My local ferry, Seastreak, has been running a cruise to Bear Mountain, NY. I remember the local tv commercials in the 1960s, advertising a similar cruise from NYC. I think Bob Dylan must have seen those commercials too. He basically did a Yelp review in the folksinging form and style of Woody Guthrie, way back then.
So, thanks to Dylan's review, we decided maybe we should drive instead. I do think the boat ride is a better way to go, if you go for the Octoberfest, because you don't want to be driving afterwards. It was a bit wild when we got there. At noon there were crowds in the beer garden, already chugging and cheering. (You can also get a glass of wine, but it does not flow as freely.) We had some Octoberfest food and drink. The park is really beautiful, but full of people. After hiking a bit, we got in the car to explore the area.
An unexpected delight, we found Manitoga, the home and design center of Russel Wright. His home, called Dragon Rock, is incredible. Look how it is nestled in the rock and trees. As you approach it from the forest, it slowly dawns on you that there is a building. The stepping stone bridge is fabulous. Aww...live there and you can be inspired to define the mid-Century Modern style!
Just down the road, we found Boscobel house and gardens. The views are breathtaking, reminding me of 18th century folk painting scenes. I especially loved the herb garden.
Next post, I'll share the contemporary metal sculpture that I found on the grounds of Boscobel. As a metalsmith, it fascinated me.
Have you ever been to the Bear Mountain and Hudson River Valley region? There are many more interesting places to visit there. I'd like to explore the area some more. Let me know your favorite spots.
I was recently up near Bear Mountain, near West Point in NY. There was reference to "The Great Chain" in 1777 made to defend the Hudson River from the British. It was a forged iron chain, 1800 feet long. In this photo is a relic of the chain. One link is big as a bench. (There's more info and a better picture at this link.)
Is that cool or what? A chain big enough to stop ships! Sounds like something out of a pirate movie! And the story gets even more fascinating. This chain was the reason Benedict Arnold was discovered as a traitor. He was found out by a female spy named Sally Townsend, who's brother was a member of George Washington's Culper Ring of spies. (Read about the Culper Ring on Wiki..wow, history has such good stories!)
So, I started thinking, how is something like this made? I know how to make chain small enough to wear, but never thought about how super large chain is made. I realized chain used on ships must be made the same way.
Well, it takes alot of muscle and teamwork. Check out this antique video of chain and anchor making. I find it fascinating.
Thanks to Warren Townsend for giving me the link to this great video. You can see Warren's wonderful metal work on his website, Metalrecipes.
Here's my own tiny version of a great chain, big enough to make a ring around your finger! I first made this a few years ago. Now, I'm inspired to make some super thick chains for a bracelet or necklace.
That was the best beach glass I've found! A full, intact, old coke bottle, made in New Jersey, plus an American flag to wave.
Here in New Jersey, the colors of Fall are just beginning. Yesterday was warm and I went for a walk on Sandy Hook beach. I thought you might enjoy seeing some pictures.
The Fall never fails to inspire my creativity. There's something in the colors and textures that remind me of Van Gogh's best work, the swirls of light and thick layers of short, mad brush strokes.
I hope you enjoyed the pictures. Come back tomorrow and I will show you something else I found.
Mary Lu Wason
is a studio jeweler. Here she shares the inspirations, discoveries and process of creating her art jewelry collections.
@PirateTides on Instagram