Not a haunted pavilion


Don’t let the woods spook you out.

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This post is a little late, but the weightless flurries outside my window and a grey-ish tint that they bring with them, remind me about my first getaway after moving to the States last November. It was the long weekend of thanksgiving.

My husband and I packed for three days, and left town to visit the quaint beauty that is Watkins Glen.

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After a long drive — through a kaleidoscope of trees, mountains and an endless sky — we reached a small village called Hector in Watkins Glen, Upstate New York. Past a vast Seneca lake and a small hesitant Montour waterfalls, we entered a narrow gravelly road, covered with a web of trees to discover what would be our home for the next two days.

A garage-turned-cottagette.

It looked like a fancy little doll house on Airbnb website. Unfortunately, the size did matter in real. Will our luggage fit in? we wondered.

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We parked our car on a bed of stones and slush. Right opposite was the main house. Just as we were ogling at the luxury of space…

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Jeremy and his wife Ellen, our hosts, rushed out of it to meet us.

Ellen, with a nest of frizzy white hair and a permanent smile, hugged her sweater tight around her, and looked at us with genuine interest. She had the same expression that we probably might have had if we were in her place. ‘How did you guys end up here of all the places?’

Her husband broke the awkward silence by pointing at the woods beyond, “that are not to be ventured into”. “It’s the hunting season,” he warned us.

Maybe it’s the clouds, but just then a sense of darkness fell around us. And just like that, the doll house seemed Annabelle-istic.

We looked around, and strangely, we realized that it was unfairly easy to get spooked by the most ordinary of things. Like a set of harmless discarded discolored shells.

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A swing that sways on its own.

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A chipped chalice.

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Chairs concocting a secret plan.

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Sharp rusty iron bars.

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Or a starless moonless sky.

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Hotel California now played in our heads. That’s when we noticed that our coop had a name too: Warshaw Pavilion. The paint on the letters smudged all over like when someone rubs there eyes after applying kohl.

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The creaking of the woods gave us the cue. We got in and shut the little door for the night, like two frightened chicken.

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And shut the little windows too.

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Once inside, surprisingly, the little space offered a lot to explore. Like this whole shelf of board games, books, DVDs and video cassettes!

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And interesting artworks that lined the walls.

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We stumbled upon an old and tattered book, which had sketches done by kids. Maybe by Ellen and Jeremy’s kids? Maybe by young Ellen and Jeremy themselves?

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And then retired for the night with a Meryl Streep movie. The Bridges of Madison County.

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Next morning, the thin blue-frilled curtains did little to keep the sharp light at bay.

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We made coffee in the Hobbit’s kitchen.

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And sipped on it sitting in our Hobbit patio.

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Minutes went past, and except for the slow and soothing rustle of leaves, the ambiance had little to scare us. Our bijou Pavilion was not that spooky after all.

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Wait, do you see a face in the window?

Clear waters and falling branches


A Sunday at Kilgore Falls.


Somewhere in between two snow storms this month on the East Coast, was a sunny pleasant day. And fortunately it was a Sunday. So my husband and I decided to head to Kilgore Falls or The Falling branch Area of Rocks State Park in Harford County, Maryland. True to the name, the water, falling a graceful fall from a height of 17ft, carries with it small branches and lays it down in a cool pool that’s ornate with giant rocks.

 

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This beauty is hidden on the far end of a path that’s laden with embossed roots like the veins on an old man’s hand.

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And big fallen trees that try to spook you out.

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Some look like the head of a snake.

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And some like the fossil of a starfish.

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Then there are some that look like a man in slumber.

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And some others that are bleeding red.

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They try to make our paths narrower.

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Block certain exits.

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Feign like they might fall on us.

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But we look them in the face.

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And say that no matter what, we are going to keep marching.

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Maybe, we shall take rest for a bit.

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And take a selfie or two.

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But march, we shall…

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Until we find the sweet stream.

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Cool, clear waters.

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With it, a flush of green.

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And a dash of rainbow.

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Up the steep steps, we shall go.

(Trivia: These are believed to be constructed by Susquehannock Indians, a North American Indian tribe that lived here in the 1600s.)

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To see the origin of the beauty that’s the fall.

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And we did.

A wonderful short getaway, Kilgore Falls is the second highest waterfall in Maryland (the highest is Cunningham Falls); this place was a private property until 1993, after which the Department of Natural Resources bought it and made it the Rocks State Park. The name Kilgore comes from the name of one of its previous owners, (not entirely sure) as mentioned in The Zone Magazine.  Now, if you are some place far, and cannot plan a trip anytime soon, a sweet alternative is to watch the Disney movie Tuck Everlasting which has been shot here, or enjoy this set of breathtaking wedding photography at the venue.

Until our next travel.