North America | United States of America (USA) – Monsoon American Style
I was hoping to have a photograph to post from Tserings trip to Brooklyn, but he didnt use the camera while he was there. He said he was too busy just looking around at everything. Somehow he even managed to get close to the filming of the newest Spiderman movie in Times Square (is it Spiderman III or IV?).
His friend is an ex-monk from Nechung Monastery whos been here for nine months, so he was able to show Tsering around quite a bit. They went to Chinatown for a $27 massage by an old Chinese guy who really hurt, according to Tsering. I sensed it was a good kind of pain, though. It reminded me of a Korean reflexologist I saw in Chinatown who had me yelping when he unerringly found every tender spot on my foot.
He enjoyed eating dal and rice and Tibetan food, and speaking Tibetan with his friend. But after three days in New York City, hed had enough. He called me soon after the train had pulled out of Grand Central. He said just the sight of the Hudson River and the green fields made him breathe a little easier. The Big Apple was all too busy and claustrophobic for him.
Yesterday was a beautiful, sunny day the kind of perfect summer day youd expect in June, and when he reached home he was treated by the usual chorus of insects. But today its raining again. We really do seem to be in a sort of rain zone here. I decided that wasnt going to stop me from taking a walk. I put on jeans, sneakers and got my gold umbrella and left Tsering with his painting.
First I went to the right and towards the organic farm at the end of the road. I walked up that road for awhile, which has an unobstructed view of rows of vegetables toward the tree line. Then I curved around and caught up the Rail Trail, which is more secluded. The Rail Trail used to be a railroad, thus its name. It spans all the way to Rosendale and back, some 22 miles in all, I think. Its just a well tended gravel and dirt path with trees on either side. In a few open spots you can see fields, cross bridges over streams, view distant horses and barns, and at one point theres a landing where you can put in a canoe on the Wallkill River.
I happened to meet a fellow walker going the other direction and he told me hed seen a snapping turtle on the bank of the river yesterday. He measured with his arms the size of a small bush and said, This big.
Then we went our separate ways. The tendrils of fresh green leaves and vines and lush puddles kept me company. I didnt see any animals this time, although there are usually a lot of birds, squirrels, butterflies, rabbits, frogs, bees and the occasional box turtle.
When I returned home, my jeans were soaked from the knees down, and my sneakers were wet. I couldnt help but remember the days I slogged up Jogibara Road to the Reception Center trying (unsuccessfully) to dodge the puddles, and enjoying the amusement of the people huddled in their doorways as I passed.