Catskill Mountains

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NFS heading to the Trout Parade.

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The Catskills are different. Last weekend was my first time hiking any extended length there. It was also my first time backpacking (I know, took me long enough). It’s just so weird, how two mountain ranges in relatively close parts of the country can be so different. This was fun and beautiful in it’s own right, but at least on the east coast, the White Mountains will always be my favorite.

The Catskills, though. They’re greener. In that respect, I like it. The mountains are more modest. This one, at 4,040 ft is the second highest in the range. At the summit of the mountain, you’re still in heavy forest. The trees and vegetation don’t change much between the base of the mountain and the top. The trails are marked far better here. In the Whites, you can guarantee you’ll be hiking over boulders the entire way. Here there’s a lot of hiking up loose rocks that cover up a bed of pine needles that cover up a million roots. It’s almost exactly the same as anywhere you might hike in Connecticut, the stuff I used to do when I was younger. That said – this was perfect prep for hopefully some overnights in NH and I will never not like being in the woods.

08.09.15 | Hunter, NY

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Hotel Kaaterskill (1881-1924).

Built in 1881 on South Mountain, New York, between the Catskill Mountain House and the Laurel House by George Harding, a prominent Philadelphia lawyer. The massive hotel, billed as the largest mountain hotel in the world, had rooms for 612 guests. It had its own road down the side of Kaaterskill Clove (an engineering marvel in itself), and extensive facilities and grounds for their guests’ pleasure. As large as the original hotel was, an annex was added in 1883, bringing its capacity to almost 1100 guests. Through its years of operation, the Kaaterskill Hotel had famous visitors like Oscar Wilde, Lillian Langtree, John Wanamaker, Ulysses S. Grant, and US President Chester A. Arthur. The wood stucture burned to the ground on September 8, 1924 when a fire started by employees making soap got out of control. The fire spread very quickly, and burned the hotel to the ground along with several nearby buildings. Witnesses stated that within two hours, the hotel was a white hot fire pit. The fire was so massive that it could be seen from Connecticut and Massachusetts.

anonymous asked:

When he's not on a mission, visiting Peggy, or sitting Sam's class at the VA, Steve spends all his free time hunting for decent pizza. There's got to be somewhere in DC that sells a passable, Brooklyn-style slice.

“Tony, I need your help.”

Stopping at a desk, Steve used his palm to smooth a long roll of paper right over a pile of lumpy parts.

Tony moved closer.

“What’cha got there?” Tony asked. The paper map was covered in colored dots. Reds, blues, blacks. Tony looked up at Steve’s unsmiling face. “Is this an alien invasion? I told you guys we needed to be ready” Tony took a raspy breath and started to sweat. “Is it hot in here?”

“No. No aliens.”

“Thank God.” He slumped into a nearby chair.

Finger pointing at the map, Steve said “Every evening, or afternoon, depending on when I have free time, I have hit a different pizza shop in DC. Cheese pizza should not be hard to find. They say they have Brooklyn style pizza, but …”

“Let me stop you right there. They won’t have it.”

“Why not?”

“It’s the water. Catskill/Delaware watershed. The low calcium content makes the best pizza dough and Bagels. Personally, I think the best tasting water comes specifically from the Catskill Mountains. Have you ever had water straight from a spring in the Catskills? Nothing else like it.”

“Is that why New York water tastes better than anywhere else?”

“You guessed it.”

“I thought I was just being nostalgic.”

“Nope. Not homesick, and not just enhanced taste buds. Regular people taste the difference too.”