Harriman State Park Escape Valve

It’s Saturday at noon. (Dateline!) Somehow we managed to stuff two backpacks with a change of clothes, some gourmet provender from West Side Market, a tent and the rest, and drive up to Harriman State Park which is a 45 minute drive from Manhattan. Bear Mountain is there and a couple of crowded car-camping sites but we’re set on roughing it. From a secret parking lot, we hike to a lake in 45 minutes and pretty much have the whole place to ourselves.

Sunday afternoon view from the tent, Harriman State Park
Sunday afternoon view from the tent, Harriman State Park

Skinny-dipping, campfire, philosophical talks about how amazing it is to be alive and how we’re going to be dead in 50 years pretty much no matter what, and whether the afterlife is being Brangelina’s dog or an astronaut floating around Jupiter or having endless Utz® Cheese Puffs. I’m not saying you had to be there. The thing is, there were no generators, no kids yelling, and no one pointing their flashlights at you. The weather is better Saturday but the rain holds off for the most part on Sunday and there’s still lots of swimming to be had.

There are giant oceans of wild blueberries. I exaggerate but there are lots of them and they’re addictive and delicious.

Blueberries at the campsite

There are beavers but no photos. We made friends with the local one-eyed goose. I got her good side.

There’s stuff in the park like Lake Welch where you pay $7 to park in a stadium-sized parking lot to sit on a beach the size of a Manhattan bathroom with everyone and their sausage tailgate parties and lawn chairs but if you do your homework (or if you know someone who’s done it before, heh), you can get all away from New York City quickly, cleanly, heavenly.

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