By the time we got to Woodstock

There are just those days when you wake up to weather that seems to have been custom made for motorcyclists. Combine this with our newly found knowledge of the 2008 New York State Farm Distillery bill and you have all the stars aligned for good roads, fine good, and top notch spirits. Our latest riding passion has us exploring New York state’s distilleries within day trip range and thanks to the aforementioned bill there are quite a few to choose from. There’s a good write up about this law here.

Route 402 north out of Monroe County, PA is always a favorable way to start off a trip and it only got better as we made our way into New York and onto 434. It then merges into 55 which ends at 17B. At this point you make a left and you’re within walking distance to the Catskill Distilling Company.

Monte Sachs is the owner and distiller who, while attending veterinary school in Italy, learned the art of distilling on the side. Today he operates a beautiful place complete with a store outfitted with a bar from the 1939 World’s Fair and the Dancing Cat Saloon with excellent food. After some taste tests and purchases, we walked over to the Saloon for lunch. This was a five star experience for us and if you’re into music nostalgia, there’s the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts at the Woodstock site 90 seconds away by car.

I was only nine years old when the 1969 Woodstock festival occurred, but I do remember all the noise in the news about it. Seeing the monument that was placed there in 1984 and walking the well manicured lawn were it took place wasn’t a magical experience, but it always feels somewhat special to be at the same place only separated by time. Within view from the field is the Museum at Bethel Woods. At fifteen dollars per head I think most will find that to be a little steep, but a couple sitting next to us at lunch gave up fifty percent off coupons which seemed to be a more appropriate price for the experience. For the young, maybe it’s a good experience to get a feel of a time they did not experience. For the rest of us that were around in those days, I think most will find the place so-so. It’s relatively new though and it appears they’re really trying to do well. Maybe some day down the road it’ll warrant the price.

I took a slightly different route on the return trip for about half way back as the music flowed through our headsets and the bike purred underneath us. For such a nice day the roads seemed so quiet which is a welcomed situation by both of us. It was enough for one day while at the same time wishing the day was longer and the ride would continue. But it was time to release the Catskill spirits out on the deck while we said good-bye to a type of day you wished was every day. Oh, and those spirits? You definitely want to go to the distillery!