Catskill, NY I

Lines of climbers move up and down the ivory-colored Mohunk cliffs like termites on a rafter. It is the best climbing in the east, they swear. Somebody met somebody who knows an Arizonan currently visiting New York... just to climb these cliffs. Their vehicles fills the lots of the privatized nature preserve, light trucks and Subaru wagons held together with outdoorsy bumper stickers. Mountain bikes crackle along nearby trails, scraping and skittering around banked corners. The late afternoon is cool and dry, a fall day lost in the middle of summer, the beginning of a weekend for a small horde of refugees from New York City. Most of them have driven over a hundred miles to get this brief dose of nature. Gotham will reabsorb them on Sunday night and their service industry slog will resume on Monday but, on this perfect afternoon, work is far away and the New Yorkers smile.