to the road…very easy to get to and a decent 80 foot or so drop.
Next stop was Kaaterskill Falls which unfortunately was about ¾ of a mile up the trail and probably 400 feet higher. The climb was pretty steep; almost like climbing stairs for the first 300 yards or so then leveled off and had just a few gentle dips and climbs across the ridge with another short steep section towards the end. It wasn’t too bad with hiking shoes and the aforementioned hiking sticks (see first rule of hiking) but they were amazed by the number of people climbing in what seemed to be the completely wrong shoes. About ⅔ of the 100 or so people they met on the trail were Orthodox Jewish folks…all dressed in black with the men in street shoes and the women in low pumps. Being Catholic Neil and Connie understand keeping up with your religion’s tenets and guidelines but climbing up a rocky trail in skirts and dress shoes seems like a good way to end up over the side of the cliff to them. Anyway; they finally got to the base of Kaaterskill Falls. This is a 220 foot total drop in 2 sections and while there was a trail up to the intermediate pool it is not maintained and was just too steep and dangerous to go up…so you’ll have to make do with the pictures and video from the bottom.
Here is a short video of Kaaterskill Falls.
The hike down was more challenging than the one up; although descending is always easier on the lungs the steep and rocky trail made the footing a bit dicey. They got down safely though and headed back to the park for dinner.
Friday was a nice easy hike at the Falling Waters Preserve. This preserve is the home of an abandoned Dominican Nun retirement home and has several trails that were built by a priest who lived there as his recreation. A couple of nice falls…only 10-20 feet but burbling and babbling nicely with benches for contemplation; and a hike back to the parking lot along the Hudson and low and behold 2 ½ miles later the hike was done. Great hike on an even better day; nice and cool with some breeze to keep us cool.
The only drawback was the trail along the river on the way back was a bit rocky…again. The outgoing trail was a dirt road but coming back was a bit more challenging. After getting back to the car they stopped by a farmers market and got some fresh blueberries and sweet taters that Neil made a Pork and Sweet Tater hash with Blueberry Sauce out of (it was pretty yummy but will have a dash of Franks Hot Sauce next time to get that whole sweet/hot thing going as Rachel Ray would say). As soon as Neil posts this for me he’s headed off for a bike ride then it’s Winery Road Trip and the Roast Pig Hawaii Style at the park this evening.
Oh, before I forget I guess I better tell you about the beer and meeting the town drunk…don’t want to keep you in suspense. Thursday evening Connie got dressed up in her LBD (little black dress) and they went out for Date Nite. First stop was the Beecham Inn which is supposedly the oldest inn in America. They had an attached tavern with Mothers Milk Stout from a local microbrewery on tap. Yum. While they were enjoying their first pint “Bobby” introduced himself, er, I mean latched on to them like a drowning man. Aiyaii, what a loser he was. Larry the bartender told us while Bobby was out having a smoke that he had only served him two but Bobby had clearly had a half dozen or so before that as he was three sheets to the wind. At least he was a friendly drunk if a bit clingy. Wanted to tell you all about his world travels, condo in Vero Beach, and stuff. We finally left the tavern just to get away from him and went across the street to Fosters Tavern where once again they found beer on tap. It was only Sam Adams Oktoberfest which isn’t bad but it wasn’t as good as the stout. The burgers and London Broil dinner were excellent though and after eating and drinking they headed home for dessert. A good time was had by all.