We huddle in Neil's cabin, safe from the world.
Day before yesterday, which was Saturday, I did another 1,290 words of the story that will not be titled "Stabbing the Face of Winter." I'd have done as well yesterday, but, instead, we had to drive all the way from Woodstock to Westfield, Massachusetts, more than four hours round trip, to pick up my Klonopin prescription. If I get into all the whys of this little fiasco, I'd be here for longer than I can allot to this entry. But it begins with my negligent ditz of a psychiatrist and ends with the Draconian drug laws in New York State, which class Klonopin as a Schedule 2 controlled substance, making it impossible for the prescription to be called in from Rhode Island. Oh, and the nearest Walgreens is in Westfield, which is the why of Westfield. An utter waste of a day, which left me in a horrid mood, partly because I had to spend the whole day outside under a very wide carnivorous sky. But now I have the pills, and New York can eat a dick. Also, Westfield, Mass. is a goddamn depressing place. One of those towns that might have been handsome as recently as the 1970s, but which have sold their soul to Dunkin Donuts (three in the space of one mile!), CVS, Ace Hardware, Walgreens, gas stations, convenience stores, all the merry host of chains and big boxes, shoddiness, instant squalor, prefabricated strip malls, and you get the picture. It was depressing. But I did get a second chance to try to photograph the frozen Hudson River. The results were not spectacular, my being in a moving vehicle and guardrails and all, but better than nothing. There are twenty-two photos from yesterday's trek, below and behind the cut, but first...
Three of my stories made the 2014 Locus Recommended Reading List: “Interstate Love Song (Murder Ballad No. 8),” “The Cats of River Street (1925),”and “The Jetsam of Disremembered Mechanics.” They were all placed in the novelette. I think it's silly there even is a novelette category; these are short stories. But whatever. I'm still pleased.
So, the photographs:
About 1:10 p.m., approaching the Castleton Bridge over the Hudson River from the west. The Castleton opened to traffic on May 26, 1959. I'll think of it as my birthday bridge.
The frozen river, ~135 feet below us. View to the south.
The railroad bridge is the Alfred H. Smith Memorial Bridge, which opened to traffic in 1924.
Paying the toll and entering Massachusetts, the Berkshires in the distance.
Right back at you. Now, give me my pills.
I swear, it isn't Photoshopped, and I didn't do it on purpose.
Spooky pulled over a few miles west of Westfield so I could take photographs of the ice that had accumulated on the face of one of the road cuts. I'm frustrated that I cannot pin down this rock formation. The geology is complex in this region, but I'm pretty sure this this is the Upper Triassic-aged New Haven Arkose, laid down about 200 million years ago. Some of the earliest dinosaurs left their remains in these beds, along with those of many fascinating taxa of non-dinsoaurian reptiles.
I wish the blueness of the ice were clearer in these photos.
The cut was ~50 feet high.
Oh, and Spooky was absolutely ecstatic at the price of gas in Westfield, $1.95 a gallon, pre-Katrina prices.
On our way back to Woodstock.
You gotta love that zit.
I also admire this junkyard, from afar.
And now, at 3:59 p.m., we approach the Castleton Bridge from the east. The next seven photos are my second attempt (of the day) at photographs of the frozen Hudson.
And here, just past the river, we have Shad Island, which is not actually an island, but just a spit of land.
All photographs Copyright © 2015 by Caitlín R. Kiernan