Rain, Rain, Rain – Heading south to New York City
June 3rd, 2012 – The night before we had stayed in Gananoque, Ontario and gone to the musical Nunsense II. Now our plan for the day was to cross over the Thousand Island Bridge complex into the United States and spend the night camped in the Catskill Mountains before proceeding into New York City the next day. The first part of this plan went smoothly. We paid the toll for the bridge, passed through Customs with only a few cars in line in front of us and then stopped at the Visitor information center to pick up some brochures about camping in the Catskills. At this point, the weather didn’t look too promising but roads were still dry.
With the weather closing in, we began discussing alternatives to our ‘camping in the Catskills’ option and staff at the Visitor Center mentioned the possibility of driving to Poughkeepsie, NY and taking the train from there into New York City. As we drove through intermittent rainstorms along Interstate 81, the idea of staying in a hotel or motel and taking the train began to sound better and better.
When we reached Syracuse, weather looked like it might be clearing but it wasn’t long before another rainstorm caught up with us. This pattern of on again, off again rain continued with us to Binghampton, NY where we left Interstate 81 and headed east along Hwy 17 still thinking about the possibility of tenting in the Catskills.
Final decision: Motel versus tent – motel option won and we headed toward Poughkeepsie along Highways 17, 52 and 55 from Binghampton, New York. We took this route so that we could pass through the Minnewanka State Park and the Mohonk Preserve. The route provides a nice change in elevation with the Laurel blooming in the wooded areas and a few panoramic views of the Catskills to the north. On the eastern edge, before taking a switchback drop down into the Walkill Valley, there is the Wallkill Valley Overlook which provides a broad panoramic view of the valley ahead.
Looking North toward the southern edge of the Catskill Mountains
The view from the Wallkill Valley Overlook Our destination for the night was New Paltz. NY and once we had found a motel and unloaded our luggage, we still had enough light to head out and explore the town. The rain and drizzle had passed by and it was a beautiful evening for a walk around town.