It’s a gorgeous fall weekend, and my husband and I are going to climb Mt. Beacon, one hour north of us on the Hudson River. There’s room in my backpack for just one Parky. Who will it be? Parky 1, Parky 2 or Parky 3?*
Parky 1 and Parky 3 decide that Parky 2 can go; they’ll stay home and watch the raccoons-in-the-attic scenes from one of their favorite movies, “Grey Gardens.”
Even though the camera takes photos in color, once we put Parky 2 in the back seat of our gray Honda CR-V, everything turns black-and-white!
When we get to the base of Mt. Beacon, Parky pauses for a moment on the car roof to get some sun! The air is chilly and brisk!
The map at the start of the trail gives lots of information on Mt. Beacon’s history. There used to be a funicular railway, built in 1902, that took tourists 1540 feet up the steep slope to a casino and hotel, but all that is gone now. You have to hoof it to the top.
From Wiktionary, a definition for funicular: A particular type of rail transit system which ascends a steep urban or mountain incline, having usually two cars sharing a single track, with the cars linked by a cable and an arrangement of pulleys such that the descending car assists in the hoisting of the ascending car, i.e. the two cars serve as counterweights for each other.
Here are the railway cars and tracks back in the old days, courtesy of Wikipedia.
Here are the tracks today, courtesy of my husband’s professional-grade camera.
To start the climb, you first have to walk up an interminable flight of metal stairs.
But then you hit some regular trails. They’re rather steep…
…so we stop a few times to rest.
What’s this shell of a building near the top? It looks spooky.
It contains the machinery that used to pull the funicular rail cars up the mountain!
The hotel and casino are completely gone, but the view of the Hudson River is still the same: spectacular!
Note: The bridge in the background, crossing the Hudson River, connects the city of Newburgh on the far side with Beacon on the near side. This summer I swam across the river at this very spot, from Newburgh to Beacon! To read more, click here: click!
Before heading back down the slope, we chat with some other quadrupeds and their care takers. We saw many dogs on the mountain…but no other raccoons!
And with a parking sun in an autumn sky, and the Hudson River Valley drenched in warm fall colors, we return to our car…
…and head to our favorite restaurant in Beacon, the Beacon Falls Cafe. We’ll have lots to tell Parky 1 and Parky 3 when we get home!*
* To learn how I became the proud recipient of three Parkys, click here: click!
To learn more about the upcoming 5th World Parkinson Congress (WPC) in Kyoto, Japan, click here: click!
To order your own Parky, click here: click! All profits from the sale of Parkys are used to bring junior researchers, junior clinicians, and people living with Parkinson’s to the WPC.
To read other stories of Parky’s activities and appearances around the world, click here: click!
And to read some of the adventures that Parky and I experienced in the past, click here: click!