Solo Travel: Catskill Mountains

Friends! Hi! I am so excited to talk about this week!

So I start a new job soon, and this past weekend I found out that I get five days off in a row this week before my training starts. With all of this room for activities, I decided to put an itinerary together for my first ever solo-road trip! Today was my first day off, and at 8am, I was off to New York!

I have always loved spending time hiking, so I knew that I had to get at least one hike in on my trip. However, I knew I was going to be alone, and I was not about to run the risk of getting hurt or getting lost without anyone to help me, so I needed to find something easy and visible from a main road. After doing some research, I found that my best bet would be Buttermilk Falls in the Peekamoose Valley of the Catskills, New York. It was about a four hour drive from my house.

Driving alone for a long period of time is pretty strange if you’ve never done it before. I found that although I spent a lot of time singing to my Spotify playlist, I was incredibly self aware. I paid a lot of attention to my surroundings and was keen on my hand placement on the wheel, whether or not my legs were getting numb, etc. But it was nice to be able to have that time to myself to sort of learn my quirks and to ALSO sing show tunes without judgement from passengers, hehe!

Once I got to the Catskills, the scenery changed from pretty rural, to VERY RURAL. The foliage was incredible and the buildings in each town were either wood shops or convenience stores with phone numbers for guns and ammo inquiries. After driving on route 209 for a bit, I took a turn onto Peekamoose Road and the adventure really picked up.


The road on the way to the falls almost gave me a legitimate heart attack. I felt like a tiny pebble placed between two giant cliffs. Every time I looked out the side windows of my car, the tops of the mountains were nowhere to be seen. I had to shut my windows the entire drive because somehow that made me feel out of harms way. When the road opened up, the road somehow got smaller and there were no guardrails on either side.


Mom, if you’re reading, I was FINE! I promise! Luckily I was the only one on the road so I was able to drive 10-15 mph under the speed limits and I had enough room to drive comfortably toward the middle of the road. After three or four miles, a small parking lot sat on my side of the road. I figured I would get out to snap some photos of the brook and the trees. When I got out of my car I heard rushing water so I walked down the road to find exactly what I was looking for, the waterfall!

IMG_7562 IMG_7532-1

In person, the waterfall is absolutely gigantic. I was the only one around, so I climbed up to the base and spent some time staring lovingly at it as if I had never seen water before. It was truly an experience for the books.

On my way out I took a few minutes to drive down the surrounding roads just to see what else was there. Bad hit. Somewhere along the road my phone lost all service, which meant my GPS was down for the count. Let’s think about this, young girl, alone, no phone, no GPS, no familiarity with her surroundings, and no ability to calm herself down. I immediately thought it was the last day of my life. I back tracked for a good half hour before realizing that as I was driving, I took a wrong turn into an even more rural area. Still no GPS. THINGS ARE GOING SO WELL GUYS! THINGS ARE GREAT RIGHT NOW! After I thought about my impending death for 20 minutes I calmed myself down and pulled over to use my Waze app. (Life saver!) Although I didn’t have service, the app was still able to locate where I was without giving me directions. I figured out where the closest main road was and I traced it back to the next main road, to the next one, etc., until I found the closest highway. Once I got onto the highway, which ended up being 209 again, I was able to finally turn my GPS back on and find my way out of the middle of NOWWHERE. I took a huge deep breath and actually felt really great. I’ll admit, I high fived myself for being able to stay relaxed and get myself out of a tricky situation! #adulting

Lunch was obviously next on my list, because this girl is hungry every five minutes. I went to a restaurant called HASH in Stone Ridge. It was my first time eating in a restaurant alone. I felt weird about it at first, I’ll admit. Every time I’ve seen someone alone in a restaurant I’ve linked them to characters in movies that are usually sad or lonely. (Damn you, social influences!) When the waitress asked me if I was waiting for someone and I had to say no, it also felt weird. But once I settled in and started to eat, it was actually super nice. I didn’t have to talk to anyone, and I could take my sweet time. I got a delicious chicken sandwich, and wrote about my journey thus far. I would 100% recommend having a meal alone, and I would 100% do it again a million times.

After lunch it was time to head to my dad’s in Long Island, which is where my next stop takes place! Where am I headed? Check in tomorrow! For now, I need to sleep this adrenaline rush off!

Thanks for reading, xoxo.

2 thoughts on “Solo Travel: Catskill Mountains

  1. Leighan says:

    Trying very hard not to worry about you but, love what you’re doing, can feel how excited you are and love that you have the chance to do what you’re doing! Great pics and very inspirational…love reading along!!


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