Just before I turned 60, I decided to walk at the Catskills’ Ashokan Reservoir every day for a year and write about whatever I noticed. This place of mercurial beauty is practically in my back yard, and I walked there in every season, in all kinds of weather, at all times of day. Sometimes I walked with companions, most often alone. I went back there again and again, and I found something new every time.
I started out on the 2.5 mile public-access walkway over the dam, but curiosity led me off-road. I picked up a fishing license and started exploring the lesser-known paths and coves along the reservoir’s 44 miles of shoreline. I studied its seasonal changes, its resident eagles (and great blue herons, white-tailed deer, black bears, and equally colorful humans). I learned about how, in the early years of the 20th century, more than a thousand people were uprooted from their ancestral homes to slake New York City’s insatiable thirst. I got obsessed.
I’ve distilled the fruits of that year into a book called Reservoir Year: A Walker’s Book of Days. As it wends its way down the path to publication, I’ll post excerpts here. Meanwhile, here are some photos I took at the Ashokan. (Not one was taken during my “walk year,” when I was adamantly tech-free; I didn’t even take notes on the path. I carried my daily walks home like a golden retriever with a prize stick.)
I hope you’ll find these images enticing, and please check this space often for more information on Reservoir Year.
Click on thumbnails to see enlarged.