Day One.

Brooklyn to Ashokan.

I boarded the Metro North at 9:45 this morning and we’re currently heading north along the Hudson with stops planned in Yonkers, Tarrytown, Ossining, Croton-Harmon, Peekskill, Dia, and Poughkeepsie, where I will mount up and bike for the next 30 days. I’m taking the train because who wants to spend their whole first day riding through Manhattan and the Bronx? Better to get out into nature quicker.

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A hard 56 miles today but a lot of cool stuff. I ran across the Walkill Valley Rail Trail early on and crossed a big iron trestle in the middle of the woods. A pretty awesome find for the first day.

Railroad Trestle

A bit later, as I was pedaling up a stretch of non-descript county road, a blast of icy air hit me. It was so strong and sudden that I stopped to investigate. Turns out there was a series of caverns just off the highway, thirty feet tall. The air was cold and the deepest parts of the caves never got any light.

I crossed the Ashokan reservoir which is a pretty big state water supply and they’ve turned some of the admin buildings into a kind of park. A fountain shot water 30 feet into the air and the wind blew the mist some hundred feet over the grass. Not exactly an icon of conservation, but pretty cool nonetheless.

The reservoir itself is just behind the fountain. I was now officially in the Catskills and camped in the woods just off the highway. I made the mistake of not camping on flat ground, the first and only time this trip I would make that mistake. Still, I slept well enough.

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