Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Dreamy Day-Trip From NYC

When my head nestled into the pillow, I hoped for pleasant dreams.  Fall leaves, smiling pumpkins, expansive views of the Hudson River Valley. The day, after all, had been glorious!  A drive with Drew out of NYC to Sleepy Hollow and Poughkeepsie.  But in the far corner of my consciousness, seconds before sleep, I glimpsed the shadowy outline of a man on a horse, a man. . . without a head.

Sleepy Hollow is the place of legends -- haunted woods, murky swamp, ghostly graveyard, Ichabod Crane, headless horseman, mysterious disappearance.  But on a brilliantly sunny morning, in the middle of town, there was nothing to fear, I told myself.

Whimsical witches, snaggle-toothed vampires, jovial scarecrows and big-headed pumpkins greeted us from lamp poles and atop cookies.
But, could it be that all was not as Disney-esque as it appeared?. . . .

On a hillside in the town's cemetery, lies the author whose Legend of Sleepy Hollow put the little known hamlet on the map in 1820 -- Washington Irving. I wonder if the story might have been his.  Had he been jilted by a beautiful young woman, chased down a deserted road, over a bridge, somehow left alive to tell the tale? Or did the horseman creep into the writer's dreams, to live forever in literary eternity?

Only silence met my questions.

Shaking off the feeling that someone (something) was watching us exit the cemetery gates, I picked up the pace to the car.

Sixty miles north in Poughkeepsie, the Hudson River Valley erased my uneasiness with one sweeping view of her grandeur.

Walkway Over The Hudson, at 212 feet tall and 1.28 miles long, is the longest elevated pedestrian bridge in the world.  We walked its length and back, awed by vistas and engineering.

Drew (far right) begins the walk

Autumn colors tried to upstage one another in the "Wow, look at that!" category.  From the bridge  Drew and I "wow-ed" a flaming beauty at the same time. She dipped her head, with a tinge of pink embarrassment, or was it pride?

Images from the day may have swept through my dreams --
a black-cloaked horseman, perhaps, galloping across a rickety bridge, eating a pumpkin cookie while shouting, "Wow, look at that amazing tree!"

All I know is that I awoke with a smile on my face.


  1. Sounds like a beautiful and super spooky trip :-) your words brought forth lots of picturesque and eery images.

  2. Thanks! It was a perfect fall day to explore.


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