On my drives from New York City to the Catskills to go fishing on the Beaverkill River, I always took Route 17, because it was a little more interesting.
Off the George Washington Bridge, I’d take Route 4 in New Jersey and then NJ 17 near the Garden State Plaza. Once I crossed back into New York near Suffern, the surroundings started to change from urban to rural.
Joseph Berger at the NY Times wrote about the Red Apple Rest’s location: “What made the Red Apple so essential a summertime port of call was not so much its food as its location. Before the New York State Thruway opened in 1956, the ride up to the mountains along the old Route 17 could take four or five hours and the Red Apple Rest was almost exactly halfway. While there were three or four other pit stops, the Red Apple, watched over by its founder, Reuben Freed, became the place to go.“
“Joan Wulff handles a fishing rod with grace and explosive power. In 1960 she set the women’s unofficial world record for distance casting—an astonishing 161 feet. Now the grande dame of fly-fishing at age 81, Wulff has not lost her touch. Standing on the banks of the Beaverkill River near her fabled fishing school in New York’s Catskill Mountains, she raises and points the tip of an 8½-foot rod just over her shoulder, gives a sudden backward snap of the wrist and sends 40 feet of line sailing straight back behind her..”