You Can Take the Girl Out of the City, But…

The plan was to check out Overlook Point and have a nice picnic. I assumed we could just drive up and then walk the maybe 500 yards or so. Having never been on an “official” hike before, I thought 45 minutes on the elliptical every now and then had to count for something.

This morning I dressed in running shoes, shorts and tank top, but it was cold (65 degrees), so I threw on jeans, layered on a few tees and put on flip flops. The running shoes just didn’t go with the jeans, and then what if my feet got sweaty, I wanted to be able to breathe, and I did just get a nice pedicure…and J. was like “Come on already! If you change one more time!” So twenty minutes later, while walking up a dirt path which I assumed would lead right up to a beautiful vista, I found myself stuck in the middle of trail central looking like a prissy, clueless, city girl.

I cringed every time hikers passed us in full regalia — backpacks, tread-worthy boots, fanny pack/water belts. Not only was I wearing flip flops, but one hand was clutching an iced coffee and the other was toting along a beach bag filled with towels, my Kindle and a bottle of Riesling. To lighten the load, I took a swig from the bottle…and then another one.

At least I remembered to put my hair in a ponytail, but that was really because I didn’t feel like washing it. We’re in cabin country, outdoorsy, one-with-nature vacation mode. Besides insects love freshly shampooed hair, I wanted to disappoint them.

Overlook Point wound up being a 2.5 mile hike up a rocky, slippery mountain.  When we finally made it to the top I thought about Ziplining down, but unfortunately there was no Zipline to be found. So more Riesling it was.

Was the view worth the hike? Sure, but taking a tram up would have been so much cooler!  End Result: NO sprained ankles or serious injuries, just some stinky clothing. I also christened the “You’re 1/2 Way There!” rock by squatting behind it. When nature calls…

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After a day spent wandering the woods, creek and little country town (one pizza place, one gas station and one video rental store), J. is setting up Battleship. Board games = Adult entertainment in the mountains. I would personally love some Hungry, Hungry Hippos action right about now, but my choices are limited. We got Scrabble (maybe after another glass of wine), Monopoly (nah, that will lead to real estate talk)…and Battleship, (looks like a ghetto laptop for children).

This getaway is good for us — crickets, cicadas, spiders and all. Gone for a few days is the noise of our city life.  We’re back to basics. J. + R., R. + J. and…the pooch!  Now, if I could just get him out of our bed– that big, furry third wheel!

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Escape to the Dogskills

The water gushes past with little effort marking its territory and providing its own hypnotic soundtrack.  It’s not the sound of a busted open fire hydrant drenching the neighborhood kids on our scorching city block. This water doesn’t have a cool-down mission. It’s just riding the land, grooving down the creek, maneuvering its ways through the beaten rocks.

We left the city this morning, and I’m trying to adjust to the stillness, the quiet…the no cell phone service, no Stephen Colbert. I was fidgety for the first few hours — what do I do with these mountains, trees and dirt paths? And what’s that — sniff, sniff. Oh, fresh air.  Such a silly statement, but true, it’s like switching from rusty tap water to Evian. With a silent iPhone I’m instantly brought back to the 80s traveling with my dad and grandparents aimlessly driving around upstate NY, looking for a pay phone so we could find some distant 3rd cousin’s summer barbecue. Ah, that reminds me, we may have to go cousin-hunting tomorrow…with Facebook tagging it’s hard to take a quiet weekend away anywhere.

At this moment, it’s just me, J. and super-pooch who looked up at us with raised eyebrows and a little drool when we told him we were now in the Catskills. Catskills?! Who’s representing the mastiffs? He asked us in his canine murmurs to call it “the Dogskills” for the weekend. You got it Cozi.

Here we have no distractions…except for maybe a bear? I suddenly wish I had read those warning signs back on the winding roads. And J. is of course grilling on the back porch, inviting any beasts lurking in the woods to come on down and take a bite — of the bratwurst, not us!  If I don’t post again, you know the bears got us….