Saturday. Woke up earlier than expected, coffee downstairs, jumped in the car and drove over to Bovina, stopping at Byebrook Farm for raw milk, eggs and yogurt. More coffee and a couple of Bea’s bacon, avocado, swiss and tomato breakfast sandwiches at Russells; pure Americana, sturdy men in Carhartts talking hydroponics and interior decorating. Word is, Clyde McCracken’s Deere blew a knurled flange and Dan Finn killed a pig. Swung by the farm on Glen Burnie for milk-fed pork, a quart of Moonshine Maple and half-wheel of Alderney. Back to Bloomville to unload, pausing at Burnett’s farmstand for a big bag of sugar snaps. Hopped on the bikes, out along Back River Road to Hobart, bought a volume of Walt Whitman’s dirty limericks from the folk at Wm. H. Adams before pushing on to Stamford, where we parked the bikes and grumbled our way up Mount Utsayantha for amazing views over the Western Caskills (and amazing swigs from a hipflask of Delaware Phoenix). Back past Vasta’s Miracle Lanes, resisting the urge to shoot a rack or two, and along the rails-to-trails, thinking next time we’d bring some gear and pull a fish out of the river. Swapped out cleats and bib-shorts for boots, jeans and a fishing-rod as we made our way to Mud Lake for moss fields, waterfalls and trout creek. Perfect Manhattan (up) at the bar in The Shire, back home to spruce up before pizza, salad and pie at Table on Ten. A perfectly pink rosé and and yeah, why not, a bottle of red to fur the evening. Invited over to Bovina for a bonfire and nightcap, lying back in the field watching the fireflies and the stars collide. Then back down the hill to the sleep of the Just.
Sunday. Woke late to the smell of coffee and toast. Realised over breakfast downstairs that we missed the string quartet in the barn at Honest Brook last night. Or was it the 90’s rockers in John’s Bovina barn? Ah well, next time. Tempted to stay close today, join the crew of folk heading out to Table Rock for hole-swimming or float some tubes down the West Branch to Lucky Dog Farm Store, for more local supplies and that great meatloaf sandwich. Wanted to check out Ommegang Brewery, so pulled ourselves together and headed to Cooperstown, stopping at Wood Bull antique barn along the way. Skirted the hajj for the Hall of Fame, rolled back through Harpersfield (for aged Tilsit) with a pitstop at Stone & Thistle, spoilt for choice by their farm-raised meats and poultry. Pigged out on their goats’ cheese fudge. Back to Table on Ten for an afternoon bout of bodywork with Vicky, some Aqua Petrarca oven-mitts and honey from the microstore; tearful goodbyes (till next time) then on to Brushland Eating House for some farewell schnitzel, before beginning the gentle, meandering journey home. We’ll be back the Demolition Derby at The County Fair in August. Maybe mountain-biking in September or January skiing at Plattekill. But we’ll be back.