Elmira, I Think I’ll Stay For A While

The title says it all. Its really nice here. Well most people would find it tough, but there’s something about sticking around the city where Mark Twain wrote most of his books. Something else. The Chemung River flows down the center and provides a nice walk. I feel rested and calm here after my night in a hotel room. I think I’ll check out some of the historical sites here. Maybe even sit in Mark Twain’s office. My travel planner insists its a great tourist site! Will write more later.
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The Pepacton Stop

So I made it to the mighty Pepacton Reservoir–one of the sources for New York City’s water supply. Its beautiful and blue. I hiked from Beaverkill where I was dropped off yesterday and made it here before nightfall. I couldn’t fall asleep, but finally got to rest around 3:30 in the morning. I slept until 9:30. I’ve been looking out at the water now for about an hour. Its calming and quiet. In the distance I see a trout fisherman…

I just closed my eyes for a little, taking in the smell of the wild, of the one source–the energy that I feel deep inside m, inside it all. Its like that when ever I am away from humanity. I wish I could have that same feeling when I’m around people. You know that feeling where no matter what it will all be fine. Its something I need to work on–to build and grow on.

Well, I’ll have to be on the move soon. I need to get to Route 17 and start heading out towards Western NY and maybe up into the Finger Lakes before nightfall. My travel planner should help in finding some good hotels and maybe some wineries if I make it the Finger Lakes.pepacton14.jpg

Pepacton Reservoir

The Roscoe Diner

The Roscoe diner is a traveler’s paradise. It has Greek specialties and a great pot of coffee. I’ve been here all through the night and now its ten in the morning and I think its time to go. I got a hitch out of Ellenville with an old man in a pick up truck heading west on 17. He was a skinny man with gray hair who must of smoked about 8 cigarettes in an hour’s time. He dropped me off here. Its been fun here, eating and relaxing. I’ve seen old me chatting for a few hours and young teenagers obviously out without their parents’ knowledge. The flow of life continues on at Roscoe. Its a small town, a transient place where truckers stop and simple people live. Roscoe is at the foot of the Catskills in Sullivan county and its those mountains I want to head to next. I’m ready to check my trip planner to see the best spots for hiking and viewing the world out here. I am ready, but I’m not sure my body is. Oh well maybe I’ll take a snooze somewhere along the way ore just order another coffee before I leave.


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Going West

I feel like I’m going west. Really I’m still in Ulster, in the Catskills. There are many old hotels up here. The Nevele and the old Browns (now an Ashram) all reflect a sort of modern antiquity of lite nostalgia hugging the mountains. Walking through the old town of Ellenville I thought to myself, “how dull life is here, but how perfect.”

I’m after the quiet, the internal respite that is sought, but never found. The autumn colored trees are swaying around me as I write this on a wooden bench, cool fall air touch my cheeks. I think I can get a hitch if I look desperate enough, after all since leaving Mohonk and crossing through Minewaska State park where another mountain lake lies hidden in the sky I made my way all the while sleeping at night outside and that’s where I’ve been the last few nights; in my tent in the woods outside Ellenville. I think its time to go…

Traveling the Crags

There is a hike on the Mohonk Preserve that I used to be scared to do when I was younger. The Crags are series of of whitish-gray limestone rocks jutting out in all directions, running the length of Mohonk Lake. I used to think it was the hardest hike in the world, but today even after my 9 or 10 mile hike from New Paltz passed the Adair winery and up the slopes of Mohonk, the Crags were a bitter sweet experience. I guess my imagination as a child has given way to an adult perception.

I’m sitting writing this in the hotel lobby of the Mohonk Mountain House, a structure built around a century previous that offers luxurous rooms to the wealthy. Mohonk is a beautiful preserve, with horse back riding and hiking and boating on the beautiful mountain lake. The Shawangunks or rather they are known simply in these parts as The Gunks are home to many mountain top lakes, all are beautiful and serene.

Up here I feel at peace and at home. Its a sort of inner feeling where you know there can be no harm at the end of the journey, because the journey is inside. Boy am I tired, and I need to get some sleep. Soon I’ll be traveling on.

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.

“What?”

“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?