Nothing gets the travel bug jittering more than a fresh spring breeze radiating with a hint of summer around the edges. And it was just that kind of morning when we headed out of town on the Canadian long weekend. While it is meant to officially celebrate Queen Victoria’s birthday, not being much of a monarchist, the holiday was the perfect excuse for a road trip.
Last few years instead of taking one vacation throughout the year, my partner Jack Pine and I, have taken to extending the long weekends whenever we can. Cell phones are locked away in the glove box for emergencies only and we travel unplugged ... the internet is out of bounds.
Last spring we took a whirlwind adventure to Nashville, this year our journey took us to another musical place: Woodstock, New York.
Give or take it’s a 8-hour drive, so we broke it up dipping through a section of the Finger Lakes before stopping over in Watkin’s Glen on the southern tip of Seneca Lake. After the long drive Mother Nature herself offered a welcome respite from the heat. It was sizzling hot out and the cool rock walkways of Watkin’s Glen State Park made for a fabulous hike. The air of the glen was moist and fresh.
The closest we got to celebrating Queen Victoria was staying at a Victorian Bed & Breakfast near the center of town. It was a very old house with a wrap around front porch across the street from a church. Jack and I sat on the verandah sipping our coffee watching characters of all stripes stroll by. For me waking up in different place in what seemed a different time, stirred that special feeling of Sunday morning I hadn’t felt in a long time.
Since we still had a good stretch of road ahead of us we didn’t linger too long. We headed out and avoided the interstate thruway. At times we were the only travellers on the scenic roads. The landscape was spectacular and much to Jack’s delight we stopped at the confluence of the Delaware and Beaverkill rivers, known to be two of the best fly fishing streams. It was nice to take in the vista before heading out on the last leg of our trip.
Geographically Woodstock is situated in the Catskills. The famous music festival was actually held an hour or so outside of Woodstock at Max Yasgur’s farm in Bethel, but the memory of it is everywhere.
The town of Woodstock itself is ripe with history and music and has a beautiful stream running right through the main street.
I was hoping Woodstock itself would not be an anachronism of what used to be or could’ve been. I was not disappointed, there is still a living breathing authentic grass roots community happening.
Signs, signs, everywhere a sign (but good ones)!
By early afternoon it was bustling and a drum circle kept the beat in the center
It wouldn’t be Woodstock without …
You can just smell the candle shoppe
The fresh air, the food, and the friendly hosts at The Woodstock Inn made our visit. There is so much more to relate of this experience … some of it hard to put in words. But there will be another time. I know this for sure, we’ll be returning to Woodstock.
Bell bottom-not-so-blue ...
Not a bad breakfast spot.
Would it seem too idyllic to say driving home on the highway we looked out the window to see a glorious double rainbow?
Well, although it's hard to capture the beauty of it through a speeding car window, we did.
© Scarlett Sumac May 2012.
(All personal photos).