"I was, in fact, homesick for wildness, and when I found it I knew how intimately - how resonantly - I belonged there. We are charged with this - all of us. For the human spirit has a primal allegiance to wildness, to really live, to snatch the fruit and suck it, to spill the juice." - Jay Griffiths, Wild: an Elemental Journey

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Observations of Woodstock

You know what's great about Woodstock?  Everything.

Oldman and I are housesitting for some friends in Woodstock, NY, for 10 days.  We've only been here for four days so far, but have had quite a few adventures.  Here is what I've noticed and appreciated most so far about this magical place:

In driving around Woodstock itself, as well as a good 45 minute drive southwest yesterday, I still haven't seen one, single chain grocery store.  No Giants, no Safeways, no Krogers.  I've seen dozens of farm stands and farmer's markets, both in town and along the side of the roads everywhere.  I've also seen several small, locally owned food co-ops and speciality markets - like a bakery and a meat store.

Having so many healthy options has made filling the house with food that is not only good for our bodies, but good for the earth and the local economy easy.  It's also made cooking fun!  We haven't eaten out once yet.

Since the owners of the home where we're staying are vegan, they've asked that we not cook meat in their home.  Regular carnivores ourselves, we took this as a creative challenge.  We are playing vegetarian for the week, and having a blast!

Broiled asparagus with romano cheese and
roasted red potatoes with olive oil, fresh rosemary, and garlic
In addition to the above photo, we've also made and/or plan to make:
  • coconut quinoa
  • sesame bok choy
  • crispy tofu
  • coconut curry stir fry with tofu, potatoe, and red pepper over quinoa
  • lemon kale
  • pasta with olive oil, local squash, and fresh herbs

It is impossible to look in any direction here and not see mountains.  This makes me very happy.

Our first full day here, we drove for about 10 minutes to the local reservoir, which is HUGE and the water supply for all of New York city.  We rode our bikes for about 7 miles all around it, including through some small towns along the border.  The mountains were our backdrop all the way.

It's been quite hot and muggy here, which has driven us two days in a row to seek out some of the local swimming holes that our hosts told us about.  I love the feeling of working up a sweat with some fun, outdoor activity and then jumping in some natural body of water to cool off.  It feels so much more . . . ALIVE than a chlorinated pool.

Oldman playing on a rope swing at the first day's swimming hole

Oldman becoming one with Vernooy Falls, our second day's destination

Me too!

Yay!  Kissing at waterfalls!

Vernooy Falls

A totally unexpected and welcome surprise has been the night sky here.  Our first night, Oldman and I had just finished a game of Scrabble (which I won - by a long shot), and LIFE (which I lost, but probably because I chose to be a lesbian and have no babies, and the game just doesn't reward people who make those kinds of choices - ugh), and I still had some energy left.

So at 1am, we took a very, very dark walk up the looooong hill that is the road we're living on.  When we turned our headlamps off, we looked up and gasped.  There were nearly as many stars here as some places we've each been out west, like the badlands or the grand canyon.  The low light pollution here combined with with a nearly new moon made for a dark, beautiful night sky.

We lay in the middle of the road and gazed at the milky way cloud like I haven't seen it in a long time.

Stay tuned for what the final six days bring!

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