The Best Things are Often Free (or close to it)

One of the things I realized over the time Larry and I have had off and not gone away, is that some of the best things in life are FREE.

After a second coat of primer, Larry and I headed up to Clermont to pick up my lost cell phone. We took a bit to time to paint and photograph; he in the gardens with his Diana camera, me on the banks of the Hudson with my watercolors and pens.

As I sat there and gazed upon the still landscape, with the warm sun upon my shoulders, I realized that this entire stretch of land along with its mansion is our collective public backyard, as it is with many of the State historic sites. Sometimes there is a 5.00 usage fee, but that is only on the weekends. And even at 5.00, which is nearly free, you can paint, picnic, sleep, read, on acres of mowed grass and beautiful vistas, and usually there is a lovely garden to be found on site.

Later we headed up to North Lake and hiked to the site of the Catskill Mountain House. Since it was so late, the gatekeeper waived our entry fee. The vista is splendid, and we watched the storms coming in from the west, while we painted and photographed. Even at 6.00, the two lakes, the hiking and vistas are worth every cent.

For dinner we grabbed a burrito from this little tiny ancient 50's trailer which is known for its knock out burritos for 4.50-5.50. It is located on Route 9G on the way to Tivoli/Clermont/Olana.

I hope to get to a few more historic sites such as the Vanderbilt and the Roosevelt Mansions in Hyde Park before the summer is over. I have amassed a quantity of wonderful photographs and spot sketches and hope to bury myself in my studio this winter and paint in the spare time I am not teaching.

So folks, you don't have to look far for beauty, fun, and adventure. Often it is right in your own backyard, and you don't have to spend much to access it!

PS sketch done at Clermont along the upper bank of the river...I loved the trees..they looked like they danced on the hill.


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