Approaching the Highlands
Journal Entry, again somewhat embellished with more detail: 8/15 - My favorite part of the Hudson today, the Hudson Highlands! Took a million pictures (small selection here, there will be Flickr albums for the full trip later) even though I got off to a late start, because I finally got to meet Dennis and Arlene, my email friends at the Chelsea Yacht Club.
Like an idiot, I'd forgotten to put their number in my phone, but when I arrived at the club, other members helped me out with the number and I left a message. Unfortunately I didn't get their responses until this morning, funny that my first stay in a house since I left Ithaca was also the first night with no cell reception! Fortunately they were able to come down in the morning and we had a good time meeting - they brought me breakfast biscuits and candy and I kept saying "I really should launch" and then talking for another 20 minutes. Well, one point of doing this solo was to set my own timetable and I really enjoyed meeting them, so why rush off?
Still had some ebb left despite the slow start - was down to Bannerman's Island pretty quickly and the lollygagging continued with a stop for the first two-hundred thirty-seven thousand of the million pix. This was my first up-close visit to Bannerman's ever - the one time I was supposed to go there was on a Manhattan Kayak trip - I was just getting over the flu, and I was supposed to go in a double with a friend, but he wasn't comfortable with the way the big Necky Amaruk sat on his car, and I was wiped out enough that I said I would be perfectly happy to just hang out in Cold Spring for the day, so he switched to a single. I've sailed past the island on schooner deliveries but never had a chance to really stop and admire. For those who aren't familiar with Bannerman's, the island is called Pollepel Island on the charts, but most people call it Bannerman's after the Scottish immigrant who built the "castle" that still stands there today (although in ruins) as an armory for his military surplus business. Great article in the Hudson River Watertrail Guide, or visit bannermancastle.org for lots more info, including how to sign up for a tour of the place. As you can see, though, Mr. Bannerman was a whimsical builder, this must have been quite a place to be invited to back in the day.
Breakneck Ridge - there's a nice hike up this ridge, TQ and I did it as one of our annual Escape from Black Friday hikes a few years ago and it was a good one.
I did a little picking up before I set up camp, I'd picked up some trash on Esopus Island where it had first occurred to me that leaving my campsites better than I found them would be even better than just leaving them as I found them, but it was a lot more rewarding there because that one was pretty well cared for, the trash was mostly of the bottle caps and bits of paper variety, things that are easy to drop without noticing during a campfire - ten minutes of picking up and I was running out of stuff to pick up. This one, I barely made a dent. Note - I think I was crabby from the mileage, I hadn't actually realized it but at around 32 miles, this had been my longest day - when I woke up the next morning it somehow didn't look quite as trashed. Weirdest thing was where somebody had bagged up their trash and then just left it - what, you think the Croton Point Maid Service is going to come clean up after you? Sheesh. I did take the smaller bag up to a garbage bin - smelled like something dead in there but I didn't realize that until I'd picked it up and at that point I figured I would just hold my nose and get rid of it.
Speaking of names, I almost forgot, my chartbook came in handy at Annsville Creek - a gentleman there asked if I knew if the cove just north of Indian Point was call Lents Cove. I didn't know off the top of my head but we looked at the book and there it was, Lents Cove. Turned out that his name is Lent and the cove is named after his family, who'd come to the area in the 1600's and settled there. Neat to be able to help him out.
Bedtime now - good dinner and a little wine after a long day, I'm pooped.
Yonkers tomorrow - I can see the Tappan Zee Bridge from here (woohoo!) so if the crazy winds of Croton that Susan warned me about don't get me, I'm hoping for a short day.
PS - Is it still "roughing it" if you had hot showers 3 days in a row?
Google map, Day 5 - Chelsea Yacht Club to Croton Point, 32 miles