Sunday, September 2, 2018

Little Triangle Loop, Week #9, 18-24Aug018, SLOW TOURING ON THE HUDSON

     We spend Saturday trying to do some chores. It has showered some when we get up, and is going to shower more. We move SummerTime over to the fuel dock and get the holding tank pumped out. The water tank is near empty, the boat lists to starboard, so the pump out connection on the bottom starboard end of the holding tank is the low point of the tank. Then we fill the water tank so that the boat lists to the port (left). This puts the fuel tank vent on the high side (starboard now) of the boat, and we are able to fill the fuel tank. We just get the fuel tank filled when the bottom falls out of the sky. We wait for about 30 minutes before we can move SummerTime back to her slip. In the late afternoon the sky finally starts to clear. I re-organize our charts and guide books. Putting the ones not needed any longer back in their storage area, and getting back out the ones for the Hudson River and south. On Sunday we get up and use the courtesy car to go to church, sort of. We are getting dressed when Jim of Ping (arrived at Shady Harbor on Friday) arrives knocking on our hull. He asks if he can drop us and pick us up from church with the courtesy car. They wish to use the courtesy car in the same time. I think that this is a good option for all, so I agree. We meet Jim by the courtesy car at the appointed time, and he drives us to The New Baltimore Reformed Church. It is the same church we attended 5 weeks earlier, and the pastor and congregation remember us. Jim is there to pick us up promptly when church is over. We get back to SummerTime and prepare to leave to Saugerties, NY.
      The guides only have two marinas for Saugerties. We have not been able to get in touch with one for a slip reservation, but decide to leave anyway. We can always find a cove to anchor in. Part way down the River to Saugerties, one of the marinas finally returns our phone call. We make arrangements for a slip for two nights, though the marina operator warns us that a lot of debris is coming down the Saugerties River from the recent rains.
We are aware of the debris he is talking about as we have seen several trees and branches coming down the Hudson in the short time we have been on it.  After about 3 hours we have the Saugerties Light in sight. It is privately owned, has been restored, and is currently operating as a Bed & Breakfast, so it looks very good.
Our dock at Saugerties Marina requires careful tie-ing of our lines as the river current is swift. The marina owner is very good and offers to drive us downtown to "Miss Lucy's Kitchen". It has good reviews in the guide books, and we wish to try it out. It is one of the reasons we chose Saugerties to stop at going back down the Hudson. The food and service at Miss Lucy's does not disappoint us. The food is labeled Comfort in the guide, but it is done as "New Eclectic" and very tasteful. The restaurant is an old building in downtown. Saugerties has one of the first registered "National Historic Business Districts". 
Also there is a number of art sculptures decorated and on display in the business district. They are similar sailing boats that businesses have artfully decorated and placed in front of their establishment.  We catch a taxi back to SummerTime. Stagecoach Taxi only charges $5.00 for local rides.

      On Monday, we call Stagecoach and get a taxi ride back to the heart of the village. We saw a number of interesting shops while in the village for dinner on Sunday night and wish to go back and visit some of them. We have lunch at Dallas's Hot Wieners. Their hot dogs are very good, and inexpensive. My father would have loved their dogs, as the rolls are steamed, his preference. They also make their own meat chili to go on them, very tasty. There are a number of specialty stores and antique stores we browse through. One book store has a very quaint coffee shop in one corner, with a very mixed selection of books. The "Second Best Ice Cream Shop" in NY is here, but we do not get any ice cream here on this day. They are only open Wednesday through Sunday. We do get a cone at another ice cream shop nearby. There are 3 ice cream shops in the same block. On our walk out of town we stop at Krause's Chocolates. Krause's is our other reason for visiting Saugerties. They have been hand dipping chocolates since 1929. We have some gifts for others and chocolates for us. We have a light dinner back on SummerTime and discuss plans for the week.
      On Tuesday we leave Saugerties headed for Poughkeepsie, New York. We made a reservation on Monday  for a Wednesday lunch at "The Culinary Institute of America". The ride down the Hudson to Poughkeepsie is almost as impressive as going down Lake Champlain. The Catskills come almost down to the river's edge at some points. There are a number of interesting little towns along the way, but we pass through them all, albeit at a slower pace than in the past.
We get to Poughkeepsie in the middle of the afternoon. We are met right before the River Pedestrian Crossover bridge by a NY State EnCon boat. They ask to board and do a safety inspection. We oblige, and after Barbara gives the officer about a  5 min tour of what he wishes to check, we are released to continue on our way. In 5 more minutes we are at our dock at Shadows Marina in the river. I opt for the a space on the inside of the dock, hopefully to reduce the waking that I know will occur on the outside of the dock. This is a relatively new, nice, floating dock utilizing sliding adjustable cleats and plastic lumber. After being secured to the dock, I am amazed at how easily the dock sections rock. Wood and concrete capped floating docks are apparently heavier an less subject to floating on waves than these plastic boards. On Wednesday, Enterprise shows up at the marina to pick us up for our rental car. We have rented a car to get to the sites in Hyde Park that we came to neighboring Poughkeepsie for. We go to the Vanderbilt National Historic site for our first stop on Wednesday. This is one of the mansions built in the early 1900s, well before the Great Depression, that exudes the wealth of some, and the craftsmanship they could hire to build a palatial residence.
 In this case, it was a summer home for the Vanderbilts. Mrs. Vanderbilts niece inherited the home, and donated it to the National Park Service in the 1930s at the request of her neighbor. We leave here to make our lunch appointment at the Culinary Institute.
       They have 5 dining facilities at the CIA, and we are at the "American Bounty Restaurant". The students are the servers as well s the cooks. They rotate their job positions every few weeks so that they get experience in all aspects of a restaurant. The service today is very good considering students are just coming back from summer break and starting new class assignments. We are the first customers for our waiter, and nervousness shows. We have a five course meal: appetizers, soup, salad, entree, and of course dessert. While it was billed as lunch time by the Institute when I made reservations, the menu items, and portions are all normal sizes. Everything is excellent as you would expect it to be.
Our table even is in front of the window into the kitchen. After lunch we head for our next destination, the FDR Library and House.
      We have used our NPS Senior Cards now twice today for admission. A good deal when you  are old enough to buy one, as every park is free. We get processed just in time to start on the next guided tour. The Ranger starts with a talk in the main lobby of the Welcome Center, and we move out from there to the Library, a separate tour.
We go by the house gardens, and on and into the house. The tour guide explains that everything is as it was when FDR passed away while President of the US. He had already donated this house and grounds to the NPS before he passed. He also had talked his neighbor into donating the Vanderbilt house when the niece could not sell it. The FDR house is impressive for its special furnishings to accommodate FDR, and all the visitors. We leave out the front door on the upper floor, and the view of the Hudson River Valley explains why Franklin D Roosevelt liked this place more than the Whitehouse.
We tour through the gardens and head back to SummerTime. After dinner we go to a grocery store with the rental car and do minor re-provisioning. We stop at a Dairy Queen on the way back to SummerTime for a Blizzard. We both had voted on this option as we had not had a Blizzard since leaving Hampton in June. I text my daughter that "I am slumming" eating at a Dairy Queen. Not true, but after all the other special creameries we have experienced, it seems that way. We get up Thursday, and decide to keep the rental car another day. We are near Rhinebeck, NY where the Rhinebeck Aerodrome which I have wanted to visit since the 80s is located. We drive out to the Aerodrome to see the plane collection.
All of the planes are pre- WWII. In fact, a good number are pre WW-I when aviation was in its infancy. Most are fabric and wood and in very good shape considering construction materials and age.
There is also the fact that they are all stored in period hangers with no environmental control. There are also cars and motorcycles from the same periods exhibited with the planes. There are engines for planes from the period displayed around the buildings, and one can not help but wonder how some of these engines stayed running long enough to get a plane across the country. There is one main building with a gift shop which is kind of modern. There are three quonset hut style hangers with planes of the same vintage decade in each hanger. Across the parking area and county road is an airfield with more hangers and planes. This area is used on weekends for vintage air craft flying and mock dog fights between the WW-I era planes. We take a tour of this field and the planes also. We take a different route back to SummerTime as the route we came over on in the morning was the road the county fair entrance was on. The Duchess County Fair was in progress and there were delays in transiting the area due to fair attendee traffic.  We got back on SummerTime late afternoon.
       Friday morning I awoke to noise outside our port hull. When I looked out from behind the curtain, I could see a white steel hull with depth marks on it. I got Barbara up and told her I thought a research vessel must have come to the dock. When we later opened the curtains, we could see an 80' USCG patrol boat, the "SHRIKE" on the other side of the pier. I finished getting ready, returned the rental car to Enterprise, and they brought me back to SummerTime. When I get back there are two more USCG boats at the dock, and the USCG Auxiliary has a tent set up at the end of the dock. The USCG and the NY State Department of Environment and Conservation are doing a local water safety program. There are now dignitaries on the dock, and they are boarding the "SHRIKE".
The "SHRIKE" pulls away with its passengers, and we ourselves complete getting ready to leave. There are still Coast Guardsman on the dock, including one press officer with a camera. I make sure to make a good departure from the tight area I am in. There is no wind this morning, and the current is near slack, so it is easy to look good backing away from the dock.
      We head down river to find a dock. Not long after we get away, the dockmaster at Tarrytown texts us that he is not able to provide dock space for us this night. I call another marina farther south and get a slip arranged. This changes our plans to stay a day in Tarrytown and tour. Cornetta's Restaurant and Marina in Piermont has space for us.This area is supposed to have a shopping area also, so maybe it is not too bad that we are not going to Tarrytown. We continue down the river. Everything looks different to us. We have been North on the Hudson twice, but never south. When we get to West Point, we are looking at it from a whole different perspective. We see some things we have not seen before. A cut set of stone steps leading to the river in one place. A hill with what looks to be an informal amphi-theatre in front of a small band shell.
It is still an impressive place to look at even from the opposite direction. We pass by Peekskill where we driving in the rain only a month ago. It looks much better in sunlight. As we pass under the Tappan Zee Bridge, we can see that the cranes have removed more of the old bridge structure in the month since we have passed. From here we can see the peninsula that is Piermont jutting out into the Hudson. This is a shallow bay on the charts and we slow down to creep in as there is no marked channel. I show 4-5' of water, and though the bottom of our keel is about 3', the prop still stirs the mud when we are in the 4' areas. There is no marking on the marina walls, so we go to the wrong marina first. We turn around, stirring mud with our prop wash. At Cornettas, just south of the Tappan Zee Marina we pulled up to, it is even shallower. The person on the phone tells me to stay out at the last piers, and just pick "an empty slip" and be able to to tell the number to the barkeeper where I check in. Here in this channel the keel actually seems to be touching. Backing and turning takes a lot of effort. We get tied up, and I go in to register. The dining area off of the bar is very nice, with white table cloths on the tables. After cleaning up, Barbara and I come back to Cornettas Restaurant for dinner.
     This has been a good week that we have traveled down the Hudson. We have taken time to see some of the sites on the River, and we did the river in 5 days instead of 2. Along the way we ate at some restaurants with impressive foods. From hot dog restaurant, to diner, to white table cloths, we have sampled some prime eating spots in the Hudson Valley.


1 comment:

  1. That last week seemed very busy to me. Most likely it was because I was a bit familiar with the Vanderbilt history and the FDR history. Made all your travels ad visits more real.

    When will you compile all this data into a book or DVD or video?