Thursday, September 17, 2009

Coming Down - Hiking down from the Catskills' Huckleberry Point

In the last post you saw the large mountains to the south of Huckleberry Point. To the east lies the magnificent Hudson River Valley:

I did allow Seamus and Fergus out onto the ledge for the purpose of taking a photo, but I held on to their leashes:



And the view below, down into the clove, was breathtaking. The Catskill peaks rising up on the other side of the clove were substantial. Vultures were soaring as if by magic through the air below me all through the valley:

I've hiked along the peaks of many of these Catskill mountains in days past:

And just a little farther off in the other direction:

A young couple met me at the ledges and fell in love with Seamus and Fergus. They agreed to hold on to them while I ventured out to the edge of the rocks:

And a little later, after the passing of some time made it less fearsome, I allowed the two pooches out on the ledge with me:

One last view of the mountains before we begin the hike back down the trail to the car:


On the trail, heading toward home:

The dogs were quite thirsty by the time we crossed back over the brook. So was I, but I knew that I could stop on the way home and buy myself a Diet Pepsi:

We made it back to the car and began our long descent down Platte Clove Road into the small town of West Saugerties. Coming up the road was less frightening because I was away from the drop-off. But the descent meant that I drove alongside the guard rails (when there was a guard rail!). You can see what would happen if a car slipped over the edge. There's no shoulders along most of the road and few guard rails:

The last time I traveled this road, this section had crumbled and dropped into the valley below. It's all repaired now and even has a guard rail. Still, I remember when a large part of this section of road wasn't even there:

The drive up Platte Clove Road caused me to shift all the way down to first gear. It rises 1200 feet in 1.4 miles. In the winter, they close the road by placing large boulders on it. The dogs and I had a marvelous hike and even the drive was scenic:

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