Rest Day Read (SR-33)
Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving
"Whoever has made a voyage up the Hudson must remember the Kaatskill mountains. They are a dismembered branch of the great Appalachian family, and are seen away to the west of the river, swelling up to a noble height, and lording it over the surrounding country. Every change of season, every change of weather, indeed, every hour of the day, produces some change in the magical hues and shapes of these mountains, and they are regarded by all the good wives, far and near, as perfect barometers. When the weather is fair and settled, they are clothed in blue and purple, and print their bold outlines on the clear evening sky, but, sometimes, when the rest of the landscape is cloudless, they will gather hood of gray vapors about their summits, which, in the last rays of the setting sun, will glow and light up like a crown of glory."
Washington Irving not only wrote great stories, but his descriptive narrative virtually takes the reader away to simpler days and transports one right smack into the middle of the Hudson River valley. Look above at the way he described the Kaatskill Mountains. Beautiful stuff.
Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow are foundations of the American short story canon and are two of my all time favorite reads. There are very few characters ever set to paper which are as sympathetic as Rip Van Winkle and his trusty dog, Wolf. I think I would really enjoy sitting around Vedder's Inn and deliberate the day away. How about you?
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