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Old Oct 26, 2009, 9:35 AM   #1
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Default Ashokan Reservoir & Stony Kill Falls in the Catskills

Pictures were taken this weekend when rain was pouring whole day Saturday and the sun in full force the following Sunday.

Saturday.

Ashokan Reservoir.


Along a hiking trail in Wittenberg Mountain not too far from Ashokan Reservoir. Rain wasn't pouring yet but the drizzle was constant.


I don’t recall now how we found the trail -- we just followed descriptions from the latest issue of a New York State-published tourism magazine and perhaps even lost our way driving into finding it -- but it was gorgeous. It seemed to be "undiscovered" and known only to a few judging from its unspoiled and serene surroundings and the absence of any tourist debris.

After only a handful of shots, rain started coming down hard. The photo below was taken while rain poured inside my already soaked winter jacket.


I remember while the rain beat down on me and I tucked my camera inside my jacket, taking it out for brief periods and exposing it to the elements to quickly snap photos, my thought was, "This is madness..."

Sunday.

A small dam in Stony Kill Falls.


Stony Kill Falls.


Taking pictures of the falls was a challenge because not only was it in the distance partly obstructed by evergreen trees, but the bright sun was also right above it and washing out most of the color in my pictures. The best time to go would be early in the morning when the sun would be in front of it, and not in the afternoon when we went and the sun directly behind it.

Stony Kill Falls came as a complete surprise to me. At the entrance to Minnewaska State Park off Route 44-55, a mountain highway in Kerhonkson near the town of New Paltz, cars filled with tourists were being turned back by park rangers because the park was already full. This was around noon Sunday.

It was a pity because the tourists who likely drove all the way from NYC didn't have to return home empty-handed. They just had to drive 7 miles further up into a little known road that leads to an abandoned quarry (actually bought by NY State) where you can park your car in the dirt for free. From there you simply walk to the falls. Following the sound of water takes you to a hiking trail in the shaded forest where rocks occasionally protrude from the ground that is fully covered with moss and autumn leaves and the sky barely visible above the trees. The trail runs alongside a creek with water gushing through rocks, boulders, and fallen trees. As you keep going the sound of water gets louder and eventually Stony Kill Falls reveals itself in the distance. Seemingly dreamlike and unreachable (unless you wade in the gush as apparently a young couple ahead of us did judging from their soaked hair and clothes in what I would think was near freezing temperature), you wouldn’t be surprised if fairies and a rainbow magically appeared. All that for just half a mile of trekking through the woods.
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