On a raw, cloudy Sunday in April I ventured up to Catskill, intending to get some nice photos of the Rip Van Winkle Bridge from Dutchman’s Landing Park before heading off to the event at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site. Parking the car as close to the park entrance as possible, in order to give myself plenty of walking room and thus an opportunity to try out various vantage points for my photos, I gradually walked in the direction of the bridge in hopes of finding the optimum spot.
It didn’t quite turn out that way. Instead, as I reached a point at which the shore turns inward and forms a cove, I discovered a considerable amount of devastation from one of the recent “storms of the century”–as Governor Andrew Cuomo has observed, New York and surrounding areas have had two “storms of the century” within two years, Hurricanes Irene and Sandy. Wanting to find out more, once I finished photographing I drove four miles up the road to the nice Riverside Cafe in Athens to grab some lunch and ask about the cause of the damage, and was told that this had been caused by Hurricane Sandy. Here is a brief photo essay of my discoveries.
Looking toward the Rip can Winkle Bridge you can see, on the far shore, how the Hudson River flooded and damaged the Catskill River Walk, a lovely shoreline path leading past the 1839 Beattie-Powers House.
The sign to the right warns that the River Walk is now closed. The sign to the left is a sad reminder of what you would have seen had the storm not wreaked its havoc along the Hudson.
There’s not suppposed to be water here, but there is, left from when the river inundated the land during Sandy.
The poet Gerard Manley Hopkins observed, “There lives the dearest freshness deep down things.” Despite the devastation and flood damage, bright new greenery is still sprouting and lending its lovely color to this bleak landscape.