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Are you interested in seeing the beautiful fall foliage of New England but tired of traffic jams and overbooked hotels? Then this year forget the crowds in New England and see the beautiful colors of autumn in the Catskills.

5 These rugged mountains in New York State, just 90 miles northwest of New York City, are famous for the legendary tales of Rip Van Winkle, and more recently for the summer hotels that sprang up in the region during the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. Families trying to escape the 10 heat of New York City found the Catskills to be the perfect place to stay for a month or so each summer. By the late 1950s there were over 500 resorts and hotels offering nighttime entertainment as well as all kinds of outdoor activities. Famous comedians like Jackie Gleason, Joan Rivers, and Sid Caesar all got their start touring 15 the hotel clubs here. Since the introduction of air-conditioning and cheaper air travel, however, families have stopped coming to the Catskills in such large numbers, choosing instead more distant locations at different times of the year. Many of the Catskill hotels closed in the 1970s, but some remain and have expanded and changed 20 their facilities to meet the needs of today’s visitors.

Currently, there are many activities available to the traveler besides witnessing the changing colors of the leaves. There is an all-organic sheep farm where visitors can see how a traditional sheep farm operates. 25 There are also hundreds of miles of scenic drives in the area. Route 42, for instance, is an excellent site for spotting bald eagles. For more information on vacations in the Catskills, call the Office of Public Information.

1. What is the author’s main purpose in this passage?

2. The word “rugged” in line 6 could be best replaced by which of the following?

3. According to the passage, which of the following caused the decline in the number of resorts in the 1970s?

4. Which of the following is closest in meaning to the word “legendary” in line 7?

5. The phrase “sprang up” in line 8 most probably refers to something that has

6. In what season would a tourist most likely have visited the Catskills in the 1950s?

7. Which of the following most reflects the author’s tone in this passage?

8. What does the passage imply that a visitor might be lucky enough to do?

9. As used in line 23, the word “witnessing”could best be replaced by

10. As used in line 25, the word “drives” refers to

11. As used in line 26, which of the following could best replace the word “spotting”?

12. The author implies that in the Catskills there are few