Real Estate Agent with Westwood Metes & Bounds Realty

75 degrees Fahrenheit, a warm, westerly wind from the Catskill Mountains; just enough to let you cool you off and----- ...ok, fine. I know this isn't exactly the right time of year to write about summer hikes to Bonticou Craig at the Mohonk Preserve. But I just came across this picture, taken by Amy Mosbacher, a friend and colleague of mine, who shot this during one of her hikes up there last summer.
So, from the ice rain pouring down on slippery roads, from winter advisories and school delays, from leafless trees and frozen lakes, let's go back - or forward - to a warm early June day.

It's one of those days... The leafs just came out. There is still a distant, lingering memory of winter but it is fading fast. I like to take the short hike, if possible, once a week, especially in the spring and early summer. It's a great excercise and the reward is, amongst many other things a phenomenal 360 degree view of the region: the Catskills, the Berkshires, New Paltz and Gardiner and all the way down to Bear Mountain.

Ok, so, the car can park at Spring Farm Trail Head. From there it's a brisk 20 minute hike and/or run to the beginning of the bolders. This is where the fun starts. Must have been hundreds of thousands of years ago when those massive bolders broke off the side of the mountain and crashed into the woods below. I always feel a bit uneasy in the beginning. Just for a moment, the question forms in my head: what if it happens again? What if, in a freak accident of fate, another 500,000 tons of stone came crashing down, while I'm on my way up there... I never win the lottery, so I think I'm safe with the chances on this one as well.

So, here we are, at the bottom of a field of bolders starting at the hiking trail and leading up to a vertical cliff. Ok. Almost vertical. Vertical in places. Not everywhere. If I still thought about inspections and lawyers, negotiations and binders on my way up here, I now can forget about them completely. At least for the next 15 minutes I have to concentrate on the task at hand: climbing the large boulders without slipping or falling.

Once on top, the views are magnificent. Small, strangely twisted pine trees stand like guard posts on the upper plateau. There are several places in Europe where I have encountered similar trees: Turkey, Corsica, Italy and France for sure. I can't think of the name of the trees but they complete the feel of an utterly different world up here. Hard to describe what usually happens during the next 30 minutes. I just sit there, watch the vultures soar - some come relatively close to where I sit.

I start to feel... the only way I can describe it is possibility. Freedom too but more the thought that anything is possible. I can do anything. There are no limits, no boundaries, just this vast openness of thought... ...That's usually when my phone rings :-) I actually did a final negotiation on a deal once up there. I like that part of my job.

To be up here when the sun sets is an additional bonus. It sets right behind the mountain range that makes the beginning of the Catskill Mountains. Once it sets though, you have to be relatively quick to get back down to the car.

So, whenever you are in the area and whenever you feel like experiencing this incredible region from a very different viewpoint, spend a few hours at Bonticou Craig and watch the vultures soar. And maybe, if even for a few moments, you will too...

Comments (2)

Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection
Stefan - This area is just breathtaking.  I am sure at the top you get the feeling of being in another world.  Terrific  local piece. 
Feb 05, 2008 02:51 PM
Rosario Lewis
DDR Realty - Newburgh, NY
GRI, SRES - DDR Realty - Orange County, NY
You make me feel like I'm right there hiking with you. Wooh... I'm a little winded but glad I made the effort.
Feb 06, 2008 12:03 AM