Saturday, January 9, 2010

Striebel Road

From Shady to Bearsville

Striebel Road runs parallel, more or less to the the Sawkill and Rt. 212 from Shady to Bearsville. There is a steep hill at each end of the road. The Bearsville is busier than the Shady End, but there are several parking lots in Barsville near the Bear Cafe and the Bearsville Theater. In Shady, you can park in the vacant area at the intersection of the Sawkill and Glasco Turnpike, or at the top of the hill where Striebel Road meets Glasco Turnpile. I like walking up the hill. Although it’s rare tfor more than one or two cars to pass during the few minutes spent walking up the hill, they do come zooming along in both directions. Once you start on Striebel Road, however, it will be rare to see more than one or two cars in half an hour.

As you start down Striebel Road, the Sawkill runs parallel at the bottom of what was once probably a very steep hemlock gorge that has now opened out a bit to include other types of trees. There are some magnificent old hemlocks quie near the road. A bit farther along, the Bearsville Valley opens out on the right, and you can see all the way to the steep flanks of the Wittenberg.

Dawn breaks very beautifully across the wide meadow where Striebel Road intersects with Glasco Turnpike. This meadow has been clear, with no houses on it, for a long time – at least sine the sixties, when I used to visit my first girlfriend Aly Lent at her mother’s house, the last on the left before Striebel Road drops down the last very steep hill into Bearsville. Lillian Lent was the head of the printmaking workshop at the Woodstock Artists Association in those days, and Aly was an usher at the Turnau Opera in Byrdcliffe. Al Grossman, for a time Bob Dylan’s manager, lived one house up the hill, and some of our friends claimed to have heard rumors that the Beatles had been seen there during their first visit to America.

Striebel Road is an especially lovely walk at sunset because the Wittenberg and other high peaks are directly to the West, which makes for a long and very tranquil twilight. There are no houses on the west side of Striebel Road because the drop is too steep/ and starts right at the guard rail.

Walking from Shady to the last steep hill above Bearsville and back to Shady takes about an hour at an easy pace. Or starting from Bearsville, you can make the return trip to work up an appetite for eating lunch or dinner at the Bear. The first hill, though very steep, is short.

During winter, a west wind can be very sharp on Striebel Road.

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