A Year In New York

A Daily Bite of the Big Apple

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Day 127: Painting the Poconos Red

November 3rd · No Comments

I went out of town with a few friends this weekend to visit the Pocono Mountains and see the leaves turning. Much like my visit this summer to the Hamptons, a pilgrimage to the Poconos has a mystique that is attached to books I’ve read but whose titles I’ve forgotten. The Poconos are fixed in my mind as someplace you visit in a horse-drawn carriage or in a 1956 Cadillac. We arrived in a Honda CR-V and had so much fun that we may have defined our own epoch.

On Saturday night, we stayed in a cabin at a KOA campground (they call it a Kabin) and mixed vodka with Gatorade and played a game called Celebrity and even spun some poi (like this but not so smooth).

The next morning we warmed up in the 40-degree temperatures by drinking coffee and throwing a Frisbee around, then drove to Delaware Gap, which is the southernmost part of a national park that rises above and around the Delaware River.

We hiked up past Lake Lenape and Lake Lettini, quiet ponds blanketed with patches of lilly pad, and to the top of Mt. Minsi. The leaves from that vantage point are psychadelic, especially for a Californian who knows trees only in hues of green and brown. The trees whorled around the knob of Mt. Tammany and descended on a gentle gradient to the flats. They formed a carpet of yellows and oranges with splashes of red and punctuated with evergreens. On a cliff, a single maple stood out like a slash of lipstick.

We drove back to civilization. In California, a trip “away” means a journey to someplace like Lake Tahoe, which takes four hours. The distance from Delaware Gap to downtown Manhattan is a mere 76 miles and we were back among the cabbies and sirens within an hour and a half. We had been gone for less than 24 hours but we’d lived it so thoroughly it felt like three days.

Tags: Getaways · Sights & Scenes

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