1999 Sleepy Hollow Cruise
Jon Trudel (all images copyrighted)
Sometime before Halloween in 1999, Rachel came up with the idea of having a cruise to the town of Sleepy Hollow. Seemed like a great idea, but due to some scheduling issues, she set the date to be the week afterwards. Rachel ran a dry run the week before, and you can read all about it on her pages for this cruise, which are found here
As I got started, I realized that I'd have to drive the cruise like it was 19,999. (Believe me, that joke was funnier back then). Hard to imagine that in 9 months, I had driven that many miles in my Z3. Actually, I was living in a Philadelphia suburb for most of that time, and I had just taken a job back in NJ, where most of my friends and family are.
Anyway, when I arrived at the starting point, a lot of the cruisers had already shown up. We were all gassing up, and mulling about our cars admiring then and asking what others had done to their Z3s. 'Twas fun enough, but shortly thereafter Rachel showed up to lead us on the road (she pulled a pocketwatch and did a little bit of the March Hare from Alice in Wonderland)
After a minor Uturn we got to hustling down 7 Lakes Drive, and then took some nice roads on up towards Bear Mountain. Then came the traffic circle. Feeling a bit silly, we went around it once...then twice...then again, and eventually I stopped counting. We finally got ourselves close, and eventually got to the top. Here's a panoramic view I've made of the view from the top. Pretty damn nice. Best part about this time of year is that the leaf peepers have stopped coming out in droves, so the roads were mostly clear. Lucky us.
From there, we tooled on down to go across the Bear Mountain Bridge, to another scenic overlook. We were lucky enough to get the other visitors to the overlook to allow us to park together so we could take shots like this one. Also from that spot, I was able to get another panoramic shot from there. There's this really nice twisty little road down from the bridge and scenic overlook, and at the bottom of it was a Mc Donald's, were we all took a much-needed biobreak.
On to Sleepy Hollow itself. For a while, we were on a highway for a bit, and took the exit for Pleasantville, but oddly enough, everything was in color (again, much funnier in 1999). We were getting close. There was a little creepiness in the area. Rachel had planned for us to stop at a bridge on Sleepy Hollow road which had been damaged due to a rainstorm (Hurricane Floyd, perhaps?). There, she would read a passage from Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", but unfortunately, the road had been repaved in the time between the dry run and the full one. Pity, though - it would have added to the creepiness. We didn't realize that it'd been repaved because there were no detours or signs referring to it. Finally, we stopped at a point where we could all park. Rachel read the passage, a pretty neat arrangement, if you ask me.Oh yeah, and she'd given us all pumpkins for the trip
Lunch was at the ___ Castle, which was built in a place where you got great views of the Hudson River. We had a great lunch there. Rachel gave out these Pumpkin-colored stoneguards to the people who had travelled the longest way to get there. They were leaving at that point, so we bid them adeiu.
The last part of this was a trip up to the original "Alice's Restaurant". That meant heading up the Taconic Parkway. Unfortunately, We were a little heavy on the foot, and received a visit from New York state's finest. Yep, perhaps we were a little too fast. No matter, we pay our fines. Some went on, and others, such as myself, stayed behind. Traffic was somewhat heavy on the Taconic, but it's a pretty nice stretch of road. It got towards evening, and in the traffic, I lost contact with most of the other z3ers. We had printed directions, and I was following one car who seemed to know where to go. The odd thing was that after a while, I realized they didn't have a talkabout, and were actually going home. I was sort of lost (going the wrong way for quite a few miles), but fortunately I did have the directions. There was this loop of nice roads around the Restaurant that people were taking, and lucky for me, I came across some of the group at a gas station. I followed them to the restaurant, and we parked.
And, we survived Sleepy Hollow, our heads intact.
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