Frum Outdoorsman: Rare but Possible

The wanderings and adventures of an orthodox Jew

From Saugerties to Catskill

Posted by Frum Hiker on May 16, 2007

My hand is making waves outside my window and I can feel that I am cutting through the thick humid air with each up and down swipe. The mist is rising from the damp road that is unfurling at a blistering pace from the horizon. Both windows are open throwing cool damp air onto my sweat soaked t-shirt creating an amazing cooling effect. Life is good, my knee is dripping blood and puss down my leg- I fell and got me my first good bloodied knee of the season. I am sure there will be more scrapes and bruises, there always are.

I am head banging to Firehouse- letting the sweet riffs of good old 80s hair metal resonate through my 8 speakers, I can hear my bike cutting through the wind on my roof- slowing my car down just a bit. The sun is a bright pink and setting slowly as it shines its last rays through the misty and humid air. It just rained, I wasn’t privy to the rain, I was in the woods riding like all hell as I wondered if the new slice of trail I found would get me out of the woods before it got dark.

It was love at first site as I rode this new trail I had never been on. Rocks were strewn about as if someone had planted dynamite on the trail just to see what would happen and then all the sudden I would be riding through a canopy of Pine trees with a floor made of decaying leaves and pine needles. My suspension would get a break and my legs would kick in forcing my natural renewable energy into the pedals moving me along.

It’s quite amazing how the legs can actually work so efficiently day in and day out, its quite the miracle if you ask me. People are the ultimate in energy, instead most people never even use it- instead resigning themselves to a life of popcorn and making indentations on peoples couches as they watch TV.

I passed through the village of Saugerties marveling like I do every time at the beauty of this small hamlet. I looked instinctively to the left at this certain side street and gazed at the synagogue that graces that street, shaded underneath massive old growth trees that hang lazily and enjoy their new leaves that had just recently sprouted. Everything is so green I think to myself as I tap my hand on the side of my car rhythmically to the thumping bass.

Again I am open road, this time the cement road, I call it that because on route 9W between Saugerties and Catskill there are quite a few cement plants. Even this unbelievable old abandoned one, which I am assuming is owned by St. Lawrence Cement. It just comes out of nowhere, its beauty combined with green shrubs and trees growing out of everywhere. I have been in it once, tri-pod and cameras in tow- I was kind of scared some crack dealer would pop out and mug me. Nothing of the sort happened, although some rather shoddy graffiti graces some of the tin siding next to the active railroad tracks. The complex itself is not so nice, it is just the abundance of abandoned buildings and the adding of additional sidings along the tracks that attracts the attention of the passerby. The first time I saw it I thought I had hit the jack pot, like the time I discovered the last remaining coal breaker in eastern Pennsylvania. But this wasn’t like the time in Wilkes-Barre when I found a most amazing specimen of the anthracite coal heyday. This was modern day stuff probably abandoned within 20 years judging by the circumference of the trees growing out from places they wouldn’t have, had the buildings not been abandoned.

I move on, switching quickly between gears, trying to drive fast without running into the guardrail. I always think how much fun this road would be a in a sports car. I pretend I have one throwing my car from 5th to 3rd gears for quick acceleration- but it doesn’t suffice. Its just not the same and so most of the time I just cruise along in fifth with my hand out the window making waves with my forced jet stream produced by my vehicle traveling at 60 miles per hour.

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One Response to “From Saugerties to Catskill”

  1. Law of Attraction

    Law of Attraction

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