Getting lost is not easy nowadays with all our electronic gizmos offering GPS. Whenever I'm within cell coverage, Siri tells me when to make the next turn. This may be more convenient, but it also makes the world infinitely less interesting. I set out a couple of days ago on my Harley to get lost. I headed wast from Boiceville on NY Route 42 into the near wilderness of the Catskill Mountains.
For 45 minutes, I saw no cars, very few houses and just about no people about. If I had crashed along Route 42, it might have been days or weeks before anybody discovered my body.
Wilderness is just about non-existent in NY State, because the reservoir and aqueduct system build to slake the thirst of New York City spans the entire state. One day, I swear, I'll read a history of this incredibly huge and complex system that sustains the world's greatest city.
Many a small town was buried under a deluge of water as the rivers and streams of upstate New York were damned to build the reservoirs... like Lackawack, which lies beneath the Rondout Reservoir.
I had planned an itinerary of sorts once I left Route 42, but I quickly became lost and began to tack by the sun, heading west and south as best as I could. This took me through dozens of villages and towns that were little more than a few houses and a volunteer fire department at an intersection of two roads. I snapped this pic of a covered bridge during a brief stop in Grahamville.
I followed the sun east and south until I landed in a little town alongside the Delaware River, Callicoon, NY. Since I had ridden 100 miles, I decided that it was time for lunch. Callicoon looked like another of those innumerable artsy-fartsy New York commuter towns. The hotel, below, dominated this hilly tiny town.
The hotel has a colorful and sordid history.
I walked around town looking for a place for lunch. Callicoon is an aspiring Woodstock. Same locally sourced foods and organic foods obsessions. Same type of hipster shops. I settled on a little bar and restaurant that served a perfectly acceptable BBQ pork sandwich. I was wearing one of my Cubs' t-shirts. An old couple from Boston engaged me in a friendly and humorous conversation about Red Sox and Cubs curses and told me they'd be rooting for the Cubs.
This mural festooned the men's room at the restaurant.
My final destination was my girlfriend's house in northern New Jersey, so I headed south on Route 97 along the Delaware River. This proved to be a surprisingly great ride. The road twists and turns through mountain peaks that qualify as towering on the East Coast, as well as through beautiful valleys. I took this last pic somewhere along the river in late afternoon
The remainder of the trip was my first foray in riding in the urban jungle of New York City metro area in years. Route 17 south in New Jersey is a six lane freeway. I rode it in the dark in the midst of a river of traffic. Adrenaline flooded my system so that, although I was exhausted, I remained alert. This type of riding, with drivers fighting for position and using their cars as weapons, is a form of combat. I arrived at my destination high on adrenaline and glad to have survived.