Stuck In New Paltz

So I’ve been laid out for a few days. I made it a total 9 plus miles South of Rosendale to the Village of New Paltz. My trip wasn’t easy. I walked along the Rail Trail, which follows the path of the old rail way from farther down state up to Kingston–the capital of Ulster County. The rail trail is a beautiful, easy hike. The trees at this time of the year are covered in their multi colored pastel imagery and the flat trail with its occasional biker is a relaxing sortie into the realm of back pack trekking. My problem came in the form of the black hole called New Paltz. The village has always drawn me, dragged me into its bowels, usually taking some dramatic, climactic event to free me from its drug induced clutches.

I have a few friends in New Paltz and the apartment I am writing in now is theirs. I’ve been here for a few days, stuck in the small apartment overlooking Main Street, which is a gathering for both the “Townies”and college students. There are nine bars on main street and I think my friends dragged me to each one, before finding ourselves back in their apartment. Its a shame I have to move on from this village, there is so much more than drinking to do here, but my trip continues on and now that I am rested from my drinking and my friends all have returned back to work I can move on and truly set myself free from these constraints. My trip planner has come in handy, pointing out with detailed precision my next leg to my journey. Out the window I can see the Mountain chain–The Shawangunks. The odd shaped mountain is called Mohonk. I’ve been there before–many times and today I will begin to go up there. Its about 10 miles from here, but a beautiful hike await me there. Its hills are orange and red now, like a multicolored blanket strewn across the mountains–autumn is in full swing in the midhudson valley.

The Traveling House

I’ve heard this all before from my brother. “Where are you going to sleep?” “How are you going to eat?” “What if you run out of money?” His questions are valid, but not important. My pack is ready. It has all I need–computer, maps, clothes, travel guide, water purifier. I just have to go out the front door and on the road–just to start would be an accomplishment. The door seems so far away–across the room, the world. My brother’s voice is starting up again as I write this. “What about the house? We have to take care of it. How am I going to take care of?” Our parents died, leaving us the house. Our house is old; a mix of stone and wood on James St. right on the banks of the Walkill River in Rosendale, NY. I’m trying to think of something to say to my brother as a car on the street outside honks. “I’m taking the house with me,” I say.


“It’s the traveling house. It traveling in me, bro.”

“What are you talking about?”

I’m getting up in a moment. I’m ready to leave. I am the house and the house is me. Its memories are my memories. Its life has been mine and now we are leaving. Going on the road–where I’ve always wanted to be. I know my brother will be okay. He has always been tough.

The door seems closer now, beckoning me, calling me. Outside the world is open and colorful with the changing leaves of the trees of the North Eastern Autumn. Reds, oranges, and browns are waiting for me to walk by, so what am I waiting for?