Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sleepy Hollow Catskills Hike - Part 4

The dogs and I had arrived at a flat grassy area high on a Catskill mountain with a scenic overlook. While I liked gazing out over the Hudson River Valley far below, the big attraction for the dogs, especially the puppies, was the flat grassy area. Such a wonderful place to explore and sniff!:

Enough sun reached this small plateau that there were wildflowers in bloom all over it. But I was particularly taken with these Smooth False Foxglove, Gerardia flava, a member of the Snapdragon family. As you can see, for Clover and Daphne it was merely another play area:

I'd never seen this wildflower before, but had recently read about it on one of the Adirondack nature blogs I follow:

Were Clover and Daphne baying at the skies? Treeing a raccoon? I think they were probably chasing butterflies, one of their favorite hobbies. Watching two Papillon puppies chasing butterflies in a sunny mountaintop meadow is pretty much like heaven:

This being a level spot, even Seamus become livelier. That's Fergus behind him exploring:

Clover and Daphne were not in any way tired out by the hike up the mountain. They had plenty of excess energy and wanted to play:

But the time soon came to begin the downward trek. We could have continued higher up the mountain, but I was tired and out of time. Besides, we had a long hike still ahead of us before we reached our parked car So we began to head back down the trail:

While the grade was continuous, it was not overly steep. So the trip downhill was easier and more pleasant. The puppies frolicked and Seamus kept a watchful eye on them:

And we never met another person on the trail. It's an odd but wonderful thing to have an entire mountain to oneself:

We passed by the old foundation of the Rip Van Winkle Inn and I noticed a third stone structure which I hadn't seen on the way up.

I found this old photo of the Rip Van Winkle House on the internet. I wish I'd seen it earlier, as it does explain where the old inn had been built in relation to the bridge - right next to it. The inn apparently spanned the creek. It was in decline by the late 1800s and a photo of it in 1902 shows it abandoned and falling down. But in its day it welcomed travelers to the Catskill Mountains:

A beautiful day, happy dogs, playful puppies and exquisite scenery. We continued down the trail toward the trail head:

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful hike.i enjoyed watching your puppies run around like idiots. i have two shih tzu and they do the same thing...for hours.