Past the Catskills, between Otsego and Chenango counties, the land of huge old wooden farm buildings teetering on the brink of falling down, shiny, gleaming Dodge Rams with souped up engines, and expansive fields of green with something usually burning in the distance, we found a little cabin to rent for our fifth anniversary.
Outside the small and regionally typical town of New Berlin that has a feed and grocery store and a teenage-run spot to buy hoagies (these three things can be found in nearly any town west of I-87) the cabin lies on a secluded 4 acres. Past a kind of wild trailer park (with things burning in the yard), the gates open to a private long driveway that opens to a spectacular scene. The lovely pond, the surrounding trees, and the quaint cabin are picturesque and offer the kind of secluded relaxation the waining days of summer call for.
While there will be no swimming for you in the pond – it's quite shallow with a murky bottom and is teaming with fish, it is great for rowing – an activity I got pretty good at by the end of the long weekend. There is also a small sauna that was a bit overwhelming for me for any longer that ten minutes or so, but a fun luxury to have at your disposal.
While you're not exactly roughing it with a?full kitchen and running water, the furniture set up is less than comfy. If you plan on watching movies late at night, bring a lap top and watch it on the porch on the futon (It's almost like seeing a movie at a drive in). The double bed, which at first seemed daunting due to it's hardness was actually just fine – perhaps there is some validity to the claim that a hard mattress is good for your back.
There is a barbecue that is kind of tough to get going and a nice trail beside the house as well as tons of toads, frogs, geese, and reportedly a red fox (hence the cabin's name) but he didn't make an appearance during our stay.
Not far from town, affordable produce, pulled straight from the ground can be bought from Gayle Austin (up route 8 from New Berlin), though beware!! She is a talker and mostly, she wants to talk about how you have no future unless you too become an organic farmer and that NYC will be under water in ten years leaving us stranded to die on the island. Fun times, but her carrots were sweet and delicious.
We stayed the long weekend and there are lots of attractions and things to do nearby (which I'll be getting into more detail about in future weeks).