Sunday, March 16, 2008

lighthouses

As I mentioned before, we had booked a weekend at the Saugerties Lighthouse roughly 100miles up the Hudson from New York City. As we discovered at the trailhead, the Saugerties light was ranked #5 of The Guardian newspaper's top-5 lighthouse stays in the world. And while it is a rather modest, if not petite, set-up as compared to the #1 lighthouse in Pembrokeshire, the Saugerties light has a wonderful charm.

Not least of which charm is the fact that you can bring dogs (although you have to rent both bedrooms). The boys were very excited about all the birds hiding in the tall grasses, trees, swampy areas, and cruising on the river... swans, chickadees, cardinals, red-winged blackbirds, wood ducks, mallards, as well as honking goose fly-overs. (Those are the birds I recognized. I'm sure there's more.) I've been working Momo into 'honoring,' also called 'backing,' which means that if he sees another dog on point, he whoas and holds until told otherwise. While I think he knows that Jozsi can't possibly be pointing a game-bird out here in the marshland, he has been doing a great job of honoring on command. (Jozsi has also been pulling some very stylish high-head, high-tail points recently.... mmmm..... handsome!)

There is a 1/3 of a mile hike in to the light, and if the high tide exceeds 4ft then the trail is flooded. None of the posted tides were slated to be above 4ft so we felt pretty comfy when Meg set out for the Saturday morning run with the two boys. Soon after she left, Patrick (the very patient resident keeper and maker-of-breakfast) said that there was an additional 1ft of storm surge on its way -- and perhaps I should take Meg some wellies so she could walk back to the lighthouse with dry feet!

While Meg's Sunday morning run with the boys should also have been uneventful, but after dropping the boys' two kennels off at the truck, Patrick informed me that there was an additional 1.5ft due. And so I set out with wellies again so Meg could avoid getting her running shoes and most of her pants soaking wet. We both said to each other that it was actually quite refreshing to have our schedules dictated by tides and weather for a change -- although I guess flooding can pretty much mess up our normal city subway commutes any time it wants.

But that meant that we had to wait till close to noon before the water had gone down far enough to walk out in wellies. This picture of Jas is as we're about to leave -- and you can see how much flotsam had ended up on the deck now that the water had receded. The picture doesn't show the swan who paddled by to look at the rubber-footed lunatics about to wade through the jetsamed trail.

We had two lovely meals out while we were there -- on Friday night, we enjoyed a lovely dinner at Miss Lucy's Kitchen and on Saturday, now that our friends Joey, Kerry, and Jas, had arrived, we went over to the New World Home Cooking Company in Woodstock. Between those two lovely meals, we took the boys on a hike up Overlook Mountain and turned back just shy of the Overlook Mountain House ruins because we were socked in by damp, heavy clouds. The unexpected highlight of the trip was that the trailhead virtually coincides with site of the oldest Tibetan monastery in the United States, the Karma Triyana Dharmachakr. Sadly, for us, the monastery is in the midst of an expansion and their construction prevents casual visitors from dropping by to see the place for now.

This final pic is just a fun one of Momo's big nose, a crashed out Jozsi, and the awesome coal-fired column stove in the living room that kept us all toasty and dried our wet socks and towels through the weekend. There'll be more goofy pictures to follow.

6 comments:

Meg said...

It really was a fantastic weekend, and a reminder of the importance of living out those things we dream of.

Thoreau asserted, "...Live the life you've imagined." Life isn't always perfect, nor is each day the one I've imagined. But this weekend - sharing time and conversation with my husband and good friends, and sharing long runs and hikes with the dogs - brings me closer to actualizing life as I'd like it to be: enjoying outdoor activity, warmth by a fire, lingering dinners with lively conversation, and time with those I love.

Kim said...

I am jealous! I hope to someday have the ability to take such wonderful trips with my family! Alas, the job I chose makes it hard to get away, and the finances make it even harder!!

Rio Rocket said...

Oh dear Meg! your almost up to your knickers in muck! I hope you didn't have to carry the boys across that area! We have so much fun when we take Rocket with us. With dogs you tend to take the path less traveled and usually end up on the better adventure! We've always wanted to get to the east coast for a trip. Thanks for sharing the photos!

Andrew Campbell said...

Kim + Rocket: the dogs, Momo especially (because like his mother, Makin, he gets only as wet as he absolutely has to), went through all that stuff just perfectly. We're lucky that both our jobs can be flexible if planned far enough ahead of time -- and lucky to have something like this just up the river. Isn't there a lighthouse or two for rent up around Leelenau? Thought I remembered one.

A+M+M+J

Ulaana said...

trip sounds a little "wet and wild"!
NICE
Annie

BlacknTan said...

Looks like a great place to spend the weekend! A B&B in a lighthouse.. Who'd a thunk it??

Hope we can get together and shoot some birds this Fall.. or maybe some Skeet this Summer.