A Catskill Dream

Photographs by Pat Schmidt

I have been going upstate to my grandparents’ mountain house in New Kingston, NY since I was a little guy. It’s only a few hours from my hometown in NJ, so it’s the perfect getaway for my family. The property is 27 acres, and the closest neighbors are about half-a-mile away, so the peace and relaxation levels are through the roof.

Naturally he loaded up the house with manly activities: guns, quads, ping pong, darts…

My grandpa built the house in ’95. He’s a badass—an old, salty fisherman—the kind of guy that will crush your hand into a million pieces during a handshake, so naturally he loaded up the house with some quite manly activities: guns, quads, ping pong, darts, and there is even a largemouth bass-stocked pond at the bottom of the driveway.

My brothers and I will sometimes go into the woods behind the house and work on our “fort” that we plan on spending a night in some day. Being outside as much as possible is the main goal each time I go. To walk outside and hear nothing but birds and trees is really something special.

Shooting photos up there is incredible as well, especially this time of the year. With the leaves starting to change you see more and more beautiful colors each day, and there’s nothing better than grabbing a camera and walking into the woods.