At dusk, several weeks ago, my family and I went on a picnic at the majestic Treman State Park. It is important to go to places at the wrong times, I think.
My husband and I have been the only people on a volcano at high noon, and my family were once alone in a crumbling pyramid. One winter, long ago, I wandered through the ruins at Ephesus so unobserved I could have stolen a statue. It’s hard to get the imaginative jolt that comes from a place when it is packed with people, but when it was just us, as evening thickened, everything sparked. The wall of colored stones felt like messages from another realm. The dark gaps in the shale presented as entryways. The deep pools looked bottomless.
Yesterday, we returned to Treman in a rainstorm. Just Coco and I. Coco likes the rain, and I had a hat, so we forged past the sheltering hikers until we were by ourselves in the dark, wet woods. There’s something totally magnificent about this place. Much of the trail work was done during the WPA in the 1930s, but because of the moisture, and the way the soft shale crumbles, the stonework looks centuries old.
The path is twisty and changes grade frequently, so you are always coming around a corner to something unexpected. On this visit, the journey was auditory, the dripping of the rain, the rustle of branches, the rush of the stream. Above you are precariously perched trees, hanging onto the cliff face by their toes. There’s a little sense of danger from the plummeting heights and narrow paths.
I already have a story from it, though maybe it’s one which will stay in the mulling realm and never see the page. Coco announced that she was going to put a waterfall in the narrative she’s been writing through pandemic. Not all experiences become writing, but certain conditions help. Quiet, movement, solitude, being somehow out of season.
“Robert H. Treman State Park is an area of wild beauty, with the rugged gorge called Enfield Glen as its scenic highlight. Winding trails follow the gorge past 12 waterfalls, including the 115-foot Lucifer Falls, to where visitors can see a mile-and-a-half down the wooded gorge as it winds its way to the lower park.“–https://parks.ny.gov/parks/135/details.aspx