A quick descent. A walk around Lake Mohonk, even past the “trail closed” sign. We stop at another summer house and take more photos of the lake and Mountain House. When we return to the house, we visit its latest addition: the spa and indoor pool. Afterward, we find an windowed alcove with comfortable rockers. Taking a well-earned rest, we sit, exchange our hiking boots for more comfortable footwear (sneakers for me, flip-flops for Mira) and relax. Too soon, we head to the Main Dining room for a buffet lunch.
a glass of Malbec washes down a pulled-pork taco
After a post-lunch rest on the western porch, we walk the hundred feet to the Barn Museum. The five-story structure was the largest barn in the region at one time. It stored food from the locally owned farms, livery for resort and guest-owned horses, and more. One wing displays an exhibition on the local environment–and the history of people’s use of it. It includes a horse-powered treadmill, in which horses walked on a conveyor belt to power a mechanical mill that separated grain from chafe. Another wing presents the history of the Mountain House, and includes artifacts such as the former school’s chalkboard and student desks, the post office, and soda bar. The second floor features art and even more artifacts from the resort’s past: farm tools and equipment, cross-country skiis and other winter-sports paraphrenalia, stoves and ice boxes, and even a ski-lift chair!
horse-drawn carriages the musky aroma of old books
Afternoon tea. I select two shortbread cookies and a cup of chamomile tea. We sit on the western porch yet again. But as the sun descends, we move to the eatern porch and enjoy afternoon breezes off the lake. One gust tustles my hair.
bare gardens a pine tree labyrinth left unwalked
A late-afternoon walk along Eagle Cliff road, above the lake’s western shore. The serpentine carriage road passes a series of summer houses that overlook the lake and sky tower before curving west. Another series of summer houses overlook the rest of ‘Gunks and the Catskills, just above which hangs the descending sun. Turkey Vultures and Red-tailed Hawks float up and down on the thermals. We return to the Mountain House as the sun sets.
There are no more paths to walk now that twilight has come. None of us feel an urge to wait an hour to square dance. We visit the gift shop and the rest rooms. One last look back, then we walk to the car.
And head for home…
…after a stop in nearby New Paltz for a light supper!
traditional gyros a pink full moon behind fresh clouds