Martin Van Buren, the 8th president of the United States, is from nearby Kinderhook, N.Y. Van Buren, alternatively known as the Red Fox of Kinderhook and the Magician, was a political genius and astute at the art of the compromise.
His home, now a National Historic Site, is located along the Old Post Road, the main road running from New York City to Albany. It was actually a local judge’s home where a young attorney Van Buren had an interesting encounter (See our Instagram).
Our visit was in the midst of a long stretch rain and was well-suited to a rainy day. The house itself was an interesting conglomeration of Colonial Dutch, Italianate, with a touch of Victorian as a result of being renovated by Van Buren.
The house had some fairly modern features, including a pump which drew water up to a holding tank in the attic, providing running water to the house.
The ranger-led tour was very interesting and gave a lot of insight into a president I honestly knew very little about. Indeed, I hold him in a lot higher esteem knowing he governed through a depression following a credit crash (sound familiar) and pushed through reform legislation to help fix the problem.
We found lunch at a little sandwich shop, conveniently called The Sandwich Shop, in Valatie, N.Y., where got a couple of nicely done paninis and then headed up the road to our next stop: Harvest Spirits Farm Distillery.
Bonnie and I thoroughly enjoy visiting distilleries, wineries and breweries. We love learning about their process and trying unique products. I am a bit of a beer snob and I adore Scotch and American whiskies. Bonnie enjoys wine and bourbons.
Today, we got to taste something a bit unique: vodka and whiskey made from apples.
Harvest Spirits makes vodka, applejack (a Colonial America favorite), a single-malt whiskey, fruit-flavored applejacks, and some small-batch liquors which had not been aged. Most of the fruit comes from the Golden Harvest Farms, which has some amazing apple cider donuts!
The facility was small, but it was a obvious they put thought and love into the distillery, not to mention the product, which was outstanding in every regard. While we were not fans of the fruit-based liquors, the vodka was very smooth, the applejack was incredibly tasty and the single malt… Well, let’s just say the single malt will be coming home with us. The single malt will be a welcome addition to our whiskey collection.
Today, the weather treated us to cold and rain, so we made the most of it by doing stuff we wanted to do that involved being indoors. So, when we ran out of stuff to do, we headed back to the campsite and did some laundry. While we have a lot more clothes than we would have tent camping, it never hurts to take advantage of bad weather to get some laundry done.