As some of you may know, my last post ended on a cliff hanger. A friend and I had been hiking at Breakneck Ridge in Cold Springs, New York when we missed our trail marker. Instead of turning off on a less obvious trail we continued on the path, carefully navigated our way around a collapsed portion of the road, looked up, and found:
Although it may not look like much, unexpectedly discovering ruins of an old building during a hike is pretty exciting. It created an atmosphere filled with surprise and awe, two feelings that tend to lessen their appearance with age. I wanted to bask in the moment and let my mind wander. I imagined stones floating back into place, floorboards sliding into their slots, and a woman sitting near a crackling fireplace (I may have watched Harry Potter way too many times)! I envisioned a dark, cool night and could hear a horse carriage approaching – trotting hooves and wooden wheels rolling against the pavement. This was a “brake for beauty” within my “brake for beauty”!
After about 10 seconds of getting lost in my head (yes – the above description happened in a time span of 10 seconds – putting words to the images in my head is more time consuming than imagining them!), I decided to take out my very smart, smart-phone (ba-doom-chi)! Apparently, the Cornish Estate was also known as Northgate. The estate was comprised of a mansion (what we happened to find) and other structures scattered throughout the trails (we had seen other stone like “cottages”, but had assumed they were old ranger stations) that were constructed in 1917 by the Cornish family. Both the husband and wife passed in May of 1938 within two weeks of each other. The site was then left unmaintained and burned down in the 1950’s when a fire broke out.
Later, I found out that there is a 5.1 mile loop trail (Cornish Estate Trail Loop) that would have taken us along this structure and others. However, the ambiance would not have been the same if we were looking for this site rather than stumbling upon it. As I stated in yesterday’s post, “you set out on a certain path and because of mistakes (or things just not going your way) you end up somewhere that turns out to be even better than your original destination.” Sometimes, it takes a chance encounter like this to remind a person to let go of their preconceived notions of “this is what/where I am supposed to be” and let life take him or her somewhere SO much better.