Thursday, August 2, 2012

Tour de PDS: Stage 2 (154 Miles on the West Side)

Like the American West, the west side of the Hudson River Valley, home to New Paltz and Woodstock, is rugged and funky. When I was first contemplating our move from NYC in 2002, a friend who lives in the area told me that while there was plentiful farmland on both sides of the river, on the east they tend to raise horses while on the west they grow apples. While this is not universally true, it's not a bad way to understand the difference. 

The signature difference between the east and the west for the cyclist, though, is the hills. In general, the west side is more rugged and less suburban in it's development and the Shawangunk Ridge and Catskill Mountains play a significant role. Stage 2 took me into these mountains and while the route was 25 miles shorter than Stage 1, the hills provided balance. After a rest day on Tuesday, I rolled out of my driveway in West Park to begin Stage 2 at 6:30 Wednesday morning. The weather again was perfect.

Tour de PDS: Stage 2.
Hudson Valley Rail Trail in Highland. 
A little patriotic fervor in New Windsor.
A mechanical pink ape sells car washes in Newburgh.
Blooming Grove marks the southernmost reach of PDS.
The corn is coming up on this western farm.
Historic homes abound.
Gardiner, NY - 1 mile.
Technology Director David Held joined me for a spell.
The Modena Rural Cemetery.
Iced coffee and black and white cookies hit the spot.
The Shawangunk Ridge from New Paltz.
On top of Mohonk Mountain. 
The Catskill Mountains lie ahead. 
One of the many quaint shops in High Falls.
Stone Ridge, NY 12484
The Catskill Mountains rise out of the Ashokan Reservoir.
A few PDS students smiling before spraying me with a hose! 
Phoenecia - home to several of our northernmost families.
One of the many monasteries on the west side of the Hudson.
The Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge connects east and west.
A familiar site to older PDS students springs to life each fall.
Stage 2: 154 miles. The Tour de PDS is complete.
At 331 miles, the Tour de PDS is complete! What a thrill to see all of the towns and villages that send students to our fine school. Will this become an annual tradition? Who knows. 

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