We took off with neither plans nor purpose. We just got in the car, put on some music and smashed the gas with but one goal: adventure. The beauty of traveling with no destination is that your only decision for the day is which direction to go in. On this day, we felt the winds of fate calling us northward, and so we jumped on Rt. 9 North and headed toward the unknown.
Rt. 9 starts off in Washington Heights, NYC right off the George Washington Bridge and heads north along the Hudson River all the way up to Albany. We took the road up through Yonkers, passing small towns and villages like Hastings-on-Hudson and Dobbs Ferry. We passed through Sleepy Hollow with no sign of the Horseman, and finally ended up at Rockwood Hall Park in Pleasantville, New York.
I don’t even remember how we found this place but I’m eternally grateful that we did. From the beginning it didn’t seem like much; there are some easy hiking trails and some large meadows to kick back and relax in. This seemed like the type of place, perhaps, for a summertime picnic or a run-around with the kids.
We walked around for a bit, took in the vast openness of the park and climbed some trees before finding the park’s biggest, unofficial attraction. We broke off from the walking path, made our way through the untamed bush toward the Hudson, and discovered the adventure we’d been looking for all day.
Suddenly, we found ourselves on the tracks of the Metro-North Railroad and though it worthwhile to risk our lives for some playtime on the rails. Much like the open road, there’s some majestic quality about train tracks; they contain history, symbolize movement, and validate man’s relentless need to go and arrive.
This probably wasn’t the safest of our adventures – we were dangerously close to the trains as they shot past us, blaring their horns at us so we’d leave. We climbed atop some decrepit structure standing over the tracks that shook violently when the train sped beneath us.
We stayed until one train finally saw us from the distance and slowed down enough to stop before reaching us. The conductor stuck his head out and threatened to have the police arrest us if we didn’t get off the tracks. Fearing prison more than death, we gathered ourselves and left onward to Mt. Beacon for even more adventure.
*Disclaimer: Playing on active train tracks is dangerous! This is not part of the park and we certainly were trespassing in order to get these pics.