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Joe Biden attended nephew's woodsy wedding in Mount Tremper

Above: A screenshot of Jamie Biden and Amy Bracco from their wedding website. Vice President Joe Biden attended the ceremony on Saturday, August 30 in Mount Tremper.

Vice President Joe Biden was indeed at the Emerson Resort & Spa in Mount Tremper on Saturday, August 30, according to Tony Lanza, a spokesman for the resort. Biden was part of a wedding party that stayed at the resort and attended several events there.

"We were delighted to host the wedding party at the resort," Lanza said.

I previously reported erroneously that the wedding ceremony itself was held on the grounds of the Emerson. In fact, the ceremony was held at the private Mount Tremper home of the couple, according to an article by Jill Ribich, the wedding coordinator for the event, published in the Catskill Mountain News on Wednesday, September 3

Lanza confirmed the high-ranking visit, but said that he couldn't give any details. Calls to the Vice President's press liaison were not immediately returned. 

The secret has been out for days.   Read more

Boat the Pepacton in September, earn a badge

Above: A sailboat glides on the surface of the Pepacton Reservoir on May 26, 2012. Photo by Tina Schvejda; posted in the Watershed Post's Flickr group pool.

This summer, the Catskills Outdoor Guide is partnering with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Catskill Watershed Corporation to bring you our new Catskill Reservoir Paddler embroidered badge, which you can only earn by paddling a specific reservoir each month.

In September, the spotlight is on the Pepacton Reservoir. Paddle the Pepacton anytime between September 1 and 30, send in your proof, and a Catskill Reservoir Paddler badge will be yours. Click here or scroll down for full redemption instructions. 

The Pepacton reservoir is the workhouse of the Catskill reservoirs, holding more water than any other reservoir in the NYC system. It holds 140 billion gallons, and contributes a quarter of the entire city's water supply.

The 15-mile-long lake is studded with coves and is straddled by the Shavertown bridge, which is a great viewpoint for a photo shoot or an impromptu race. (Real races have been held on the Pepacton: in 2012, it hosted the first leg of the 2012 Adventure Race National Championship.)

The Pepacton has four boat launches spread along its lengthy shoreline. For a detailed map of the Pepacton and its boat launches, click here.

For our five-step guide to boating NYC's Catskills reservoirs, click here. 

  Read more

This Weekend: 11 Catskills Labor Day events (and fireworks)

Above: A poster for the Windham Chamber Music Festival, just one of the events happening this Labor Day weekend in the Catskills.

Don't look now, but the leaves are already turning in the highest peaks of the Catskills. That and the arrival of Labor Day weekend confirms it: Summer is ending. Go out with a bang -- in some cases, a literal bang, with fireworks -- with these great events from around the region. 

ACROSS THE CATSKILLS: Lighting of the Fire Towers event. It's tonight! Details here

DELAWARE COUNTY

New trails open in Delhi. Saturday, August 30. 2 p.m. Volunteers have been working all summer to create a new set of hiking trails behind Delaware Academy school. Several of the trails are named for characters in the beloved children's novel My Side of the Mountain, which was set in Delhi. Delaware Academy, 2 Sheldon Dr., Delhi.

  Read more

WP Deal: Free tickets to Brooklyn@Belleayre featuring The Hold Steady, Aug. 30

This WP Deal has been claimed. Congratulations to our winners, and thanks for reading the Watershed Post.

On Saturday, Aug. 30, the Belleayre Music Festival wraps up its 2014 summer season with Brooklyn@Belleayre, a Labor Day Weekend showcase of Brooklyn bands featuring Big Data, Lily and the Parlour Tricks, Joni Fatora and headliner The Hold Steady.

We're giving away two pairs of tickets to the concert. The first two people to email [email protected] win the tickets. 

Formed in 2002, The Hold Steady released their sixth LP, Teeth Dreams, earlier this year. From the Belleayre Music Festival's release:  Read more

Three years since Irene

Above: Bill Lonecke with his wife, Barbara (left), and daughter, Cindy (right), standing where their Maplecrest house used to be. It was washed away during Tropical Storm Irene by the Batavia Kill, which is 50 yards away to the right. Photo by Christopher Auger-Domínguez. Read their story in our Faces of the Flood Project, here. 

If you're anything like us here at the Watershed Post, anniversaries sneak up on you.

Three years ago today, Tropical Storm Irene blasted the Catskills with intense flooding, killing several local people and washing away homes and businesses in towns across our region.   Read more

This Weekend: See the lighting of the fire towers and earn your badge

Above: The lit-up Berry Hill fire tower in Chenango County near Norwich during the 2013 lighting of the fire towers event. (The Berry Hill tower isn't one of the five Catskill fire towers that will earn you a badge, but it sure is pretty.) Photo by Warren Johnsen.

There's no weekend like this weekend to hike up a Catskills fire tower. Not only can you earn one of our coveted Catskill Fire Towers badges if you do (see details here or below), but you'll also get a rare treat: the sight of a fire tower cab glowing from within.

Once a year, the volunteers who maintain the Catskills fire towers hike lights into the cabs at the top of the towers, making them visible for miles around.

The event is meant to commemorate the time when fire towers were staffed by lonely and intrepid fire tower watchers who stood vigil night and day, scanning for signs of fire.

From the event's organizers:   Read more

Ulster County legislators vote for trail over rail

Above: Catskill Mountain Railroad equipment repairing a portion of the track on the old Delaware & Ulster corridor last week. Photo by John Marino and posted on the CMRR's Facebook page.

In the long-running battle of rails versus trails in Ulster County, the trails just won big. 

In an 18 to 4 vote, the Ulster County Legislature passed Resolution 275 on Tuesday, August 19, supporting the conversion of an old Ulster & Delaware railroad right-of-way between Kingston and Boiceville into a hiking, walking and biking trail.

The Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR), which runs a tourist railroad on the rail corridor and holds a lease on the right-of-way that expires in 2016, has been lobbying hard to keep railroad tracks running all the way from Kingston to the town of Shandaken at the other end of the county.  Read more

Flash flood watch for eastern Catskills

Above: A post from the Albany office of the National Weather Service's Facebook page today. 

Parts of the Catskills could get "torrential" rainfall of as much to 1 to 2 inches per hour tonight, according to the National Weather Service.

The eastern Catskills -- Ulster, Schoharie and Greene counties -- are under a flash flood watch issued by the NWS's Albany office. The rains are expected to begin close to midnight tonight, Tuesday, August 12. The flood watch expires at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, August 13.   Read more

Injured Esopus tuber prompts wild goose chase

Above: First responders near the Esopus Creek on Sunday, August 10, searching for an injured person who had allegedly already driven himself away from the scene.

Dive teams, firefighters, and first responders mobbed the Esopus Creek in the Ulster County village of Phoenicia on Sunday afternoon in what turned out to be a wild goose chase.

A report of an injured person in the creek on August 10 prompted a massive emergency response, according to an email from George Neher at the Shandaken Police Department.

Traffic was slowed to one lane on Route 28 as ambulances and first responder vehicles, several pulling boats, lined the roadway near the creek around 2 p.m.

But the first responders did not find any injured person in or near the creek. A police officer directing traffic told a reporter that it all seemed like a false alarm. 

As it turned out, the injured person had already left. A tuber had injured his hip and lost his inner tube while tubing the Esopus that day, prompting someone nearby to call the police, according to Neher. 

But the man left the creek himself before emergency personnel found him. Witnesses told the police that he walked to his car, which appeared to be a Mercedes-Benz, and drove away, according to Neher.   Read more

The Catskills are hot (again)

The cover of August's Hudson Valley Magazine.

Brace yourselves: The Catskills are having their biggest moment since the height of the Borscht Belt resorts in the '50s.

Hudson Valley Magazine has dedicated its entire August issue to the region, declaring that "The Catskills Are Back," and featuring the pool at Phoenicia's The Graham & Co. hotel on its cover.  

[T]he big story of the day is that the Catskills have seemingly overnight transformed from a sleepy, somewhat rundown region to a hip ’n happening hangout for all types of urban culture vultures and — dare we say it — hipsters.

What is this we hear? It seems that every season, at least one new boutique hotel throws open its doors — and more and more city folk flee upstate to the forest. Cultural offerings abound, gastropubs serve up farm-to-table fare, you can even stay in a luxury yurt. Yes, glamping has come to the Catskills.  Read more