Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Year of the Horse

I rang in The Year of the Horse on the road, seeking a quieter adventure.

I'd never used AirBNB before, but I had a great experience and cannot recommend it enough. So many opportunities to explore...

I drove three hours north and west to Livingston Manor, NY, nestled peacefully in the Catskills.

The first thing I wanted to do when I arrived was get a winter hike in.

Even the garage was gorgeous to me.

The house I stayed in.

Oh, funny story. There had been coyote sightings around the 20-acre property. But I was assured that if I just rang these bells it would scare any coyote off. No sightings for me, though. Phew!

Caught this view as I was waking up Saturday. I didn't even remember taking the picture till it uploaded...

My room for the weekend, the "Light Room."

Breakfast was included in my stay. I lingered over coffee. 
I got lost for a long time in the view from the dining room where breakfast was served:

It was a warm and sunny weekend. The only sounds were drips from icicles melting:

Look at those meandering footprints. They must belong to a wanderer. (They belonged to me!):

Saturday afternoon I went to town to walk around. Not a whole lot was open this time of year, and I didn't need food, or souvenirs, or... anything. I didn't want to buy anything because I didn't need or want anything.

I didn't need anything. That's a powerful thought.

I treated myself to a haircut because I never do that kind of thing enough--you know, the kind of thing that stops you from looking like you live in the woods.

My hairdresser was bubbly and kind, but when I described my weekend to her, she was perplexed.

I don't understand. You don't know anybody here? You've never been here before? And you came alone... for the quiet? You're not bored?

No, not bored. Refreshed.

I was lucky enough to stop by Catskills Art Society Art Center for two free photography exhibits. The work of Julie Forrest and Flora Hogman was delightful--whimsical and playful, like a lighter Roger Ballen.

Books. Writing. Photos. All night and all day. I feel so much more happy with myself and my life than I have in a long time.

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