I took Robin on a three-day motorcycle trip this weekend. We had a blast.
In addition to riding, we did two seemingly-impossible tasks. First, we travelled back in time to the 1960's and, second, we walked on water. The first activity, of course, was visiting Woodstock which retains the spirit of its famous 1969 festival. The second activity involved walking across the Hudson River on a new pedestrian bridge.
Taking a motorcycle up there added to the fun. Riding long-distance is meditative. Your mind relaxes and contemplates big issues that we never get to with the press and distractions of daily life. While up North, the riding became more exciting as twisty roads with unpredictable elevation-changes made the experience like a roller-coaster. Increasing the challenge of navigating such roads (at triple the speed limit) is noticing, more than casually, the absence of a shoulder. The survival portion of your brain screams, THERE'S NO ROOM FOR ERROR! Which heightens the excitement.
Woodstock is a fun place to visit. It has a Bohemian vibe with lots of art and culture. We saw a fascinating photo-exhibition and heard music played in Village Green. The greatest attraction of the town is its shopping. There are dozens of small stores of every kind selling things you'll never find in a mall. Clothing boutiques, thrift-stores, gift shops and even bookstores. (I thought the latter were extinct.)
The first time I visited Woodstock, magic happened and I found a gorgeous vintage dress. This time, even greater magic was performed. Not only did I find a pretty dress but it's better than vintage. What's better than vintage? A dress made according to an authentic 1960's pattern that is brand-new and not frayed from fifty years of decay. I bought the dress from the woman who made it -- her name is Molly and she owns a shop in town called Sew Woodstock. At her shop, Molly sells wonderful clothing and teaches sewing. She sits at a sewing machine making clothes as she tends the store. She teaches sewing classes and promotes her craft. You may recall that sewing is one of my aspirations; it will certainly become a future hobby.
The dress, which you'll see in a few days, is a popular design that I saw often during my youth, on both young girls and adult women. It's adorable and uses a fabric-print that reminds you viscerally of that era. Bright, vibrant and cute.
I also brought home a second outfit comprised of a purple tie-dyed maxi-skirt and purple/white top, enhanced by a peace-sign necklace. What's more Sixties than that?
A symbol of Woodstock's spirit is found in its long-standing tradition of not having any traffic lights in town. That would be like, capitulating to the Man, man. Can ya dig it?
While up in the area, I thought it'd be fun to explore something quirky I discovered online. In the 1860's, a railway bridge was built across the Hudson River, halfway between New York and Albany. It was the only one around. For a century, it got heavy use by trains carrying wares and soldiers. Then, its importance diminished as trucks replaced trains in commerce. In 1974, the bridge caught fire and stopped being used.
With the same spirit behind the new High Line park in Manhattan, smart government-planners decided to restore the bridge and transform it into a linear park. They re-built the decayed structure and created a wide, pleasant walkway for pedestrians. The walkway is the longest pedestrian bridge in the world and over a mile long. You can walk in either direction and peer down at the huge Hudson River. The bridge is State-owned and called Walkway Over The Hudson. It connects the towns of Poughkeepsie and Highland.
The walkway is delightful. Unlike bridges you can walk over with loud, smelly trucks, there are no vehicles allowed on this bridge. Just families, children and smiling couples enjoying a pleasant wide path with scenic views.
Here are some pics from the trip...