March 26, 2012

Finn's favorite place in the world

He is very passionate about the car and wishes we lived in it.

March 21, 2012

Hike to Overlook Mountain Fire Tower

The weekend weather was a perfect sunny 68 degrees, so we ventured out for a hike. We chose a trail that leads up nearby Overlook Mountain to a fire tower at its peak. On the way we passed the ruins of one of the Catskill's old grand lodges, the Overlook Mountain House. Amazing.

This a the view from the top. The haze left from the morning fog never quite lifted from the valleys, but it made for beautiful views.

Looking southwest. To the left you can see parts of the Ashokan Reservoir.

The fire tower, which is rickety, but open and still operable.

Hotel ruins.

The main lodge. Sandy and Finn are checking us in.

Back at the cabin, we have a new pile to burn in our outdoor fire pit. It's mostly refuse from Hurricane Irene.

March 13, 2012

The Ashokan

We discovered a new place just beyond the Ashokan Reservoir called the Ashokan Center. The reservoir is very important to us because of its natural beauty, and it is the very water that feeds New York City.

We discovered the Ashokan Center when we followed their signs to their annual Maple Fest last weekend. It was great watching them collect sap as it ran down lines into the sugar shack from dozens of maples in their forest. In the sugar shack they boil it down to make their syrup. Everything smelled so good! We also saw a more old-timey method of boiling sap over an open wood fire. We have dozens of maples on our property and are thinking about tapping them ourselves.

We also saw demonstrations on blacksmithing, tinsmithing, and broom making. There was also the pancake breakfast with lots of maple syrup and maple cookies. A perfect breakfast.

Finally, we got a guided tour of the Center's new facilities, which should be up and running some time this summer. The new buildings are beautiful and seem very well thought out. Super-efficient and lots of reclaimed materials. Possibly Mike's school will have trips or retreats out there some time.

Meanwhile, it's quiet back at the cabin. Almost time to come out of winter's hibernation and start planning the next phase of restorations of our own!

March 7, 2012

A little winter, a little late

We had only two snowfalls worth mentioning this year and record high temperatures. February was the warmest in recorded history for the region. It has been much easier and cheaper to keep up the cabin this year.

But we miss the multiple feet of snow. Here is three inches that fell last Friday. It's beautiful!

Walking in our woods.

Hiking up at North Lake (where there is more snow). They don't plow the roads so we walked on the quiet park roads for hours. Finn is a good listener, so if there is no traffic he can be off-leash. He had a great day smelling deer tracks and running through the snow.

Turning into mountain people.

"Man's best friend"?