Hudson River Trip Journal 2

Saturday, June 20, 2009: The first of the week, Henry and I are going up to Champlain and Vergennes so I can practice boating with him in readiness for a possible trip on Hudson River in August.  Good.

          I biked over to Charlestown to the store, a total of about 12 miles round trip, and got some food for the overnight boat trip.  I got some chicken legs to cook ahead and add to some egg noodle mix for one supper.  We are going to go Monday morning about 9 a.m. and will return on Tuesday afternoon.

          Julie Jones is going to tend the cats while I am gone.  I am bringing my spare bicycle, my folding lawn chair, fishing pole, books, cell phone, maps, camera and binoculars.  Still must buy some coca cola for myself.  We are bringing one breakfast, 2 lunches and one supper each.  I have a long checklist.

 

Monday, June 22, 2009: Started out from the Blue Canoe (Irving) truck stop in Springfield at 8:35 a.m. Drove over with my stuff, then drove back home and returned with the bike. 

          We got to the marina at Lake Champlain Bridge Marina about 10:30 and the wind was about “15”, maybe more, according to Henry.  Because of this wind, we went south instead of north to Vergennes as originally planned.  I took some photos of the bridge and around the area.  We were headed toward Fort Ticonderoga and Mt. Independence, and I took more photos. The wind was pretty wild, and I felt a little seasick at first.  We went by Crown Point and then Ticonderoga, later the International Paper company which owns much of the land along the lake at that area.

 

 

Champlain Bridge, big waves and remains of old Fort St. Frederic on the shore, and beyond, the Fort at Crown Point.

 

          By 6:15 p.m. we were at the mouth of the Poultney River and heading up to the lock at Whitehall NY, called #12.  Here we are going up the lake, hard to think of, but the lake flows out in Canada, eventually joining the St Lawrence River.   To get to the Hudson River and New York City from Lake Champlain, one must use a series of 11 locks up to Kingsbury & Hudson Falls, and then down to the Hudson.

 

There were many “tieups” on both sides of the lake, and Henry supposes they are for boats waiting overnight for the lock to open.  There are many reeds and the water seems higher than is normal as many trees have their roots in the water.  The wind was not as strong now as it had been in the open lake.  We have seen several blue heron, a couple of turkey vultures, lots of small gulls and a few osprey in nesting boxes.   Henry says the reason the water was high at this point, was that the north wind we rode in on, “piled up” the water from blowing on 100 plus miles of the big lake.

 

          We stopped for “tea” about 5 p.m. made coffee and I felt somewhat revived.  I got some nice photos of an old stone house on the east side, in Vermont. 

 

This abandoned stone house was right on the shore of the lake and must have been a great place to live!  It appears not to have been burned, but just collapsed into its cellar.

 

Lock number 12 is the northernmost lock on the Hudson River – Lake Champlain system of locks.  After going through lock #12, we parked at a public dock in Whitehall and made some supper of the chicken, noodles and some raw broccoli.  Henry called Kathie.  I washed up the dishes and then we went to find the marina to buy some lithium batteries for my camera, as Henry’s alkaline ones did not work.  There were no batteries or a store, just a bar there, so we crossed the river on a foot bridge over the lock, then came back over another bridge.  There were no stores.  Then we went up one block into town to Broadway and found Putorti’s store and they had no lithium batteries, either.  So we walked back to the boat, a total trip of about 3 miles, not long really, but it was getting dark so we put the cots up about 9:30 and slept.

 

Part of Whitehall NY, near where we parked for the night.

 

          In the morning we got up about 5 and had some coffee, I had some jelly donuts and he had some cereal.  We fished a bit, but nothing was biting, even though they had been seen jumping.

          We went through the lock, and down into the lake again.  The narrow part was calm and nice, but once we got into the wider part of the Lake, the winds were kind of wild and strong, and the going was stressful and slow.  We did see a group of turkey vultures in the early morning on the narrow and calm part of the lake.  We got back to the marina eventually and of course the weather was very pleasant, even hot, nothing like the wild wind we’d had on the water.

 

Sunday July 12, 2009: Henry is talking about the first of August for his boat trip on the Hudson.  I have been invited to go too, as Kathie is uneasy with his going alone, and does not care to go.  I am ready – mentally.

 

July 15, 2009: This is the day Gail is coming to live here, with a moving van full of her stuff, all the way from Bedford Massachusetts.   I have on my list for the boat trip: Buy 4 lithium batteries AA

 

July 16, 2009: Gail got here with all her stuff and glad to have it over with, as am I.  The next part of our lives has begun.  Boat Trip: I found 2 lithium batteries in my collection, so only need to buy two!

 

July 25, 2009: Am looking forward to “the boat trip” on Monday, the 27th.  Gail will deliver me to Zachary’s Restaurant parking lot in Chester where we’ll stow my stuff and go to near Schuylerville NY where we will put the boat in.  I will do daily logins, report birds and wildlife seen and other pertinent info such as weather, water conditions, people met, marinas stopped at and money spent.

         

Monday, July 27, 2009 Met Henry at Zachary’s in Chester at 8:30 and loaded up and arrived at Coveville NY, Alcove Marina and Pub at 10:30.  We went by way of Chester, Arlington, then to Shushan NY on County Road 61, then 22, then 4, as per Henry’s GPS.  Hot day.

          We set up the boat and then had some peanut butter sandwiches and set out for the south.  I tried driving.  At 1:30 we were at Stillwater NY, and anticipating a lock on the Champlain Canal - number 4, Henry says. 

This was my first photograph at Lock #4.  Henry walked over to the control booth to tell them we were here and to pay.

 

There is a lovely silver bridge with a dam just beyond.  This bridge has 5 pillars (abutments).  We will be going in reverse order down to Lock #1, then there is an additional lock at Troy, called the Federal Lock which is free. 

          Lock #3 took an hour, but was in sight of Number 4.  It smelled like old rubber.  At 3:40 we were through Number 3.  There are at least 14 tie-up blocks of concrete here, very large.  Henry says they are for hitching barges to.  There is a dam here, too and NYSEG and a school bus producer.

          We have seen three bird shelters like this:

 

 

One had some reddish brown nesting material in it, they are open both ends.

 

We were at Mile 146 (from NYC) according to Henry’s book, and passed Mechanicville NY at 2:45 p.m. They have a municipal dock, but we did not stop.  I thought perhaps I could leave one of my two prepared letter boxes here on the return journey.  (If you are interested in Letterboxing go to AtlasQuest.com and see.   My trail name is “purple coneflower.”)

 

Tuesday July 28, 2009 Woke up after a night of bug bites and cold.  Opened up the sleeping bag and used it under the blanket.  Yesterday we letterboxed at Waterford NY and found two of a series of three, then came back up and camped just below the #1 Lock.  Night was good (except for the bug bites) and current is pretty fast from the looks, but we never budged all night.  Henry was pleased to see the old Erie Canal and stone and brickwork at Waterford when we went letterboxing.  The Hudson River where we spent the night, was up some since last night and foggy.  Birds were up and singing.  We saw 2 Vs of geese going over us, very low.  There were many flocks of Canada Geese around on lawns along the river.  Saw a beaver last night, way off in a setback.  This is near where we saw the lone young eagle in a tree pictured below.

 

Juvenile bald eagle was in a tree near where we parked for the first night.

 

Day #2 Our first morning below lock #1 was foggy and cool. Beavers we saw were on the left of this picture, along the bank.

 

We had only the Troy (Federal) Lock to go through this morning and at 11 a.m. we were at Troy NY municipal dock.  Before getting here we stopped at a Price Chopper dock and Henry went to buy some drinks.  At Troy, we looked for and found one of two letterboxes (the second one was already missing, though I never noticed on the clues, so we searched a while for it.

 

Here’s Henry coming back from the Price Chopper. There are huge bigtooth aspens here.

 

This is our 24’ pontoon boat parked at the Price Chopper dock.

 

Aided by Henry’s GPS, we walked into town to find Fifth and Broadway where Hortense Ferguson lived in the 1889 and 1890 when she wrote her letters to her husband-to-be, Lowrie Childs at Princeton.  I took photos of all four corners, but it is hard to know which corner the Fergusons lived at.    One corner was the Troy Record building and that building appeared to have been there in the 1880s, across to the right was a store in an old building very attractive that probably was there then, to the left of the Record building.

 

The Troy Record building, probably there in 1890.  (turn right)

 

The store building that was also probably there in 1890. (turn left)

 

 A new office building that was decidedly NOT there in 1890.

 

The restaurant at end of a line of old brownstones at right where I stood to take the previous three pictures was probably not there in 1890, either.

 

This area of Troy is not slums, as I was told, but is run down a little.  It appears to be in the process of some renovation, it being so close to the Hudson River front where they have put in many benches and artsy things, and a performance area. 

 

Albany is full of cars and roads and bridges, and the Port of Albany is beyond the bridge on the left here.  Henry took some other pictures later on the return trip.

 

We went back to our boat and continued down, headed for Albany (ugly city full of highways and big buildings), then Athens NY, where we went to the right of an island, the town of Hudson being to the left.  We stopped at about 4 p.m. in Athens to look for another letterbox I had clues for.  We ascertained where the box might be (south on Route 285 at Cohatate Preserve) and walked about two miles before deciding to turn back, as it was very hot and we didn’t think to bring extra water.  We took some pictures of the Van Loon House, a yellow brick place, small, on a wye in the road that is in the process of being preserved.  We had a cool drink and some peanut butter crackers and went along on our journey, passing under the Rip Van Winkle Bridge at about 5:45.  It looked like rain and/or fog in the south, then, and the next town was Catskill, so we stopped, bought some gas and considered our next move.

The very early Van Loon homestead is in process of being restored at Athens NY.

 

Wednesday, July 29, 2009:  We were at Catskill NY where we stopped for the night, anchored at the mouth of the creek with lots of other “parked” boats.  Had a big rainstorm in the night with thunder and lightening and the floor was very wet and squishy underfoot.  Henry left his change of clothes on the floor under his bed and they got wet!  My dry pair of sneakers, too, must have “wicked” the moisture up the laces, for they, too, were sopping wet.

 

 

Day #3 Sunrise at Catskill Point NY where we stayed our second night on the Hudson, looking east. (This is where I planted my two letterboxes on our return trip.)

 

There were many swallows flying here and there catching bugs, and we saw a number of deer in the woods toward the village in the morning.  A dove was singing and we saw a kind of black and white bird fly over fairly low, maybe an eagle with a white head and tail, now that we thought of it later.  The tide was low in the morning, but we were not affected by it, or if we were, we did not know about it.  We talked with a man who said a boat got loose last night and floated down the creek toward the river and he had to row out to it and tow it back.   

In the morning at Catskill Creek, we watched the deer for quite a while, and took a lot of pictures, then they spooked and took off!  There were twin fawns and a second adult.

The weather was mild.  We parked at the local dock and used the very clean outdoor toilet.  They have a brick-paved courtyard area on the Historic Catskill 
Point, with a flag pole, granite marker and benches all around.  It appears to be land, or sunken old barges that have been filled in and made into a usable peninsula at the mouth of the Catskill Creek.

 

Yesterday around Hudson, I hoped to see some hills along the river where the Fergusons had their summer “cottage” or the summer place called Olana on Mount Mareno of the artist Frederic Church, which Hortense Ferguson had visited to see their daughter Sallie in the 1890s, but we did not notice it.   I figured we did not see it because we were not south of it enough.  Frederic Church was one of the so-called Hudson River artists, who had some money, or made some during that time.

 

At 1:30 we were at Kingston which was where Henry spent a couple of days two years ago when he came down this way.  We went way up the Roundout Creek to a dam where the Delaware & Hudson Canal used to go around.  There are many old boats rotting along the shores here.  But now there are many new condos above the creek and crawling up the hillsides.  They are brick, mostly.  We saw many large fish jumping when we stopped for lunch near the Kingston Lighthouse, so Henry put in his fishing line.  This is the farthest south Henry went last time, so from now on, we are going to “see what we can see.”    There is a sign “Hudson River Intake, Do not Anchor Within 250 feet.”

This lovely bridge is on the Roundout Creek in Kingston NY

 

The Hudson is very wide here, a mile or mile and a half, Henry estimates.  There are small beaches along the river and a lot of that “shoring up” with concrete along the shores, but not as much as earlier in the trip.  It appears the river was used very much more than it is today, otherwise why would they have spent o much energy and time doing all that shoring up.   There is a light house with a red roof, white first floor and a white tower on the west side of river on a small island. This is Esopus Meadows, a wide, shallow section of river. The lighthouse appears to be not used and in disrepair.

 

This must be the Esopus Lighthouse near Esopus Meadows.

 

At 2:05 we had started to have rough water and perhaps rain ahead.  The wind was from the south and not bad, but wearing the yellow sweatshirt was better than not.   There is a castle-like building on the west, grey and white, with a tower.

 

At 2:20 we were at Norrie Yacht Basin and a huge red and black tanker ship came up river.  At this point it began to rain so we pulled over to the east shore and parked at the nearby marina, pulled down and snapped up the curtains and laid low until the rain (and windy weather) abated.  The big red tanker passed by at a very slow pace on the other side of the island between us.  There was thunder, too, so we stayed parked there, hitched to someone else’s buoy. At 3:30 p.m. we were still at Poughkeepsie Yacht Club, where there was a very decrepit old wooden building falling into the river.  We radioed to the Hyde Park Marina nearby and got a slip for the night, number 17, saved for us by “Captain Joe.”

 

At Mile 72.7 we got to Hyde Park Marina and “Captain Joe” said he would drive us to a restaurant in town as the one advertised to be there had burned last year.  We said Ok.  The place was nice like a huge diner.  Henry had a chef’s salad and I had a Mandarin Salad and then chocolate cake for dessert. Captain  Joe is one of those people who has to tell one how to do everything, pretty annoying, but we did appreciate the drive to the restaurant as it was raining all the time.  We dodged between the rain drops and took showers, but there was no hot water in my shower, so I did not wash my hair.  When I brushed my teeth, though, I discovered the “hot” faucet was cold and the “cold” was hot.   So I washed my hair in the sink.  Henry did not find hot water either.  I called Gail and then Sara called right after I hung up and said to get someone to take a picture of the two of us for to show.   We did figure out how to do it ourselves a little later, when forced to do some waiting around, see next day’s journal.

 

 

 

 

Day #4 Just beyond the Hyde Park Marina in the early morning on Thursday.  There were college-age kids learning sculling up and down as it was very smooth on the river.  Marist College is very near there.

 

Thursday, July 30, 2009 We got up early and moved out away to near a Marist College landing and made breakfast, because Captain Joe had mentioned that boat people were leery of gas stoves.  We could see two bridges up ahead, an unused railroad bridge and another bridge.  There was lots of noise last night as there are train tracks on both sides of the Hudson, mostly noisy freight on the west and 5-car-long commuters and Amtrak on the east, coming about every 15 minutes or so.  This morning the commuters, Henry said, came at 4 and 5 but none since and it is 7:30 a.m. that I am writing this.  We are about to head south as soon as Henry puts away his fishing rod.  He caught a sunfish just now.  The water is about 3 feet deep here, but drops to 50 feet just a little bit from here out in “the channel.”

Here’s an interesting castle built by some rich man to house an arsenal for some dumb reason, now falling down and becoming a tourist attraction.  There are many odd-looking piles of brickwork all about this island that are beginning to be hazardous to boaters. 

 

Henry’s hat blew off yesterday, and we didn’t get back to it in time, as I was driving and was slow to respond.  Earlier, mine blew away and we circled around and got it with the fishnet.  It is not a good kind of boating hat.

 

At river mile 57.0 Newburgh NY, we got gas.  We lunched at Croton Point Yacht Club, leaving at 12:20 after using the toilets.  We had to pay $24.00 just to “park” and there was no ice, no laundry and Henry had to take the bike down to the store about 2 miles away.   There was a real “dweeb” of a young man (Steve) who we had to deal with, and he was a real creep.  Henry had said not to pay him until he got back from the store, probably realizing he was a shifty fellow.  But the guy gave me a sad story about having to go to a doctor appointment real soon and couldn’t wait, so I paid him my last cash.   But I noticed later he hadn’t gone to the doctor right off because, a little later, he was showing someone else a boat that was for sale. 

 

A little before 4 o’clock, we were cruising around the other side of Croton Point, considering a coffee break and also landing to peruse a letterbox site I learned was in the park there, when CLUNK! We hit something with the propeller!  It was bent and had a break in one of the blades!

 

We went straight across that bay to the Westerly Marina where they proceeded to order another propeller slightly different from ours, but would maybe fit, to be delivered in the morning.  So we were to spend the night here at the marina.  It was very hot!  I charged my phone at an outlet at the beginning of the ramp, and went to get it after the sun went down a little, and called home.  The town here is Ossining NY, the home of Sing Sing prison.  It was pretty hot and the boat rocked lot that night, as we were close to the marina opening.

 

Day #4 Sunset on Thursday night was beautiful, and the temperature was cool once the sun set at Westerly Marina.

 

Friday, July 31, 2009: I had a good night’s sleep in spite of the lights and excessive wave action near the entrance, and trains came by every 10 or 15 minutes.   Rain was forecast for all day with 4 inches in some places possible, so we would not be going anywhere, I guessed, except to town by taxi to do the laundry and buy ice.  We were to get our propeller about 8 o’clock, we hoped, but would not resume the trip at all unless the weather cleared.  When it rained, the water would come into the boat on the front floor and made the rug all sloppy, so we filled a lot of pails with water to weigh down the front somewhat.

          Last night it cleared up a little and we walked up town toward the south by the railroad station and there was a little park on the shore where they were playing music in the bandstand.  Lots of people were sitting and little children were dancing.  We walked all the way over to the playground where they had a water spraying game field with water spouters that were interesting.

          At 8 a.m. Henry went over to the ships’ store see if the propeller had come and ready to be put on.  The part came, but it was not right.  Our choice now was to rent a car, go to Stamford CT and buy one nearer to what we had before, so we did.  We did laundry while there, and bought groceries, and got a nice fruit assortment for lunch. 

          Meals on the boat were “make your own” for breakfast and lunch.  For breakfast, Henry usually had some oatmeal and I some oatmeal or a peanut butter sandwich and juice, and both of us like coffee with it, so I always made up a pot of it to go through lunch.  Lunchtime was invariably peanut butter and marmalade or diet peach jam.  For supper we usually opened a noodle mixture that you add to boiling water, sometimes adding a can of vegetables or, in one case, a little can of Dinty Moore beef stew.  I usually stored the pot in a 5 gallon bucket during the day, but one time I didn’t and the planned-over (leftover) coffee spilled and landed on the computer Henry kept fired up in the opened drawer to show our GPS position and the channel depths.  This put a pause on the doings for a while, while we mopped up the liquid, and dried things.  This wrecked the computer somewhat, though I haven’t heard the final diagnosis from Henry.

 

 

At Westerly Marina in Ossining NY, where I charged up my cell phone at an outlet on shore, and they tried to fix us up with a new propeller.  We were right next to the gas pumps and pumpout facilities the first night here.

 

          When we got back from Stamford and took the rented car back, about 3 p.m., we made plans to stay another night, because another storm was forecast.   There was lots of wind and bouncing around of the boat, and thunder and lightning, too!   The weighing down of the front did not work well at all, and soon it commenced hailing a bit, also.  By the way, we used the car rental company that advertises “We pick you up,” as that is what we needed, being several miles away from Sleepy Hollow NY.

          The people who run this Westerly Marina are very good to their customers, gave good service, and never charged for the telephone work they did looking for a new propeller.  We only paid for the two nights’ berthing.  The second night we were able to move away from the entrance spot near the gas pumps, to a less wave-affected spot.  This river is dependent on the tides and ebbs and flows with it, even way up here.

          At 5:35 p.m. it began to rain again.  I called Gail and she said they got lots of rain in Vermont, too.  Sometime in here, we passed West Point, a collection of the most scary college buildings I ever saw.  I pity the poor new freshman entering this prestigious college!

West Point NY

 

          In the morning, we set out and went under the famed Tappan Zee Bridge that goes from Tarrytown NY to Nyack NY and headed for THE CITY!  Our plans were to go by way of the Harlem River, thence all around the island of Manhattan, but the time to enter it was recommended to be at “slack tide,” that being the point at which the tide reaches its peak, or lowest point, and begins to go back out, or return.  There was a railroad bridge, called the “Spittin’ Devil,” we were to go under or have opened for us so we could enter the Harlem.  From the numerous trains we had observed passing through in the past few days, it seemed unreasonable to think the bridge would be opened for  a mere 24-foot pontoon boat, so we were apprehensive.

 

 

This was our first look from afar, at the Spuyten Duyvil Creek Bridge before we stopped and got gas.  It is open to let the orange barge go through.

 

          We stopped and got gas across from this bridge at Englewood Cliffs NJ.  The proprietor suggested just going for it, though it was only 11:30 and the slack tide was not to occur until 12:30.  Henry was smiling his famous grin, liking this advice, I guess, so we went over there and lo! there were three other pleasure boats there and the bridge was opening!  We discovered, also, that the frequent trains we’d been seeing were MUCH lessened, it being a Saturday.  

 

Henry explained here: “That marina is Englewood Boat Basin (in Englewood Cliffs NJ). The arched bridge we went under (once OFF the Hudson) was indeed the Henry Hudson Bridge (toll). The railroad bridge is the Spuyten Duyvil Bridge. They both cross what was originally Spuyten Duyvil Creek, which was later (1850's?) dredged & dynamited and became (officially) the Harlem Ship canal to connect with the Harlem River.”

 

 

          Seizing our opportunity, we followed the three boats and were in!  And, as Henry said, it was like going downhill from there!  The water was pretty roily, but we just floated down in and under the lovely Henry Hudson Bridge.   The pleasure boats soon disappeared ahead of us, on to their hurried lives, and we had the Harlem River to ourselves.  Now was the time for pictures, but my camera’s batteries said they were “exhausted.”  I took Henry’s camera, instead of rummaging for the new ones.

 

A look back at the formidable Spuyten Duyvil Creek bridge to the Harlem River.  It swings open, so boats can go either side of it, then swings back closed.

 

          We had set up the bicycle on the “deck,” and when we saw some fishermen on the banks they cheered us, and waved and we went on.  We had the river to ourselves for quite a while.  It was tranquil.  There was a Target store and some other big stores, such as Marshall’s.  This was the Bronx on our left and Manhattan on the right.  A huge billboard advertising the History channel was there, too, and many, many apartment buildings and old rundown waterfront businesses.  We could see Yankee Stadium, and nearby, a huge construction which is to be the new stadium.

Yankee Stadium, and a new stadium in the works.  The interesting thing about being on the water, is that the views of all the traffics are all way above us.

 

The reason for our waiting for the slack tide manifested at about half way down, the Harlem River became the East River and soon we were at a place called Hell Gate.  This is where the Long Island Sound water enters or joins with the East River.  Waves were choppy, and, aided by the tide, now coming in or out at the same time, the maneuvering became slow and purposeful.  The bicycle threatened to fall down, and the water came in the front, wetting the floor some more.  Should we don the life jackets?  Is this going to get worse?  And it did, but the ferries and taxi zooming back and forth seemed to get out of the way and we climbed through their wake and made it across the expanse of this bay to the little cove where the Liberty Marina was, with the Colgate clock on our right.

 

  

 

and

Here’s the panorama of Manhattan Island we could see just across from our slip in the Liberty Marina.  The yellow boat is a taxi, and there were many of them, as well as Ferries, whizzing back and forth across our path as we came into this section of the Bay from the right, and crossed it to get to the Colgate clock and the entrance to our marina. After asking many people, and finding very few who had any idea because they, too, were from out of town, we learned that the twin towers of the World Trade Center had been somewhere in the emptier upper spaces to the left of center of these buildings.  There were also visible, though not in the photograph, several very tall construction cranes in the approximate area.  This picture was taken from Liberty Island, where the statue is locted.

 

As soon as we got parked into our slip and paid for it, we fixed up some lunch, zipped up the boat’s canvasses, then headed on foot to the big building right next to the marina, the Liberty State Park building.  We got in a big line and bought some tickets for the ferry to Ellis Island and the Statue.  The cost was $10 each for the ferry; the Island and the statue were free.  We got in another bigger line and the ferry took us to Ellis Island, then to the Statue.  According to the map, Ellis Island is in New Jersey, but the statue is in New York.  (Henry says they are both in NJ.)

          Ellis Island has a lot of old pictures of people arriving back in the late 1800s and early 1900s and had many stories to tell.  This was about the same time our own great, great grandparents Martha Eigenbrod and Heinrich Freidrich Meier came to the United States.  The records department was closed, so any kind of research was not possible, and I am doubtful that anything specific about one’s own relatives can be learned there except in isolated instances.

 

The Ellis Island building where the immigrants first assembled and were examined by authorities was made with beautiful tiles all over it, and has been renovated so well that it  still looks as good as it did when first built.

 

I took a lot of good, clear photos of the statue. For this one I got behind it and out of the sun, where many people were resting in its shade.  

At the statue, Henry called Kathy to tell her we made it.  He looks rather nonchalant, doesn’t he?  There were many people there from all walks of life and countries, especially lovely Indian women in very nice long and flowing “India-print” saris, but they must have been uncomfortable in the humidity.

 

This picture looks toward our Liberty Marina and Jersey City NJ.  The tallest building in the distance is the Colgate Building, I believe, the big clock being in front of it on the bay.  The buildings with the red roofs are the Liberty State Park building where we bought the tickets and got on the ferry.  This is where Henry stood to call Kathie, and the statue is on my left.

 

In the evening, back at the boat, after the sun went down, we took a lot of pictures of the buildings when the lights came on, but mine did not come out very well.  The ferry company cleaned and gassed up their ferries on the other side of the platform from our boat – just 15 feet away.   Henry went out and spoke with some of the young men who were doing the work.  There were about eight of those huge ferry boats and they said that each holds about a 1000 people, and they ferry them back and forth all day long every day.  I think that everyone should go there if they can, as the place is an historic place with much sentimental value.

 

 

During the evening, there was an awful noise over at the State Park, as they had a band playing, but it was just far enough away so that we could only hear the beats of the drums and other percussion.  I fell asleep, but Henry said they played until about 11 p.m., it being Saturday night.

The moon was out and the marina was quiet, except for the pounding of the percussion instruments from the band-playing beyond. 

This view looks toward the Liberty Park buildings.

 

There being nothing else we had wanted, or knew to do, we made plans to skedaddle out of the big city and all its people and awesome views as soon as possible in the morning.  We were up early and headed north up the Hudson River, and the Colgate clock read 6:25 a.m. The red lights were still lit on the clock, and the sky was dark and gloomy and looking like rain.   I was glad to be on our way home and, like a horse heading for the barn, we were going as fast as we could go. 

Here’s the huge Colgate clock that shows 6:25 a.m. on the morning of our speedy departure Sunday August 2, 2009.  The Colgate building is the big one on the right, our Liberty Marina in the farthest distance on the left.

 

Manhattan Island as we passed it, going north on the Hudson River at 6:25 a.m.

 

This is the lovely George Washington Bridge as we approached it and were headed for the barn!  It was cloudy toward home, too.

We were outta there!

 

This is one more of the beautiful lighthouses, now out of use, but being renovated as interesting historical places.

 

 

A bald eagle was sitting in a tree on an island in the Hudson, between the towns of Hudson and Athens.  We also watched a couple of coyotes looking for food among the reeds on the island, and further on, unseen by the coyotes, a couple of deer browsing on the over hanging trees.

 

By now we were out of the awesome stuff and more or less by ourselves.  Rain began and we plugged along, meeting a big tanker now and then, seeing the previous scenery at a different angle now, and were in Catskill area by evening.  The rain stopped and the sun came out, but the humidity was high.  We made supper, Henry called Kathie from the river side and I got my letterboxing stuff out.  It being Sunday night, I phoned Sarah and related our adventures to her.  I heard a very loud “honk!” and looked to see a huge tanker travelling by the point. 

 

This is one of the many tankers we encountered on our trip, not the same one that honked at Catskill Creek, but just as huge and threatening.  We saw very few people aboard these giants, and they were usually pushed by a large tugboat nestled in the rear of the barge.

 

          Later, we walked around the brick walks along the river at “Historic Catskill Point” and “Dutchmens Landing,” a boat launching and picnic site with snack bar and ice available.  I planted two “Hudson River Series” letter boxes there, and wrote up the clues. 

          Henry suggested we get ice cream and took the bike to check out Guido’s, the nearby restaurant, came back and said yes, they have some.  So we walked over, sat on their outside deck in a breeze, where we could see the boat and got hot brownie sundaes.  They were very good: the brownies soft and warm, the ice cream vanilla with chocolate sauce and whipped cream.

          Next day was Monday, and we were up early and headed north some more, stopping for gas a couple of times.  We stopped again at the nice Troy landing and had some lunch.  The water was very roily and muddy, and it appeared that the current was high and fast.  We met many pieces of old trees, and other floating debris which we had to swerve to miss.   The weather was very warm and humid, but the rain apparently was over.  Somebody’s boat dock was torn loose and floated down to meet us.  It appeared that there had been a lot of rain in upper New York previously and the water was now arriving at Troy, and had been all night. 

Here’s Bucky driving; I need a hat that won’t blow off.

 

This huge crane is working at the Port of Albany docks, which go on a long way.

 

          After the Troy lock, at 1:45 p.m. we stopped at the Price Chopper dock again and I went to buy a few things, Henry took the bike and looked around town a little.  This is the only place we know of that had a dock especially for boaters, so we were sure to thank them for doing it.  When one is travelling any distance by boat there are certain things one always needs to buy, ice, batteries, food, drink, gasoline, gifts for those left at home and postage stamps.

          Upon reaching the Federal Lock at Troy, the first on the way up the river to Lake Champlain, we saw that the water was tremendous coming over the dam.  The green buoys that indicated the edge of the channel were under water here.  We radioed to the lock and were told to wait 20 minutes, as some south bound boats were coming through.  It was like treading water in a current; Henry had to keep the motor running hard to prevent our drifting way downstream. 

          We saw a white ball bobbing in the water at the edge of the river and speculated about why it hadn’t been forced further down stream.  We soon saw that it was a so-called boat “fender” from a much bigger boat that had come loose, and Henry decided to go get it.  As he headed for the shore, I said, “How in hell are you going to go get it?”

          “I am going to send you!”

          “Oh! I see!” said I, the light bulb going on, finally.  So I did.  Scared, but I jumped out on the shore, ran up the rocky beach toward the lovely ball.  Henry hollered to slow down, so I did, gathered the ball up on its big white rope and black top ring and carried it back to the boat.

          The southbound boats came out of the lock and we proceeded on.  Norman will probably be given the ball, Henry said, just in case he gets a big boat someday.  Jim Gardner would have been proud, we both agreed!

          Our trip home continued to be a muddy, fast river full of flotsam, hot sun, and familiar scenes along the shores.  We got to the Alcove Marina, loaded up the boat, and headed for Vermont and reached Zachary’s in Chester about 8 o’clock.  Gail came to get me.  It was a memorable trip, not to be equaled for a while, I am sure.

END.