Mildred’s Lane Dispatch

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waterfalls of the Delaware Water Gap

The sky darkened as I arrived at Mildred’s Lane Friday afternoon, exploding into a violent thunderstorm with cracks of lightning and a drenching downpour. I was still damp from a mid-day swim in the river on my way up, after a tramp along a steep tributary to see the falls of the Delaware Water Gap .

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bridge designed by Roeblin, originally used as an aqueduct

I stopped to walk across the country’s oldest cable-suspension bridge, designed by John Roebling decades before the Brooklyn Bridge, then paid my respects at the Zane Grey museum across the river before continuing on to Narrowsburg a few miles upstream. After a dinner prepared by some the Fellows of Mildred’s Lane we were treated to a provocative presentation of landscape photography by Jeffrey Jenkins called ‘Landscape and Perception’.

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Mildred’s Lane Fellows prepare the earth oven

On Saturday the Fellows prepared an earth oven in the ‘quarry’ for the night’s feast under the direction of guest chefs Ana Miron and Janine Slaker. They carried over 200 river stones to line the smoking pit, where the chefs slow-roasted meats, vegetables and tamales, served with fresh salsa and tortillas cooked on heated flat rocks. We had several guests arrive from near and far, and we ate al fresco, the meal served on banana leaves and eaten with our fingers. The group convened to the barn to hear my lecture on Deep Craft, where I introduced some of the tenets I’ve developed over the years and how they will figure into my project for the coming week.

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Morgan’s Fancy Grits

This morning we were treated to a hearty breakfast of Morgan’s fancy grits, scrambled eggs and bacon, after which a small crew took to the river for a swim and a paddle in boats built by the artist Bob Braine.

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one of three simple boats built by Bob Braine for Mildred’s Lane