Land in the Sky: Another Mountain Excursion

The collies sit for hot dogs as well as cheese, what good boots these are, this Election Day summit of Wittenberg Mountain, heart of the southern Catskills, broad picnic scenery, drowned towns of the Ashokan, no porcupines persecuted in or on our account, onward then to Cornell and Slide (highest in the range, hides itself from near view), “not real mountains” some say outside knowledge, blowdowns and memories of vistas since obscured, dark waves of forest succession extend into stroll down unfrequented side of peak along abandoned trail of steps buried in leaves, eye of limited service here, foot feels through sole the forgotten path, around and down and down, down past “Posted” signs into thick ferns and composting drifts of bygone summer shade, descending sun, fast-fading registry of deeds, a party pushing through, fourteen-plus cliffy miles come to an end, into the car and go, stop at Brio’s for hamburgers ordered off the “Doggy Menu” lovingly hand fed by tuckered-out vegetarian ward as he downs a beer and another.