Exploring Legends

Are There Masonic Temples On the Catskill’s Ashokan High Point?

By Erica Obey and George Baird We set off up the Catskill’s Ashokan High Point with the arguably tongue-in-cheek goal of discovering the “luxuriously appointed cave, complete with a Masonic Temple, visited by George Washington himself” described by DeWitt Clinton Overbaugh in The Hermit of the Catskills: A Tale of the American Revolution.  Overbaugh’s opus is only one of many ... Read More »

Legends in Your Own Back Yard: Overlook Mountain in the Catskills

By George Baird and Erica Obey Hikes in your back yard are easy, right?  Unless, of course, they involve the Catskills’ most challenging hiking trail, the Devil’s Path.  An “easy” hike up the fire road to Overlook Mountain last month resulted in more treacherous conditions than we’ve ever encountered in the Alps or the Rockies.  What we hoped would be ... Read More »

Hudson Valley Structures: Sacred Sites or Bored Farmers?

By Erica Obey The Minnewaska Sphinx is far from the only mysterious stone structure in the Hudson Valley that has captured people’s imagination.  Indeed, the region’s cairns, root cellars, dolmens and petroglyphs have been the subject of a great deal of study.  Many believe these structures were used by Native Americans to mark either hunting grounds or sacred places and ... Read More »

The Minnewaska Sphinx?

By Erica Obey The first rule of cross-country skiing in Lake Minnewaska – especially after a 2-year hiatus because of the bad snows – is that you need to remember to bring your ski poles.  Blame it on our enthusiasm, but we failed in that task. Still our furiously embarrassed return trip gave us time to wonder whether there are ... Read More »