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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Beacon Bits -- Magic Mountain

Mount Beacon hovers over the vibrant and tranquil town of Beacon. It beckons new visitors to climb to the top and view the Hudson River Valley in its entirety and it welcomes the frequent home town hiker. The mountain has its place in history, and it is prominently displayed on the crest on the New York State flag, yet looks to the future with the anticipated development and return of the Incline Railway. It can be magical when you see the full moon rising above its peak. And chasing rainbows that arce over its ridge are elusive, but oh so rewarding. I'd rather chase rainbows than chase tornadoes, any day.
C'est Magnifique, June 24, 2013
The Beacon Re-Imagined Exhibition (through July 6) at the River Center at Scenic Hudson's Long Dock Park is a must see for those who have heard the rumors about plans for the rebuilding of the incline railway, as well as plans that are underway for the Beacon Greenway Trails, Fishkill Creek Greenway and Heritage Trail, Beacon Loop Trail and the Hudson Fjord Hike/Bike Trail. These are exciting plans for safe walking, hiking and biking trails that will allow locals and visitors to follow the Fishkill Creek or traverse along the river parallel to 9D - literally, over the river and through the woods! It is a collaboration across state, counties, municipalities - a model for eliminating boundaries and partisanship -- it will unite parts of Putnam with Dutchess and become a part of the larger vision of making it possible for people to get out into nature in ways that allow for inner peace of mind and physical renewal without needing to go far from home.
Educational display showing the Fjord Trail, at Beacon Re-Imagined, Jeff McHugh, Exhibition Director

In addition to new plans, there are some completed projects as well; the opening of the restored fire tower on June 22, 2013 was a culmination of a ten year project of volunteers coming together to repair and rebuild the stairs leading to the top viewing platform for safety and durability. A glimpse of the NYC skyline after climbing to the top is the anticipated reward. I haven't been to the mountain yet this year, but I have that plan in mind to seize that day, spontaneously, when the humidity is low and the southwesterly breeze is blowing, to take in the sights.
I also learned that there is a guardian of the mountain - or more accurately - many guardians of the mountain. Volunteers are on the ready to rescue those who are in need of help with an impressive emergency vehicle geared for traversing the rocky and steep terrain. Sighted at the centennial parade with one of its proud operators, it was an impressive reminder that there are ways that one can feel protected without even knowing there is a safety plan in place. Out of sight and out of mind, yet always ready when needed.
Food for thought:  Community volunteers have been surfacing and swarming to announce the plans that have been quietly been put into action over the last decade. We can all appreciate the efforts of others, but we can also choose to join in and find our passion in a new project.  Many hands make light work. Diverse talents are needed.  The community of Beaconites is eagerly awaiting for everyone to join in and contribute so that we can all get to the mountaintop together.
Mountain Music
Rising from the ground,
Cicadas flit here and there--
Searching for new life.


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