Saturday morning my lady friends and I were off again via the Metro North railroad bound for Hastings-On-Hudson, where we spent the day walking the Old Croton Aqueduct trail. It took us a bit to find the actual entrance – a bit meaning walking up San Francisco style hills – but once found, it was an easy trail to follow – meaning flat.
Not as scenic as I had imagined unless you count the back yards of people homes to be a scenic view but, the weather was gorgeous and there was still quite a bit of color on the trees that lined each side of the trail. Our goal was to walk from Hastings-On-Hudson, through Dobbs Ferry and ending in Irvington; a total of 7 miles. As we walked, the air was redolent with the smells of autumn, the breezes gentle and the sun lit up the trees like Christmas. We met locals running or riding their bikes, some with family and others with their dogs, all very friendly, making this trek in the country a hospitable one.
As I mentioned in the above paragraph the trees were the dominant photographic subject along the trail, therefore, my goal was to find trees that had not only color but abstract shapes or something different about them, like a green beard of ivy, or pronounced knot, or a huge corner shelf of brown fungus. In composing a few shots I used the trees to frame a distant view as seen only from the trail. Some trees were already denuded of leaves and the dark arthritic limbs stood out in contrast to any surrounding color and made for a “Halloween-esque” photo. We did find a spooky abandoned old home complete with peeling paint, broken boarded windows and doors and a forsaken wooden porch, which I just loved.
After a few hours our stomachs began to protest loudly and we left the trail walking through the town of Dobbs Ferry in search of a place to eat, drink and be merry; after all Olga and I were celebrating our November birthdays and we wanted a place that would delight our palettes. On Chestnut Street off of Main we found The Cookery and oh, what a find this place was. An incredible mix of flavors, the like we’ve never tasted before: French toast topped with fresh made smoked mozzarella and green tomato jam, cauliflower ravioli in lemon brown butter with candied pumpkin seeds that made me moan with every mouthful, a crostino of fresh ricotta and drizzled with sweet truffle honey, fried Brussels sprouts that were light, crisp and salty. Every ingredient was a taste sensation to the mouth and every bite savored, and those were just a few of the delectable delicacies on the menus. It is worth the time and ticket to take the train up to Dobbs Ferry just to experience a meal there.
Stomachs satisfied we waddled out of the restaurant and into the sunshine and made ready to get back on the trail and walk off the mountain of calories we happily consumed. I took a few shots of the town before we trudged up another of those steep, lung bursting hills where we found the trail again and continued our walk toward our final destination of Irvington. Wending our way along, the late afternoon sun shone with an Alpenglow that turned the leaves to deep rich gold, red and bronze. The trees cast long dark shadows along the trail and crows cawed as they prepared for end of day.
We exited the trail as the sun began its evening decent and entered the town of Irvington walking at a leisurely pace, enveloped in the small town atmosphere, eventually arriving at the train station which would take us back home to the hustle and bustle of city life.