Catskills, New York: A Man Out of Time

Text: John M. Flores • Photography: John M. Flores

A short ride turns into a big adventure and poses a big question, “Can a Royal Enfield take you back in time?”

The midday sun pokes through the canopy of leaves and warms my face. I hear a distant voice.

“Wake up.” 

I’m in a deep slumber, swimming in a dreamy unconscious sea.

“Hey, wake up.” 

The voice pulls me toward the surface.

That voice again. “It’s time to wake up.”

I recognize it. It’s Royal Enfield, my trusty bike.

I surface. The light is blinding.

“It’s about time,” Royal Enfield says.

I shield my eyes until they adjust. I am lying beneath a tree beside my motorcycle.

“How ... how long have I been asleep?”

“Fifty years.”

“What?! What year is it?”

“2015.”

“How the ... ?” my voice tapers off, confused.

In the summer of 1965, I rode my new Royal Enfield to Harriman State Park, where I took a nap under an old apple tree. The nap lasted 50 years, and I woke up in 2015! I cannot explain what happened, but I must get back. I’m supposed to get married next week!

“What’s the nearest town?”

“Newburgh is just north of here.”

“Let’s go.”

“But New York City is south.”

“I know, but I need to get back to New York in 1965, not 2015. I can’t go back until I’ve figured out what’s happened.”

We ride through the park. It hasn’t changed in 50 years, the road weaving its way alongside glass smooth lakes, trees providing shade on even the hottest days. Things start to look different when we leave the park and notice that cars aren’t slick chrome torpedoes anymore. But they aren’t flying like the magazines said they would.

“Why are people looking at us funny?” asks Royal Enfield.

“They’re looking at you.”

(End of preview text.)

For the complete touring article, including facts & information, map(s), and GPS files, please purchase the November/December 2015 back issue.