For Memorial Day this year, we rode down to West Hurley in Jenna's new car for a few days away in an adorable farmhouse. It was rainy and cool on Saturday when we arrived, so we made a delicious lunch and explored the house and the market nearby. The house was right down the road from Overlook Mountain and Woodstock, both of which we took full advantage of on Sunday and Monday.
On Sunday morning we made a big breakfast and headed up to Overlook Mountain for a quick hike. I say "quick hike," but as a sporadic hiker (at best), it was a challenge for me. I was thankful when we got to the remains of what was the Overlook Mountain House, built in 1871. The story behind this place is pretty incredible: it was destroyed by fire, renovated, destroyed by fire again, then renovations began again, but were never finished because of the owner's death. When his son went off to war, all of the top of the line building materials were stripped out and the remains stand as a reminder to not rebuild in a place plagued by fire. Seriously.
Once we got to the top, we were expected then climb this six story fire tower, left over from the days when the fastest way to get news of a fire was by having a volunteer stand above everything looking down. Now it serves as a chance for hikers to get an even better view of the summit. I made it up about two flights before my knees buckled and the intense winds made me turn right back around.
The overlook was incredible despite being one of the lowest elevations in the Catskills. I'm content working my way up from the bottom.
After the hike, we explored the nearby monastery then walked around Woodstock. We ate a late lunch at the Garden Cafe, and it was amazing. It's all vegetarian, and the black bean sweet potato burger and the brown rice and kale bowl were just what we needed after our trek up the mountain.
We all took long naps then woke up around 9 for matzoh ball soup and board games. We didn't want to leave on Monday, but we took the long way home, stopping in Woodstock again and then in Rhinebeck before heading home. The weather was so beautiful, we were all giddy with the windows down, and I was able, for once, to stave off the realization that vacation is nearing its end.
Self-timer and manual focus are not friends.
I woke up from a nap to Jenna and Ron getting out of the car to take pictures of one last overlook.
I miss that farmhouse.