Monday, July 16, 2007

the Catskills



We drove up to the Catskills for a long weekend - the weather was cool, in the 70's, and the skies were full of sun. We stayed at a bed and breakfast in a gorgeous old Victorian house surrounded by woods, with a view of the blue and green mountains. It was so restful to be in such a quiet place, with no cell phone reception, sirens, or crowds. It reminded me of the old house I lived in just after college - I could see green trees from every window and loved to fall asleep on my bed in the sunshine, just like a cat...

view from the top of the falls

Our first day we hiked to the foot of Haines Falls, a thin stream of water descending from a great height and ending in a violent tumble of huge rocks and muddy shale. I stepped gingerly around the green mossy rocks, freezing my feet and legs in the cold, cold pools. The next morning we found a path to the top of the falls and we stood at a dizzying height on the fragile cliffs, looking out at the valley. It was strange to think how long this place had stood exactly so - every rock was covered with graffiti from every imaginable time period - from the 1800's to 2000. How many people had stood here, just like this, and seen the same thing I was seeing?

1947

Places like these always leave me very quiet and overwhelmed, sort of the way I feel when I look at tombstones. To think of life, a very sacred thing, and yet there are so, so many lives, and so, so many people who have been alive, who have been my age, or who never lived to see my age. Life can be so dizzying when you think of every soul that's lived it...

When I'm overwhelmed, I look at flowers, they're like poems anyone can understand.



Later, we went tubing and I had... not much fun. Within 15 minutes I'd been knocked out of my tube, and was prying it off my head while trying to surface and being dragged downstream. I clung to my tube like a drowning rat while my worried boyfriend tried to come after me which resulted in him losing his shoes and hurting his feet on the rocks. Luckily for me, a kindly kayaker helped me get back in my tube, and his wife rescued my boyfriend's shoes. And I had another hour and a half of tubing to look forward to:

tubing sucks

All of which resulted in the highly emotional work you see above entitled: Danger: Tubing Sucks... ;)

7 comments:

Donna said...

I remember seeing graffiti like that when I visited the Alamo. I think maybe some people find it destructive but I found it incredibly sobering, it almost impressed me more than the building itself, the proof that other people so long ago had walked through these same rooms.

Amy said...

Sounds like a wonderful weekend. I would imagine stepping out of the city and right into the beautiful calm of nature could be a little shocking to the soul. Love the tubing illustration...I have been there..and my girlfriend I was with broke her tail bone on a big rock that was jetting out of the water :(

Scribbles & Bits said...

That is so awesome! And I quite love your drawing! I'm not into tubing and I neer understand how people can be. To each his own....

floresita said...

I know what you mean, Donna - I don't think it's meant to be destructive - I think whenever people are in magnificent places, they have this need to connect to each other, to say "I was here"...

Ahhhh Amy that's horrible!!! I felt guilty for being such a big baby about it, but it only takes you a few minutes to realize you can really get hurt! I hope your friend recovered ok!

Hey scribbles & bits - actually I felt bad because I was a REALLY adventurous kid - I was scared of nothing and would try anything. When I'd fall and scrape my knees I'd just get up and go at it again... but at some point I got so scaredy with the water. Oh well, my boyfriend can go tubing withhis brother! :)

life in yonder said...

Oh... these photos are so beautiful. What a wonderful hike you were on!

Stitchado said...

everything looks so peaceful there, i love the pictures you took... but i gotta say my favorite is your drawing :)
i totally understand how you feel, i was the same way as a kid, i grew up in a ranch, my sister and i were constantly climbing trees, falling, scraping our knees, nothing could stop us... but now, i'm afraid to get hurt!

Monica said...

Hi Floresita, thanks for visiting my blog.
Those are beautiful pictures of the catskills. I remember driving around that area when we were living in NY, so beautiful! I'm glad you didn't get hurt in the tubing accident and I love your drawing too!