Trying to love the Catskills
I spent the summers of my teens and early 20s in the Catskills and have so many fond memories of my time there. These are special mountains, full of trout streams and rolling hills and history.
I wish I could say that I love them.
They are beautiful.
And they are special.
They have a history and specialness that I do truly value.
But…. they have every NY’er and his neighbor. Our first night, there were 5 tents in what should have been 1 tent site (for true, good low-impact camping). And the top of Wittenberg? We sat up there for 2 hours, and at least 25+ people came on through.
That Catskills are not where you go for peace and quiet. Nope. No quiet.
And did I mention the bugs?
But there were some more nice views.
We hiked a loop – following the Burroughs trail that goes over Slide, Cornell and Wittenburg. Sure, it is reported that it is one of the most popular hikes in the Catskills, but who’d a thought that it would be that popular?
[note to self: there are a lot of people living in NYC]
Since it was early spring, it meant that there were lots of bugs. And lots of flowers (which are preferable to black flies).
and one of my favorites of spring:
As much as hiking in the Catskills is not quite and peaceful and wild, it is nice to get out in the woods for a couple of days. I will take the Cascades or the Whites or the Cordillera Blanca or the Annapurnas any day over the Catskills, but while I am here — it is nice to sleep out.
And I’ll take the tradition of ending a hike with a dip in a nice cool lake or stream, this time the Woodland Valley stream was a nice cool dip (no pictures as a I just needed to jump in after a buggy, humid, hot hike and forgot the camera!).
I’ve decided that my relationship with the Catskills is like an old friend or lover — you appreciate them for what they are, they have given you much, but you’ve seen what else is out there. You don’t stop loving them and appreciating them…. they hold a special place in your heart, but you know you’ve also moved on.