nonameBy Phillis Galowitz

At the southern end of the Barkaboom Road, bordering Ulster County, but still in the Town of Andes, is Little Pond State Campground, a gem of a spot that I visited on a magnificent day in early September with my friend, Leah. A crystal lake sparkled as the sun reflected on the moving water. In the background the hills rose, densely wooded, and at one end of the lake was a white sand beach. There were campers, with tents, discreetly interspersed between the trees along the shore, and the smells of barbeque floated by as we walked around the lake. People were kayaking, swimming and just sitting in the sun, surrounded by what has to be one of the most beautiful spots in the Catskills, right here in our backyard!

After walking around the lake, a comfortable distance, that took two rather elderly women about an hour, we pulled out the beach chairs that were stashed in the trunk of Leah’s car and sat near the shore, just breathing in the beauty of the place and of this September day. We spoke to some friendly campers nearby and then decided that we’d visit Liberty, not far away, where we’d heard that there’s a wonderful little Greek Restaurant. We didn’t know the name of the restaurant or the address, but how could there be more than one with such a reputation in Liberty? Passing a taxi hut, I decided that I would inquire. A taxi driver would know. I was given instructions, but not being able to remember the turns, and getting lost, we returned to the taxi hut where the kind owner gave me a computer printout with explicit directions. Back in the car, we proceeded to follow the map but got lost again! We returned again to the little hut, completely embarrassed but determined to find the restaurant. One of the drivers said, “Get back in your car and follow me. I’ll show you where it is!” We did and he did, but, lo and behold, it was closed on Sunday! What a disappointment. The taxi driver was as sorry as we were but told us that, again, we should follow him to another great place to have lunch. “Don’t be upset by the crowds of bikers in front,” he said. “The food is good and the prices are too.” It was a “biker’s paradise”, fried foods, lots of carbs, unhealthy but delicious!

We’ll go back to find that Greek Restaurant (Yaisou, we learned, is the name) another day, but only in the Catskills would we have found the nicest, most helpful people as we did that day.

We got lost again going home and spent twice as long as it should have taken us, but found neighborhoods and towns we didn’t know existed, spoke to friendly, helpful people, and had a remarkable day!

Now, it’s the middle of September. The trees are beginning to turn. It’s a rainy day suitable only for reading a good book in my comfortable chair. I’ve become so immersed in Peter Pan Must Die by John Verdon (a Catskill author) that i forgot to do my Saturday chores, never got to the transfer station or the Farmers’ Markets, read through a hastily thrown together lunch, and will be lucky to put dinner on the table. I do enjoy my life!~