Life can’t be scheduled – it has its own schedule. Don’t rush it. Never satisfied with the drive the previous weekend, we decided to drive up further north deeper in NY. Catskills mountain was something we had heard a lot but never been to. That was going to be our first stop. We started at 9:30 or so and were soon on the Northeast extension of the turnpike. Then 33N took us past Saylorsburg, PA. Around 11:30ish we drove into the calm town of Honesdale thinking we will get a break and some coffee. And coffee we did. But first we stopped on Main Street at a Yoga studio that also was a food stop. All vegetarian. Probably the influence of the nearby Himalayan Institute of yoga of which I was a subscriber to their magazine – Yoga International for several years. The burrito and the burger were good. The Kambucha was actually not that great and later on we found out that it had traces of alcohol due to natural fermentation. The coffee shop next door was supposedly serving eclectic coffee; the latte was great and enticed us to buy some local coffee. The afternoon lunch getters were all whites and many who were visiting the institute probably strolling the town for a break. This is what I noticed even on our trip the previous weekend – it is a white man’s country and it didn’t take long to feel out-of-place. Once you are out of the deeply urban and diverse cities, the landscape change both literally and figuratively. It makes you cautious – not the same kind of caution I had when I landed in the country some 20+ years ago. It took the Chinese maybe hundreds of years to penetrate deep into the US and it will take the Asian-Indian similar time as well.
From Honesdale it was off the Catskills. The drive was fantastic except that the fall colors were pretty tepid.
Either we would see bald and brown trees or those still green. As luck would have it, it was the second year in a row our fall trips didn’t get us what we wanted. Driving through the Catskills gives you a peek at what an awesome sight it is and would be in any season. They are towering over the land close and far-off – such is the range of these mountains. Our GPS got to some dead-end on a hilltop which did give us a great view of the mountains. Again made me wonder how do people ever live in such remote areas where there is hardly a community let alone facilities. Since we had finished lunch we decided keep driving. On the way, there was Kaaterskill Falls which was a great hike even if it was for 45 minutes. But it was getting dark and I didn’t want to be groping in the dark on the trail, so we cut short the hike. Albany was our next stop. We reached our hotel around 7:00 PM and then dined at a nearby Indian restaurant which was surprisingly very good. The host gave us a generous discount which we tipped back because we were waiting for the food for a long time.
Looks at the reports, we realized our purported next stop – Finger lakes – would still not be a color fest, we decided to drive north again into Vermont. The welcome center in Vermont from NY is something you shouldn’t miss to stop. We did miss but I wish we hadn’t It is nothing short of breath-taking. I had read Rt. 100 was supposedly very colorful so we took it up and drove through south central Vermont touching the cities of Cavendish and Londonderry. But it was the same deal again – nature had taken an initial dip in cold weather towards end of September and then decided to do a U-turn. To make the best use of the evening, we stopped at the Bridgewater temple and had dinner there.
The two trips this year makes me eager to do that perfect Fall drive again in one of the coming years.