Cold Spring, Warm Day

20 05 2008

Not Henry Hudson. Rebecca, mountain woman.

It’s been unseasonably cold in New York of late. With the exception of a few lovely days, it’s been a lot of rain and gloom, and since I’ve been pining for summer since, well, February, it’s made me only slightly annoyed. Friday was one of the worst; I actually got caught in a torrential downpour with the kind of winter winds make it impossible for New Yorkers to keep an umbrella nice for any length of time (I watched helplessly Friday evening as poor Libby’s Elvis umbrella was sacrificed to the wind). It was an especially bad sign since we had a hike planned the next morning.

But Saturday morning arrived bright and clear. I met the girls at Grand Central Station, just an hour later we were in Cold Spring, a tiny historic village just 50 miles north of New York on the banks of the Hudson River. There was some sort of street sale going on, making small town Cold Spring more small town than ever. A few rickety tables had been set up on the sidewalk and a couple of ladies had started laying beaded jewelry on them. Across the street, the antique store displayed treasures on the sidewalk.

But cute as the town was, we were headed beyond it to Mt. Taurus. Along the way we passed beautiful country homes, many of which had big covered porches with rocking chairs on them, or massive yards overlooking the river. One such house was a large white one with a sign pointing out that it was once the home of Emily Roebling, the skilled woman who supervised the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge after her husband Washington fell sick. A woman with that much strength in 1883 was no small feat.

Once on the mountain we felt right at home. The lush, foresty trail was certainly different from the misty, jungle of Peru, but it made us remember, nonetheless. There were several shout-outs of “Amigos, just 30 minutes more, no?” in reminiscence of our guide Roberto, who, for all his patience and utter brilliance on the trail, had absolutely no sense of time (30 minutes meant at least two hours).

The first hour of the hike was pretty much all uphill, but after Salkantay this was nothing. And well worth a little sweat were the views of the Hudson, with the stately fortress of West Point (which we decided looks a little like Hogwarts) in the distance. We stopped for lunch on a big rock overlooking the river, and then kept climbing up the rocky terrain, until the trail plateaued and we were literally just out for a walk in the woods.

Yes, we are hardcore, and on a house.

The weather was ideal, the scenery stunning, and the company sublime. The trees were so thick their green leaves looked almost technicolor, and save for the trickle of the river (which we decided was just a stream compared to Salkantay) and our voices, there was a vast, peaceful silence. We crossed two bridges, both made of logs and a little on the treacherous side, but I didn’t cry. And after only three hours of hiking, we made it back to town.

My feet, which earlier that morning almost refused to be stuffed into my still-a-little-muddy hiking boots, were by now screaming, but the rest of me was happy. And a beer and some flip flops later, my feet joined the rest of me in a state of bliss. We drank beers on the patio of a restaurant by the river before catching the 5 p.m. train back to Manhattan, a lovely end to a lovely day. (And Sunday the rain returned.)

After-hiking dancing in the rain.

For more information on Cold Spring, this site is helpful. Metro North trains from Grand Central take about an hour and run every hour, off-peak $10.50.

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2 responses

27 05 2008
Henry

Please come again and try one of the many other hikes , rides or paddles..
http://www.ColdSpringLiving.com

2 06 2008
mom

LOVE the picture of the dancers. Are you four part of the Rockettes? Can’t wait to see you perform when I come to NY again at Holiday Time!

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