Peter Lyons

Mohonk Lake and Opus 40

August 15, 2012

Tuesday Chris and I had a jam-packed day in the Hudson Valley. We drove up to Mohonk Lake, which is quite spectacular, and hiked around the trails for a few hours. We enjoyed the views from the tower and were not bothered by the light rain that was falling steadily. We walked along several paths and past the lily pond. We had lunch at the Mohonk Mountain House main dining room buffet, which was pretty extravagant. I had two enormous plates plus a full dessert plate including red velvet cake, key lime tort, canoli, a no-bake chocolatte cookie, a butterscotch cookie, and chocolate mousse. After lunch Chris drove us up to Opus 40 while I passed out in a deep food coma.

Opus 40 is a gigantic rock sculpture garden with huge structures made of flat stone. The creator, Harvey Fite, spent 37 years building the thing using hand tools and elbow grease. It's really something else.

After touring Opus 40, we went into Saugerties village, walked through town, looked at the dam, and hit up the local chocolate shop. Then we headed into the country to have dinner at Allison and Mike Bitz's house. Allison and Mike were counselors at the music camp I went to during the summers of my adolescence. Chris and I met there as well. We were mostly still stuffed from lunch, but we enjoyed slow-cooked pork chops, grilled shrimp, grilled corn on the cob, rice, watermelon, and the chocolates I brought.

We jammed a bit after dinner over some jazz standards with Allison joining in on oboe, Chris and I playing alto sax, and Mike on bass. It was a fun time.

Today I took Metro North from New Hamburg near Chris's house into Grand Central Terminal, the MTA Shuttle to times square, subway to Penn Station, then New Jersey Transit to Newark Airport. Altogether it took about three hours to get to the airport.