Thursday, February 01, 2007

Bish Bash I was taking a bath

So last weekend, ansty from enforced urbaness (not a word but urbanity means something else), I decided that despite the weather, or perhaps because of it, I needed to get outside and away from the city. So I did some research and Sunday morning found Aviva and I standing in my living room looking enough gear to camp for a week, as it obiviously takes too long to put much thought into packing when you have a whole car to fill up ...

So 20 minutes later, we had lugged everything downstairs and were driving about 2 hours (turned out to be 2.5 hours because of a bizarrely inept deli worker) north of the city to Bish Bash Falls state park, in Columbus county right on the Massachusetts-New York state line. The drive was quick, and the whole trip up there would have taken less than 2 hours, except that we stopped at a grocery store to get some lunch. Thinking that sandwiches would be fast, we headed back to the deli and met the girl I will henceforth refer to as the deli slug. The slug made good sandwiches ... but it took her an hour. AN HOUR!! New mustard, then new pepper, then to chop the pepper, then to get the meat, then to get different meat, then to flirt with the meat guy, then to flirt with the cheese guy, then to ask about the onions, then to rechop the pepper ... ridiculous. To be fair, she charged us basically nothing and we were on our way, finally.

We got to Taconic around 1145 and bundled ourselves up for the long hike, a very slow process I am becoming well acquainted with, and then started to walk out to Bish Bash falls, which is just across the state line in Massachusetts. It was actually pretty nice out, around 35 and sunny ... and I know that statement alone shows how far I have come in my weather perceptions ...

We took a look at the map on the way there, and noticed it was about a mile walk, somewhat deflating our adventurous prospects. But we were undeterred and after an overequipped stroll up we arrived at Bish Bash falls ... and its is breath taking. I mean, literally dragging the frosty breath out of your lungs beautiful. Like a bunch of clouds drifted down from the sky and settled in on top of an 80 foot waterfall. The water has frozen in such a way that it provides a screen over the surface of the waterfall, but you can catch glimpses of the water running underneath. And the ice is reminiscent of cave formations, with stacks of icy flowstone and stalagtites coasting up and down the falls. It took me 25 minutes just to stop staring at the thing and move down to the foot of the falls, where it was like we were in a winter wonderland ... a freezing river flows, slushes and gurgles its way through piles, fields, drippings and drifts of snow and ice dusting and covering everything. It was awesome ... as the were the long awaited sandwiches, which we sat down an ate at this point. Then I could not contain myself and Aviva watched as I futzed around the base of the falls, running back and forth across the icy, snow-cover rocks. Of course I fell in, but only up to one knee and I was so excited that I was not even cold. It was tremendous.

After about an hour at the falls, we walked back to the car, took off some of our hard-core hiking stuff and took another short hike along cedar creek up to what should have been a lookout point but was in fact nothing due to our inability to follow the mysterious and badly marked trail. It was still a lot of fun though as we criss-crossed the creek about a dozen times, wandered off the trail and up a nearby hill and saw yet more beautiful ice structures, from beards of icicles stretched across the hill sides to tiny ice-falls to sap that had frozen on its way out of a log and formed an orange icicle. Wonderful.

After being lost-ish ... we were never really lost as we were walking up a creek, but we did spend a bit of time not knowing where we were ... we headed back towards the car as daylight began to fade, and headed back to New York. Aviva DJed the whole way back with my iPod, as we discovered on the way up that the CD player in my car does not work, rendering the 3 books of CDs she brought useless. We got back, flopped on the couch and ate trail mix while watching Old School ... great end to a great day.

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