Sunday, August 29, 2010
Stissing Mountain Sunset
When I was in Europe last summer I thought about how neat it would be to watch the sunset over the Atlantic. Listening to Roxy Music and drinking a bottle of wine James (my friend from Australia) and I watched the sunset at a point that was thought to be the end of the world during the Middle Ages. I remember James telling these Irish girls that we met, "I had to go out there, because I'm a sunset kind of a person." I immediately thought to myself, "I am too."
Early this summer I made it a habit to bicycle the two miles from my apartment to the Rhinecliff boat launch along the Hudson River and watch the sunset. Some days it was too hazy, hot and humid to really enjoy it, but other days the beautiful colors and the cool breeze from the Hudson made the 2 mile ride one of the best bargains around.
The trip to Vermont made me realize that I hadn't been out to catch a sunset in awhile. So I decided to make the short drive to Pine Plains to hike up Stissing Mountain to watch the sun drop behind the Catskills.
The less than 2 mile hike with 900 feet elevation gain leads to a fire tower at the summit. One gets the impression from the summit that the people of Pine Plains don't do all that much besides farming. The immediate views are of rolling hills and quite a bit of farm land. To the east, the Taconics form a wall. To the west the Catskills rise up out of the Hudson Valley. Most prominent are Kaaterskill High Peak and Overlook Mountain. The southern Catskills (among them Slide) are also distinguishable. The sun would fall just north of Slide.