The Shawangunk ridge above Ellenville is covered in wild blueberry (or huckleberry) bushes, which a hundred years ago supported a berry-picking industry.
While living in New York I never went to Times Square or Central Park unless friends were in from out of town; to this day I still haven’t been up the Empire State Building.
It’s the same here, there are unbelievable hikes and views just minutes from the house but we never seem to go unless we’re entertaining visitors. So it was a lucky coincidence when family came to stay at the peak of the blueberry season, and got us out of the house.
We went up to Minnewaska Preserve and followed a narrow path on the far side of the lake, climbing down the side of the mountain to where the blueberry bushes were plentiful.
Look down and see blueberries all around. Look up and see this view. Pick, pick, pick.
Afterwards we sat high up on the rocks where one of the hotels used to be, looking down at the lake and some long-distance swimmers cutting through the water with perfect form.
A couple of days after our guests left I cooked up a small batch of intensely-flavored blueberry jam.
So good. So unbelievably good.