For those of us who don’t live in New York, whenever we hear “New York” we might automatically think of New York City, tall buildings, Broadway, crowds of people, subways, etc. The state of New York is so much more than that! There are mountains, vast acres of farmland, small towns, vineyards, and, of course, access to one of Canada’s Seven Wonders—Niagara Falls (separate blog here).

We stayed a week at Rondout Valley RV Campground, frankly in the middle of New York in the middle of nowhere. We chose a route that took us up and down some steep, winding mountains with breathtaking views. Taking in the far-reaching views of valleys nestled in mountains and seeing layers and shadows of peaks off in the distance under clear blue skies give me a profound sense of freedom and openness and peace that allude me elsewhere. I can never seem to get enough!

We were disconnected from the world, it seemed, because we could not get an antenna signal for our TV. Usually we can pick up PBS from somewhere, but not this time! And we did not have a strong signal for our cell phones. It was a welcome respite, although a little strange, to be this disconnected!

We visited Minnewaska State Park Preserve to see Awosting Falls and Lake Minnewaska. It was a short hike from the parking lot to see the Falls, although they were underwhelming. The area desperately needed some rain. It was a 1.5 mile hike to get to Lake Minnewaska—straight UP the mountain in my view, but Carl insists that it was just a steady incline with occasional steep parts. But really, it was straight up! And we saw a black snake. Carl tapped its tail to get it to cross the trail, and it reared its head back to him to warn to leave the snake alone! The lake was at the top of a mountain. The good news was it was downhill all the way back to the truck.

A couple of days later we drove to Highland, NY and biked across the Walkway Over the Hudson to Poughkeepsie, NY (on the other side). It is considered “the world’s longest elevated pedestrian bridge.” They converted an old railroad trestle into a wide paved path for both bicycling and walking. It is a little over one mile long. It was cool to be standing in the middle of this bridge and looking out over the Hudson River in upstate New York. We started in Highland, bicycled to Poughkeepsie, road along the waterfront in Poughkeepsie, then bicycled back across the Mid-Hudson Bridge—a busy vehicle bridge with a pedestrian walkway—to Highland. What a fun experience!

A side note: We had to cross the Mid-Hudson Bridge to go into Poughkeepsie to buy Karen a bicycle helmet (state law in New York to wear one). On the way back to Highland, the driver’s side mirror was shattered because the lanes were so tight on the bridge. Our side mirror collided with someone else’s side mirror!

Before we left the area, we visited Kingston, NY. This used to be the original capital of New York and is quite historical. In fact, there is one corner where the buildings on all four corners pre-date the Revolutionary War! Unfortunately, it was a rainy, chilly Saturday. We visited the Farmer’s Market, saw a few murals that the city has become famous for, and drove to find a view of the Rondout Lighthouse on the Hudson River.

The pandemic has affected some of our sightseeing, but it has helped us become creative in discovering different things to see and do. For the most part, people are wearing masks and maintaining social distance. We are staying well, and are looking forward to heading West!