Thursday, October 6, 2011

On Top of a Mountain

Yuriko and I have developed this habit of over-booking our weekends. On the one hand, it's great, because we almost always have something fun planned, but on the other hand, sometimes we get so exhausted and just want to lie low, catch up on some sleep, and hang out with the dog and cats in Reading (which we just learned is the poorest city in the United States). But we rarely get to do that.

The weekend before last, we went up to the Poconos and visited the quaint little town of Jim Thorpe. This was our second time there, and, small as it is, we like it. There are two very good restaurants, some cool shops, nice little mountains, and it's just fun to walk around. This time we were there to see this "modern bluegrass" band, Joy Kills Sorrow, whom we discovered last winter in Delaware. They had opened for Eilen Jewell, a singer I like, at the Arden Concert Guild. This time they were playing their own gig--two sets at the Mauch Chunk Opera House. (The town of Jim Thorpe used to be called Mauch Chunk, before the celebrity/athlete who is now the town's namesake was buried there.)

Joy Kills Sorrow is comprised of some really talented folks. Bridget Kearney, the bass player who writes or co-writes most of the songs (and sings harmony) is my favorite. The lead singer, Emma Beaton, from British Columbia, has some fabulous pipes, a fun, quirky personality, and a growing number of tattoos. The rest of the musicians are also virtuosos -- Jake Jolliff on Mandolin, Matt Avcava on guitar, and Wes Corbett on banjo.

Earlier in the day, we went on a little hike up Mount Pisgah, and I realized when we got to the peak that I hadn't done this in awhile, and I had almost forgotten how much I like just chilling on the top of a mountain--even if it's just a glorified hill, like the mountains we have here in the East. There is just such a sense of peace and calm up there, not to mention a beautiful view of the valley below and the surrounding hills and ridges. Here's a picture of Yuriko celebrating the fact that we made it, hiding all fears of falling off that rocky overlook.

We're planning on going to Bear Mountain this weekend, in upstate New York, with some of my old friends from college. Hoping for brilliantly sunny weather and peak foliage. After descending from the mountaintop, we're planning on spending the night in Brooklyn. We may check out the action at (Wall) street-level -- far less placid, but perhaps equally invigorating?

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