Like many New Yorkers of the non-born-and-raised variety, I have a love–hate relationship with this city. I love the conveniences, the variety and diversity, the fact that you can find pretty much anything you could ever possibly need (and many things you wouldn’t) at any given tiny, jam-packed bodega; I hate the expense, and the lack of both personal space and trees. In order to keep what little degree of sanity I have left, I need regular doses of green, preferably with as few people around as possible.
It’d been a couple of years since I’d broken out the tent, so when the idea of an overnight excursion to the Catskills was floated, I was instantly all-in.
We drove north, about an hour and a half, parked, and strapped on our heavy packs for an uphill, muddy hike. I thought I was maybe going to die.
I have to say, though, the payoff was worth it.
There was swimming. And more hiking. And several varieties of sausage cooked over an open fire and washed down with near-interminable rounds of bambus.
By the time we hiked back down on Sunday night, we were tired, sore, sweaty, dirty, and starving—ideal conditions for a recovery meal at the self-proclaimed “world famous” Roscoe Diner.
On a holiday-weekend Sunday night, the place was mostly deserted. We surely smelled wonderful, but the folks that were there barely batted an eye at our disheveled appearances.
We ordered an immense amount of food: giant sandwiches and platters of fried appetizers and steaming bowls of French onion soup—the latter not pictured, because by the time the soup came I was busy shoveling in whatever fried substance was closest at hand. (I’m lucky I got photos of our meal at all: I was so happy to see those mozzarella sticks, I nearly forgot to take a picture.)
Stuffed to the gills and exhausted from our wilderness sojourn, we rolled out to the car for the return drive. That sense of satisfaction lasted approximately two hours, when, as if to spite me, my camping experience (minus the trees, minus the lake, minus the beautiful views) followed me back to the city: I arrived home to a stuffy apartment with no hot water. I’m starting to think this city-living thing might be highly overrated.