The tires are screaming a song as they roll 75 miles per hour down the smooth greyish pavement. The clouds are floating aimlessly in the hazy blue sky. The trees pass by like a picket fence, and the cruise control is set. The windows are open wide, the wind is swirling my passengers hair into a cyclone, the sweat on my face is dry, while my shirt feels like a spong providing a thin sheeth between my back and my steaming hot black leather seats. The crisp smooth saxophonist is waling an upbeat blues solo trying to compete with the wind for my ears attention, I move the volume button up from 20 to 25, the eaight speakers immediately respond with the sound of the bassist in the backround tugging at my senses. The highway is scattered with vehicles headed everywhere, bike racks, large storage racks, screaming kids, carseats with sleeping babies all fill these cacoons of iron and plastic as they propell through the wind and bugs.
My hand is out the window making waves feeling the sounds of Jordan Redman wash over me, life is good I think. I am suddenly in front of a window “that will seven dollars” an attendant says. I am back in reality, my passenger puts down her book and shakes her hair. I pay me fee and slowly grind up the switchbacked road past pine trees and granite outcroppings. I think to myself that this will be my first time hiking here, I have only biked here before. I am exicted as to what new things I may discover. Moving through the woods at slower paces then biking always yields new views, new discoveries and a different frame of mind, and overall sense of place.
I promised my passanger utter beauty before we even convened our 10 mile loop. Clad in brown cloth hiking pants, a purple t-shirt, and addidas shoes my passenger, Chavi dons her camera grabs a few rolls of film, fills her camelback, throws her camera around her neck and waits for me to decide if I will take my black and white or color camera. The clearness of the day means color will be more vivid then black and white.
The begining overlook is amazing. The lake 100 feet below us, yet 2000 feet above sea level is amazing. I have been here 20 times and every time, I feel it. A longing to live here, to bask in all its glory and just leap off this cliff into the clear blue waters below. “I told you this place rocks” I say to Chavi as she adjust her Aperature to get the full view. 150 feet tall Granite walls jutt out of the east side of the lake to meet with tall pine trees and eventually the saphire sky. The cumulous clouds paint the perfection of the scene and we reluctantly leave to begine our hike. The crunching of the gravel beneath our shoes and the light conversation is all that can be heard, an occasional large black fly buzzes annoyingly at our ears only to be swiped away by our attemted murderous arms.
2 hours later, sweating aching, hungry, bitten up, happy, having gotten my fix of solitude, beauty, relaxation, exhiliration, conversation and excersize we are sitting luxuriously on the soft confortable albeit hot seats of my car, nursing our aching feet, eating trail mix, drinking warm water and thinking about upcoming music heaven we are about to experience. There is nothing like sitting in a car with the windows open blowing relief on your body after a long hike.
A quick stop in the Pizza store and we are once again propelled onto the road. The road is packed with parents and others visiting their loved ones in camp. Throngs of people cluster in groups in Woodbourne, hundreds of minivans stuck bumper to bumper trying to get to the 17 for the return trip to their homes in Brooklyn, Monsey, and Lakewood.
It was Friday morning I was checking out of my room in Rock Hill, finnally work was over for the week and I can return back to Albany I thought. I was so sick of the Catskills, and wanted to get away from there. As I was signing my receipt I noticed a pamphlet for a new concert venue on the Original Woodstock site- Yasker Farm in Bethel, right near Monticello. I skimmed it and noticed that the comming Sunday- was Phil Lesh & friends, and Trey Anastasio & Mike Gordon from Phish. When I saw the price of $28.50 I already started planning. It wasn’t the three weeks yet thank G-d, alll the good shows always come durring the three weeks.
Continued: My last concert before the 3 weeks
Here I was Sunday afternoon in the last area of the state I wanted to be in. But I was pumped, my first all out Hippy festival. My first huge jam band show, and some amazing music to go with it. I was also excited because I hoped there would be other Frum Jews there due to its proximity to the Catskills Scene