In 2009, at the apogee of fall colors, Marie and I decided to take her visiting mother to the Catskills. Granted, Maureen comes from one of the most stunning places on earth – and I’ve seen my share – but even in Cape Town, one cannot find or imagine the explosion of yellows and reds that daubs landscapes with tones of seasonal impressionism throughout the North American Northeast in fall.

Waterfall along Peekamoose Road

We had stayed up there a few days and on one of our day excursions, we had driven up through mountains on a road funnily called Peekamoose. On the opposite side, just before reaching the flat lands again, the mountain stream that had followed the road like a remora its shark was winding its way along a nice rest area. We had stopped and had a chilly picnic, absolutely charmed by the beautiful stream, crystal-clear and almost as pristine and idyllic as Lynn Creek in North Vancouver (all right, since you insist, please see reference posts no. 1, 2, 3, 4, 56 and 7).

So this weekend when urban cabin fever reached a peek and we needed a way out, we rented a zipcar and drove north. There was a slight miscalculation in the distance we’d have to cover to get to our favorite spot but regardless, we made it there. A full day, 300 miles in an Audi with badly aligned tires – probably courtesy of too many flats and not enough maintenance, about an hour spent by the river, a picnic, lots of photos, cool rare forage-able plants and perfectly clear snow-melt water, the roaring sound of which could not downplay the fact that there was nobody around. Bliss.

Now I can last another few weeks of subway delays, soiled sidewalks, stupid car horns, aggressive smells and acts of terror. Soon, it will be dawn in the southern hemisphere again and lions will beat me to breakfast.

I like the way shadows manage to appear on the water with a long exposure
Rondout Reservoir
Looking back and Manhattan from New Jersey’s Palissades