Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Getting Our Nature On

We spent the long weekend in about the most polar opposite place on Earth from our apartment in Harlem.  And it was only 90 miles away.

We camped just outside of Woodstock, NY, the most famous town that didn't actually host the festival that bears its name.

We all repeated over the weekend how happy we are that we bought Moby, our VW Eurovan.  Even though he gave us a few hiccups like his headlights spontaneously going out as we were driving on a dark highway (we used the high beams the rest of the drive), or when he decided he no longer needed that front fender anymore while driving through the toll booth and just spit it out.  Even with his faults, he has been so much fun.  And pulling into a dark, deserted campground at ten at night and having to do nothing more than pop the top and unroll the sleeping bags was a godsend. 

And let's face it, a VW bus blends right in in Woodstock.

I have so many great photos for you people that will paint a much better picture of our weekend than my words ever could, so I will let them speak for themselves.  Just know that we took several incredible hikes to water falls where the Hudson River School collective of painters in the 1800s spent much time, down dried river beds, and one grueling, steep hike to the top of a mountain with incredible views of the Hudson River Valley.  We swam in the most beautiful water holes, ate delectable local, organic meals, and even fit in some history lessons and lots of reading and sketching.  We even toured Opus 40 Sculpture Park, the life's work of Harvey Fite - "a sprawling series of dry-stone ramps, pedestals and platforms covering 6.5 acres of a Bluestone quarry".

Take a look.

Kaaterskill Falls -

Sketching, as always

A little late in the year for the falls

Various waterholes -


A Buddhist Monastery -

Hike up to Overlook Mountain -

A hotel halfway up that burned down in 1920

Climbing up the fire watchtower

Opus 40 - an incredible sculpture park/monument, created by one man over his entire life -

Daily history lessons around the fire -

And some fun time spent in town -

The kids said repeatedly, "We should do this more often!" and "Can we camp every weekend??"

Ella and I had a good talk as we were walking down the dried river bed.  She said that being out in nature is not only good exercise but it's educational and creative (she collected red clay dirt, brought it back to camp and made paint out of it).  We agreed that we're so lucky to have a good balance of the excitement and energy of the city, along with the quiet and beauty of nature.

Thanks for making that possible, Moby.  Welcome to Team Skaggs!

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