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
biked over to
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 (
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
Champlain Bridge, big waves and remains of old Fort St.
Frederic on the shore, and beyond, the Fort at
6:15 p.m. we were at the mouth of the
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.
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
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
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.
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
Sunday July 12, 2009:
Henry is talking about the first of August for his boat trip on the
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
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
Monday, July 27, 2009
Met Henry at Zachary’s in
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
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 #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
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
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
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
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
Albany is full of cars and roads and bridges, and the
We went back to our boat and continued down, headed for
The very early Van Loon homestead is in process of
being restored at
Wednesday, July 29,
2009: We were at
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.
At 1:30 we were at
This lovely bridge is on the Roundout Creek in Kingston NY
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
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
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
Day #4 Sunset on Thursday night was
beautiful, and the temperature was cool once the sun set at Westerly
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.
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
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.
we got back from
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.
5:35 p.m. it began to rain again. I
called Gail and she said they got lots of rain in
the morning, we set out and went under the famed
This was our first look from afar, at the
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
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
A look back at the formidable Spuyten
Duyvil Creek bridge to the
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
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
Here’s the panorama of
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
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
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
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
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
Island as we passed it, going north on the
This is the
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
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.
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
Here’s Bucky driving; I need a hat that won’t blow off.
This huge crane is working at the
reaching the Federal Lock at
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.
southbound boats came out of the lock and we proceeded on.
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