Will Ang Lee's Woodstock film actually be filmed at Woodstock?


Back in April we first heard about Westchester resident Ang Lee’s latest film, “Taking Woodstock,” a comedy about the part-time hotel manager who issued the permit for the famous concert.

tjndc5-5b5f7m7stjaupsysezi_layout.jpgIt seemed like a no-brainer that the movie would be filmed somewhere in the Hudson Valley, either in Bethel, where the events in question took place, or somewhere nearby. Lee could even commute from his home in Larchmont!

Um, not so fast.

Now it’s looking like the Sullivan County and the rest of the mid-Hudson Vally (MidHud?) aren’t a lock. According to our sister paper, The Poughkeepsie Journal, Focus Features—the film company that bankrolls Lee’s movies—has contacted film commissions throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York. While the Hudson Valley Film Commission is in the running, it looks like the movie makers will need some convincing. So HVFC head Laurent Rejto is using his blog to enlist people to help.

In this post, “Taking Woodstock Needs Bullseye,” he explains:

We are trying to find locations for the upcoming production of TAKING WOODSTOCK by Ang Lee. If you have any suggestions, photos or ideas about where we can find these locations, please let us know so we can bring this production to the Hudson Valley. Here are links to ideal images they are trying to match.

Road to Woodstock Concert (motel would be on left side)


Motel (motel images represent the eclectic styes of architecture that made up the compound of the motel.



All three elements (road, motel, town with 12 buidlings+/-) in perfect relation to one another, would be the bulls-eye. Email [email protected] with photos

Got any ideas? My nominee: The Hayloft Motel in South Salem.


It’s not ideal, especially since there’s no town right near the site, but anyone who’s seen the Hayloft would agree: It’s straight out of the Catskills. Bonus for Ang: It’s also closer to Larchmont. And the food at the nearby Le Chateau is a heckuva lot better than your typical Craft Services spread.

(Ang Lee: AP Photo/Focus Features, Kimberly French)

link is here:



CARI told to wait for additional information about NYRI project

ALBANY – The Communities Against Regional Interconnect group has been told by the state Public Service Commission that its motion seeking to direct NYRI to submit more information for its application has been denied by the state agency.

NYRI wants to build a power line from Oneida County to Orange County and is in the application stages. The PSC has told the private company on two occasions – in 2006 and again in early 2008, that its application was incomplete.

CARI, which is comprised of area counties, government officials and other groups, formally asked the PSC to direct NYRI to submit additional information in order to “correct deficiencies” in its application and to develop the record fully so it can be able to make the findings required by law.

But, in a decision dated last week, the PSC said NYRI has not yet filed a complete application and CARI has not conducted sufficient discovery of the application. With neither filed, CARI’s motion is premature, the PSC stated. The agency said, though, that CARI may renew its motion, “If, after attempting discover, it feels the information NYRI supplies is not adequate and the information sought is necessary for the commission to render a determination.”

Power line near the Delaware hits snag

Power line near the Delaware hits snag

The power line would still be very close to the Delaware River,
across from Wayne County, according to this segment from
an NYRI map released in February of this year

MONTICELLO NY – New York Regional Interconnection, Inc., the company that wants to build a power line from Oneida County to Orange County, with a portion of it running very close to the Delaware River, has hit a snag.   A system reliability study was rejected by the Operating Committee of the New York Independent System Operator.

Among those companies expressing concern about NYRI’s study were Con Edison, Orange and Rockland Utilities, Central Hudson and Long Island Power Authority.

“Principal among the problems were the voltage effects in the Hudson Valley and a 500 megawatt reduction in the thermal transfer limit interface with Con Ed,” said Sullivan County Planning Commissioner William Pammer.

“Essentially, they have to address those deficiencies.”
Sullivan County is one of eight counties that comprise CARI – Communities Against Regional Interconnect, and Pammer said the rejected reliability study will mean NYRI will have to hire more experts to resolve the issues involved.

The NYRI project has raised a lot of concern on the Pennsylvania side of the river because of its proximity to the Upper Delaware corridor.


link is here: http://www.pocononews.net/news/June08/02/02Jun08-5.html

Catskill Confidential: Compromise reached regarding Pond Eddy Bridge

A compromise appears to have been reached between those who want to tear down and those who want to repair the historic Pond Eddy Bridge.

The NY-PA Joint Interstate Bridge Commission recently approved capital construction and maintenance plans for the single-lane, 104-year-old bridge, which has been a hot-button issue for preservation groups like the "Friends of the Pond Eddy Bridge," who are opposed to replacing it.

The plan has been in limbo for several years as environmental studies are conducted and a compromise is sought.

A design committee will give interested parties input into the design of the new bridge. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has also offered to turn over ownership of the bridge to anyone capable of relocating it, but so far there have been no takers.

The tab for the project, which they hope to start by 2010, is estimated at $12 million.

The commission scheduled bids for 2013 for the contract on a new bridge from Callicoon to Damascus, Pa., with an estimated price tag of $11.6 million. A rehab alternative for the 47-year-old bridge is also being investigated. About $48,700 was spent last year to seal localized wearing areas on the deck and do other maintenance and minor repairs.

A capital repair project is also scheduled to begin in 2012 on the Port Jervis to Matamoras, Pa., bridge, for $1.8 million.

Sarah Koenig

Times Herald Record, July 2, 2008

link is here:



Map says Saugerties, not Catskill, was Henry Hudson’s Indian site

The Daily Mail, Greene County June 2, 2008

CATSKILL — In about seven months the calendar will officially turn to 2009 and, as municipal and community leaders throughout the length of the Hudson Valley are already aware, it will be the 500th anniversary — the quadricentennial — of Henry Hudson’s 1609 discovery and exploration of the river.

Accordingly, activities, observances, events and celebrations are being developed for next year and there has already been an increase in the number and availability of books and related Henry Hudson materials on the retail market.

One of them, a new map of Hudson’s route and stopping points with accompanying text, by author Michael Sullivan Smith, is now available from Hope Farm Press in Saugerties, but it makes an interesting distinction that might not be agreed with by all.

According to Smith’s findings, Hudson’s stopping point and encounter with “a very loving people” — local Native Americans — which has commonly been held to be Catskill, is actually Saugerties.

Smith bases his computations on the descriptions of the journey given in the 1610 log of Robert Juet, Hudson’s clerk, on the voyage up “the River Neer,” meaning the Lower, or Farther, River, apparently in relation to the Connecticut River, which they had already come by.

Working with a series of measurement and topographic clues, Smith concludes that Hudson’s encounter with the “loving people” was at Saugerties.

It also means, says Smith, that Hudson’s ship the Halve Maen — Half Moon — only went as far north as what is now Coxsackie, not to the mud flats below Albany.

Smith cites 19th century Hudson Valley author and historian Benson Lossing, who also felt Saugerties was the site, as his original inspiration.

“I got into locating the events of Juet’s journal when doing a serialized history of Saugerties in a local paper in 1990,” says Smith. “My information started with Lossing because he was the first to publish an analysis (of the trip).”

That analysis was presented in the May 1875 issue of a publication called “The Pearl,” and was entitled, “Henry Hudson at Saugerties,” by Benson J. Lossing.

“Juet,” writes Lossing, “gives minute records of distances, in leagues, of the voyage of the Half Moon up and down the river.”

Lossing then references a dinner party on board the Half Moon at which Hudson entertained two “old men,” apparently chiefs, and their entourage who had come upstream two leagues from the “loving people” location, and concludes the dinner anchorage to be just north of Saugerties, making the “loving people” location Saugerties itself.

“I am satisfied,” Lossing writes, “after careful examination of the subject, that the place of anchorage when Hudson gave the notable dinner party to the two old men, their wives and maidens, was in the vicinity of Saugerties.”

Smith agrees.

“In 1875 Benson J. Lossing wrote that these events happened in Saugerties,” says Smith. “This statement was likely reconciled by this noted interpreter of Hudson River lore of the period through a careful reading of the whole of Robert Juet’s journal, recognition of familiar landmarks in the journal’s descriptions, and using these to scale the complete journey of the Half Moon up and down the river.”

Smith notes that two topographical features, the northern entrance of the Hudson Highlands and the “six league” Lange Rack, or Long Reach, of open sailing water that runs past Poughkeepsie, are part of the basis for Lossing’s findings.

“Lossing’s placement of the events in Saugerties,” says Smith, “would have been based on using the Lange Rack as his measurement key and the head of the Highlands as a starting point.”

Smith says the 20-league sailing distance the ship then went up on the day of Sept. 15, 1609 would have brought it to Saugerties that evening.

“Thus, ... this measure would have placed the first meeting with ‘a very loving people’ at Saugerties,” he states.

Smith also notes that some of Lossing’s contemporaries determined otherwise.

“Other period statements,” he says, “reference other locations for the (“loving people”) events of Robert Juet’s journal. The discrepancies lie in differing interpretations of the length of the ‘league’ measurement that Henry Hudson was using.

“Lossing’s measurement, based on the Lange Rack between Danskammer (in the Highlands) and Crum Elbow (in Dutchess County) — a little less than 14 contemporary mile units — made a league a little more than 2.2 land miles,” says Smith.

This measurement for a league thus places the “loving people” at Saugerties, but it is also apparently not a recognized unit of distance outside of Lossing’s computations.

“Other interpretations,” writes Smith, “have used the recognized navigation measures of Hudson’s day — the Portuguese Maritime League that translates to 3.2 nautical miles, and the Italian League, or Geometric League, at 2.67 nautical miles.”

Smith says the problem with these units of measure is that, according to his computations, both would have taken the Half Moon well above Albany, the first almost to Whitehall, in northern Washington County near Vermont, and the second as far as Saratoga — both of which are physical impossibilities.

Most historians, however, attribute the Sept. 15/16 “loving people” northbound location as Catskill, and the Sept. 26 southbound dinner party anchorage, which Juet notes was less than two leagues above the “loving people” location, as between Athens and Hudson.

Among those who did so are author and historian Rev. Charles Rockwell in his 1867 book, “The Catskill Mountains and the Region Around;” local 19th century historian Dr. Henry Brace in his circa 1876-79 Catskill Examiner series, “An Outline of the History of the Town of Catskill to the year 1783;” historian Captain Franklin Ellis in his 1878 “History of Columbia County, New York;” historian and author Wallace Bruce in his 1907 work, “The Hudson: Three Centuries of History, Romance, and Invention;” and editor and former State Historian Dr. James Sullivan in his 1927, 12-volume work, “The History of New York State, 1523-1927.”

With perhaps minor exception, the dissenting accounts seem to be based originally on a tradition of incorporating a significant body of offsetting landmarks from Juet’s logbook into the equation, as well as using measurement distances and starting points that are apparently at variance to Lossing’s.

Brace even notes the remains of the native community at the mouth of the Catskills.

“These friendly Indians (the “loving people”) probably belonged to the hamlet which once stood at the foot of the southeastern slope of the Hopenose,” says Brace. “Forty years ago (circa the mid-to-late 1830s) the site of this little village could be easily traced, as, to this day, it probably can be.”

Brace notes the many broken implements and fire bases found in the area over the years, adding, “On the opposite side of the Catskills, at Femmen Hoek (the original peninsula, or hook of land, that was later extended to an offshore island to become Catskill Point) was the graveyard of these Indians.

“When the Long Dock (on the hook) was being built (in the first decade of the 1800s),” writes Brace, “excavations at its northwestern extremity in the bank uncovered many skeletons, with the weapons of chase and of warfare which had been buried with the bodies.”

Contradictions and interpretations abound in any area’s history, however, and with a region as rich in lore as the entire Hudson Valley, it is only part of the many separate puzzles that are so intricately intermingled amidst the early days of the valley.

Smith’s “Henry Hudson’s Voyage, 1609-2009 Quadricentennial Poster Map” is a significant work, informative and attractive.

It is available at Hope Farm Press & Bookshop, 252 Main St., Saugerties, NY 12477, at a price of $9.95. Call 845-246-3522 for more information or visit www.hopefarm.com.

Additionally, the full-scale, operating replica of the Half Moon, which plies the waters of the Hudson as a traveling museum under the ownership of New Netherland Museum, is currently scheduled to remain docked at Peckham Materials, in Athens, through June 19 to undergo standard maintenance.

Volunteers at all skill levels are invited to participate, offering a great chance to get an onboard experience of what Hudson and his crew may have felt.

For more information about maintenance volunteering visit www.halfmoon.mus.ny.us/.

The site also has the complete and full log of Robert Juet’s journal, an interesting and lengthy read that goes far beyond the short month or so in the river now named for him.


Pa.: Partial shutdown ordered of gas drilling

link is here:
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Pennsylvania environmental officials ordered a partial shutdown Friday of natural gas drilling operations by two companies in the state's northcentral region, saying they lacked permits for collecting water from nearby streams to be used in the drilling.

Neither Range Resources-Appalachia nor Chief Oil & Gas took steps to ensure the streams would be protected from pollution or other harm before conducting exploratory drilling at two sites in Lycoming County, said Robert Yowell, director of the Department of Environmental Protection's northcentral regional office.

"We need to ensure that bodies of water involved ... are protected for the residents of Lycoming County and the entire Susquehanna (River) watershed," Yowell said in a statement.

The two companies are exploring for gas below the Marcellus Shale, a layer of rock about 6,000 feet down that extends from western New York, across Pennsylvania and into eastern Ohio and parts of West Virginia.

As part of their work, they have been diverting tens of thousands of gallons of water daily from streams into storage areas, Yowell said. That water is used in a drilling process where fissures are blasted into the rock formation with pressurized water and sand to release trapped gas into a well.

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission also issued cease-and-desist orders against the companies Friday for collecting stream water without the commission's approval.

Both companies said they planned to meet with the DEP and the commission next week to discuss how to resolve the dispute.

"We realize that this type of natural gas drilling is new to the Commonwealth and we will continue to work with all the regulatory agencies and the local authorities to find the balance needed to develop the natural resources underground," Kristi Gittins, spokeswoman for Dallas-based Chief Oil & Gas, said in a statement.

Range Resources-Appalachia officials believed they did not need a permit to withdraw water from Big Sandy Run Creek in Cogan House Township, said Rodney Lawler, a spokesman for Fort Worth, Texas-based parent company Range Resources. The company is continuing its operations using an alternative water source, Lawler said.

"Lycoming County is an area in which very little drilling has been historically done," Lawler said. "We're all working to clearly understand what are the rules in different jurisdictions."

A spokeswoman for Dallas-based Chief Oil & Gas did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment Friday.

The DEP is closely monitoring gas companies' compliance with environmental regulations as interest in natural gas drilling has grown in Pennsylvania, agency spokesman Neil Weaver said. The department issued more than 7,200 gas drilling permits last year, and more than 2,500 have been issued so far this year, he said.

"We have very specific and very strict guidelines as far as environmental integrity and water resources, and we are not willing to bend on those for anyone," Weaver said. "That being said, this is something that's new. ... We're hoping this is not an issue, that (the companies) understand what can and cannot be done."

The orders will be lifted after both companies have secured the necessary permit and the DEP has approved water management plans for them, Weaver said.

Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed


DEC Commissioner Announces State Purchase Of 330 Acres In The Catskill Park


News from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

For more information contact: Renee Goodbee, 518-402-8000

DEC Commissioner Announces State Purchase Of 330 Acres In The Catskill Park

Acquisitions Protect Resources, Enhance Recreation on Overlook Mountain

ALBANY, NY (06/02/2008; 1113)(readMedia)--

A prominent and popular Catskill mountain summit has been permanently protected in an acquisition completed recently by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Commissioner Pete Grannis announced today. DEC has purchased 330 acres at Overlook Mountain in Woodstock, Ulster County.

As one of the most recognizable landmarks on the eastern escarpment of the Catskill range that provides stunning backdrops to the Town of Woodstock, Overlook Mountain has long enjoyed a prominent place in America’s natural and cultural history,” Commissioner Grannis said. “DEC will continue to partner with local governments and land trusts to protect precious properties like Overlook Mountain throughout the Catskill Forest Preserve.”

Today’s announcement includes the acquisition of three properties: the 210-acre Woodstock Guild of Artist and Craftsmen parcel, the 92-acre Berg parcel, and the 28-acre Illjes parcel. The Woodstock Guild of Artist and Craftsmen parcel on Meads Mountain Road includes Meads Meadow, an extensive open area on the mountain’s southwestern flank that has long been a popular setting for experiencing the Catskills. The Berg and Illjes parcels lie on the steep southeastern side of the mountain and their protection will ensure preservation of the scenic values of this natural landmark throughout the Hudson Valley. All three parcels are adjacent to existing state forest preserve lands. DEC paid a total of $784,000 for the parcels using the Environmental Protection Fund.

The acquisitions will be added to DEC’s Overlook Mountain Wild Forest in the Catskill Forest Preserve and offer recreational opportunities that include hiking, hunting, trapping, and camping. Overlook Mountain is an important feature of the Catskill escarpment that is specifically identified in New York State’s Open Space Conservation Plan.

DEC was assisted in these land purchases by the Open Space Institute (OSI) and the Woodstock Land Conservancy (WLC), two not-for-profit conservation organizations working closely with DEC to enhance open space protection efforts throughout the Catskills.

Jennifer Grossman, OSI’s Vice President of Land Acquisition, said: “Overlook Mountain has enjoyed a prominent place in America’s natural and cultural history, and is considered by many as the birthplace of the Hudson River School of Painting. Now, due to the successful partnership OSI has forged with DEC and the WLC, this eastern Catskill escarpment of commanding panoramic views will forever provide unique natural habitat for threatened wildlife and unmatched recreational opportunities for current and future generations of New Yorkers.”

Michael DeWan, past president of the WLC who led the “Save Overlook” campaign said: “Today’s announcement is the culmination of years of hard work, and thanks are due to the hundreds of Woodstockers and folks from all over who responded to our call to protect our beloved Overlook. We are immensely grateful to be able to realize this long-held dream, now a reality, and for the people of the State of New York and beyond to enjoy its wild, rugged beauty forever.”


Report: NYRI spending masks flaws

By BRYON ACKERMAN _GA_googleAdEngine.createDOMIframe('google_ads_div_utica_news_300x250' ,'utica_news_300x250');
Posted Jun 01, 2008 @ 11:57 PM
Last update Jun 02, 2008 @ 06:19 AM

New York Regional Interconnect has spent almost $14 million on its proposed power line project without proving its necessity, according to a new report from a multi-county group fighting the plan. 

Communities Against Regional Interconnect reviewed NYRI’s application to the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and said it found: 

* A lack of technical merit. 

* Outdated images and maps. 

* Assumptions based on incomplete or flawed information. 

* Missing information required on the power line’s environmental impact, cultural

Assessing NYRI’s spending
Some details:

* Engineering and economic modeling consultants: $3,296,379.

* Fees paid to regulatory agencies: $3,260,481.

* Option payments to lease railroad rights of way: $2 million.

* Government relations: $1,482,811.

* Legal fees: $1,270,416.

* Management salaries: $1,048,278.

* Public relations: $943,571.
resources and system reliability. 

Justification of NYRI’s application remains “woefully deficient,” said Steven DiMeo, chairman of Communities Against Regional Interconnect and president of the Rome-based Mohawk Valley EDGE economic-development agency. 

NYRI has spent less on engineering and economic-impact modeling than it has on legal fees and government and public relations, the report found. 

“I think, frankly, they have it all wrong,” DiMeo said. “If they feel strongly about their application, they should spend money on engineering and technical evaluations. And they haven’t done that.” 

The proposed NYRI power line would run from Marcy to Orange County, helping supply power to the southeastern part of the state. The plan, made public two years ago, galvanized residents along the route who fear impacts to their health, housing values and quality of life. 

Utica resident Phil Gulla Jr. said he’s against the power line because it wouldn’t help people who live in Oneida County. He’s also concerned about the amount of money NYRI has spent on influencing the public and government, he said. 

“If they’re spending it on public relations, that means they’re greasing people up instead of spending it on letting the locals know what’s going on,” he said. 

NYRI spokesman David Kalson said late Sunday night he wouldn’t comment on the group’s report because he hadn’t seen it. 

NYRI applications denied 

The report comes out at a time when NYRI is entangled in a variety of governmental approval processes. 

* Most recently, the New York Independent System Operator’s Operating Committee rejected a NYRI study assessing the power-line’s impact on the state’s electrical transmission system. 

* That study is necessary for NYRI to complete its application to the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for seeking a higher rate of return for its investors than would ordinarily be allowed. 

Now, NYRI will have to appeal the Independent System Operator committee’s decision or else revise and resubmit the study to the not-for-profit organization that operates the state’s bulk electricity grid and wholesale market. 

The federal commission on May 13 had deemed NYRI’s application insufficient. Power-line company spokesman Kalson said NYRI submitted the requested information last Tuesday. 

But DiMeo said the real issue is what his organization’s new study found: that NYRI’s spending hasn’t produced results. 

“After two years, all they’ve been able to do is file incomplete applications,” DiMeo said. 

“Once you scratch below the surface of all their PR, you’ll find very little substance.”

Hunter seeks public input on expanding scenic byway

HUNTER - The town's ad-hoc Steering Committee will take comments on June 14 on plans to add 18 miles of road to the existing 12-mile Mountain Cloves Scenic Byway designation along three main thoroughfares.

The session is scheduled for 10 a.m. in Hunter Elementary School on state Route 23A (Main Street) in the village of Hunter.

Town Supervisor Dennis Lucas said a $24,000 grant from the National Scenic Byways program was used to pay the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development for developing maps and a corridor management plan.

"The significance of the designation has (supported) the town of Hunter's requests to enhance those byways through grant applications in a positive way," Lucas said. "We received a (state Department of Transportation) TEA-21 grant as a result of the byway. We also received a multi-modal grant that produced the sidewalks and period lighting at our historical society's campus, and also the enhanced parking, period lighting and sidewalks in and around our municipal offices."

The byway was designed by the Federal Highway Administration in 1991 for sections of state Routes 23A and 214,and Platte Clove Road. Under the proposed expansion, the additional sections would create a loop by connecting those roads.

Efforts to expand the byway as part larger efforts to promote tourism have included appointing representatives from the Hunter Chamber of Commerce, the Hunter Foundation, the Catskill Mountain Foundations and the Mountain Top Historical Society.

Supporters consider the plan an important tourism marketing tool.

"Our mountain cloves are unique, natural, cultural, recreational and historic resources," Lucas said. "The cloves and the routes that connect them have been attractions for over a century. This Scenic Byway project focuses on ways to protect and enhance the special qualities and recreational opportunities which are the underpinnings of our local and regional economy."

link is here:



Introducing the sport of streaming

The Daily Freeman
Please, no derisive tittering in the background when I now reveal the discovery of a new Catskill sport.

STREAMING is the name and please do not confuse it with the electronic business of "streaming" on your friendly, local computer.

My kind of streaming involves athleticism of a very unique kind; which may explain why it is a brand, new sport.

Hey, I invented it; so it must be.

ANYHOW, if you've stopped laughing, here's how it goes. (And don't feed me that wise guy line: "It doesn't go, you have to push it!")

For starters, Catskill Streaming involves the following vital - as in you can't do it without them - pieces of equipment:

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* A STREAM: Something like the Esopus will do but that's more like a river although it's called Esopus Creek. (Don't ask me why!) My home stream is Traver Hollow - nice and narrow, easier to cross.

-- TRAILS THAT FOLLOW THE STREAM: Mind you, nothing paved, like Broadway.

-- SNEAKERS OR HIKING BOOTS: Remember, this IS a sport.

-- THE WILL: As in the will to walk, speed-walk, hike and maybe even get exhausted while you're at it.

I GOT into this Streaming business by accident last month during my regular speed-walk down Bradken Road in Boiceville.

The beauty of Bradken is that it parallels Traver Hollow Stream.

When I launch my expedition, the stream is on my left but then it veers right under the sweetest little [Jim's], makeshift bridge you'll ever see and heads west on my right.

But the real sport of Streaming doesn't begin until road's end where two trails snake their way up Cross Mountain; one on each side of the creek - er! - stream.

The game is sort of like playing golf against yourself. Your goal in this case is to follow the stream as far as you can without: 1. Killing yourself; 2. Breaking a leg: 3. Losing sight - or sound - of the water.

On my initial attempt, I trod the left-hand (south side) trail which - were it maintained by a hiking club - leads to the top of Cross Mountain and, eventually, into the hamlet of Mount Pleasant.

ALAS, the trail is more like an obstacle course. Enormous trees have fallen across its path; nettles abound and in some parts, there's more swamp than turf.

That, however, is why Streaming is a sport. The trick is surmount the endless detours while keeping pace with the stream. And every so often - while detouring around an oversized log - the stream vanishes and must immediately be found; or you lose the game.

It was too early to lose so I stopped, listened hard, heard the GURGLE-GURGLE and tip-toed through (no, not the tulips) the nettles, hoping that their annoying leaves wouldn't leave me scratching for the rest of the day.

I managed to escape with nary a scratch, re-discovered the stream far below and then found what was left of the trail; which really wasn't more than a jumble of fallen trees.

That mess of flora was enough to convince me to try streaming on the other side of the creek. So, I backtracked to Bradken where there's a neat little two-plank "bridge" over the water, leading to the right-hand (south side) trail.

(I call it The Bob Myron Bridge. I gave it that name after my good neighbor Myron who ensures its safety after flooding and assorted other mishaps. This is the fourth incarnation and actually has a couple of suspension cables to keep it intactóuntil the next big flood.)

HOISTING myself up the bank, I found what appeared to once have been a logging road up the mountain. It was wider than its trans-brook counterpart but so rock-strewn that one mis-step could mean a twisted ankle; and you know what that means.

I carefully two-stepped my way upward but was so focused on not pulling a hamstring that I forgot about the brook I was supposed to be Streaming. And when the realization came to me, I stopped, looked and listened.

Had I actually lost it? (Don't answer that!)

Knowing that it had to be somewhere to the left of me, I veered off-trail into the forest, stumbling, bumbling but certainly not Streaming. That is, not until I finally picked up the ever-popular GURGLE-GURGLE.

It was a good 50 feet below but I half-hiked, half-slid my way down to a large rock sitting on the bank where I took a needed seat and simply imbibed the all-encompassing beauty.

A ROBIN landed on a nearby boulder keeping me company for a bit and then took off for nests unknown. I vainly looked for trout that supposedly populate Traver Hollow Stream but found only waterbugs.

Hey, enough of that. It was time to get moving, so I hiked up to the logging road and followed it once more until it crept to the right away from the stream. Still, I stayed with the trail, figuring that I could find the water as I had done so before.

But the road stayed right, leaving the water out of sight, out of sound, but not out of mind. I had two minutes to find it, else I had lost my game of Streaming.

I meandered to the left, which made a lot of sense since that's where the brook was supposed to be; except this time - nothing.

Panic wasn't in my mind at this time but - I must admit - I was concerned. Was I, literally, "up" the creek without a paddle? Could I possibly have gotten lost in a friendly forest?

While entertaining these less-than-entertaining thoughts, I zig-zagged around every possible hunk of moss, hollow logs, everything but a live bear which, by the way, I surmised, was somewhere around, having a good laugh at my woodsy, stand-up act.

THEN, it happened - at about the 1:34 mark of my concerned search.

I grabbed hold of an old oak tree's trunk, just to stay upright, and noticed a severe drop-off of the forest floor about 20 yards ahead. It was a clue worth following and I did.

Sure enough, it was the very same route down to the water I had plied a half-hour earlier. And there, like Columbus discovering the New World, I re-discovered my missing stream.

It wasn't exactly the end of the game; that only happens after I reach my house, injury-free. But I knew that the rest would be downhill; and so it was.

In no time at all, I reached the double-planked bridge, stopped in the middle just to pay homage to H20 and then accompanied the GURGLE-GURGLE all the way home.

Or, to paraphrase a nifty, old tune ("Breezin' Along With The Breeze"), I was just streamin' along with the stream.

And loving every minute of it - except when I was getting lost!

Author-columnist-commentator Stan "The Maven" Fischler resides in Boiceville and New York City. His column appears each week in the Sunday Freeman.


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