During the first years of my post-college existence, I remained in the Hudson Valley. I worked a short while as an assistant manager/bartender at a failing inn before ultimately leaving that job in favor of working at a nearby sheep farm. This was one of my more inspired decisions, even if it didn't actually allow me to make ends meet. I worked at the farm/yarn shop for about two years and really loved the combination of rather mindless/zen body work that processing wool entails and the more action-packed activities, like herding loose sheep, dealing with newly-born lambs, mending fences, and either putting up or taking down my boss' storm windows. I haven't been back to the farm in a while and recently contacted my former boss, M., to see what the schedule was for shearing and lambing. She replied, and it turned out that shearing was the following weekend. I decided I wanted to go up and at least take some photographs and lend a bit of a helping hand. The only slight obstacle was where to stay. The Red Hook/Tivoli area is entirely free of chain establishments and some of the cheaper motels are a bit too seedy/long-term residency for me. I reached out to L. to ask her if she had any ideas and she came back with the Suminski Innski. And what a good call that was. I contacted Tim, the owner, who turned out to be a former bartender of mine during the halcyon days of my last year or so of college (I was, to put it mildly, a frequent patron). The Inn(ski) is located at the bottom of a long hill off the main road of Tivoli. Other than a gravel road, the only thing between it and the Hudson is a set of still-active railroad tracks.
I had requested one of the cheaper rooms with a view of the river and a bathroom shared with four other rooms...but upon my arrival I was bumped up to the one room with a private bath, as I was the only person staying that night. This was a boon for me, as the room was beautifully laid out and eclectically decorated and its bed extremely comfortable. And while I was totally fine with sharing a bathroom with strangers, it was also nice to have the privacy of taking a shower without worrying that someone was desperately in need of relieving themselves and held back solely by my penchant for long showers.
I arrived around 2 or 3 on Friday and spent the majority of my afternoon sitting on this porch reading Pride and Prejudice on my Kindle Fire. I also, from time to time, would venture to the river and back to the room. The weather even three hours north was still quite lovely, mid-60s and sunny. Perfect, really.
Tim has done a whole heck of a lot of renovation to the building. I'd never been down to it in its former state, but from the photos and the stories it's clear that the establishment as I saw it was a marked improvement to what it had been like ten years prior. Seriously, it was gorgeous and I didn't take nearly enough photographs of the interior parlors and dining areas, with their great variety of art on the walls.
A venture to the tracks. I loved the trains going by. Perhaps for some this would have been a distraction or too much of an interruption from the otherwise extremely quiet and peaceful setting. But for me, having grown up with tracks just about the same distance from my own front porch, it really just made me feel right at home. As I sat two young men (I assume Bard students) drove up to the tracks and got out. One had a camera, the other a trumpet. And for about 40 minutes I had the pleasure of reading on a sunny porch with a well played trumpet and the occasional rumble of a train as my soundtrack.
The view from one of the room's windows. When you live in these parts, as I did for six years, you almost become accustomed to the sheer beauty of the place. From rolling farms and well maintained old houses to the river itself and the Catskill mountains looming ever-present across that expanse of water.
Another window caught in mirror as sun sets photo.
This was a great home base for my Friday and Saturday. I'll share a few more photos once I get through with some meals and other activities.