Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sam's Point, Cragsmoor, New York

On a clear day you can see out fifty miles and view FIVE states - New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut are 4, but there's no sign from the Point to indicate the fifth, and I'm ashamed to admit that I'm posting this without confirming the last one. A fellow from Oxford, UK asked about hiking opportunities when he made his reservation. The owner of the park I'm working at told me that he has a list of area sights and attractions in a book, giving directions. Sam's Point, in the foothills of New York's Catskill Mountains, is the closest to the campground, so off I went to explore with my camera on one of my days off last week.
The Preserve has many areas of hiking trails - one of which leads off to ice chasms - but that trail was temporarily closed while it was being strengthened in areas where erosion is threatening it. The skies looked a bit iffy to the south, so I opted for the short - but straight up hike to the Point itself. In this image I was nearing the top, but still not quite there. At one time genteel ladies and gentlemen rode up in horse-drawn carriages. Even though the road was better then, it was still a steep uphill pull for the horses, and the downhill trek could be slippery in bad weather - as it is now - and there are extreme drop offs around every bend.
The climb was well worth it and the impending weather made for some great coloration in my images. Once at the Point itself, a wind came up that was rather daunting - looking about me it was obvious that such winds are the norm as the trees, which stood tall and proud at the base of the mountain, were short and stunted at the top - unable to grow due to Nature's decree.
Now I can't wait to check out some of the other areas as the Catskills. I'm told that the views are breathtaking everywhere - even the campground I'm at is a teaser of what lies ahead, overlooking beautiful peaks in the distance.

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