We left the New York city area and started traveling again. The route from Half Moon Harbor took us past Stoney Point—the first light house we saw on the trip home when we purchased Sanctuary. We are retracing our route until we get to the Owego Canal and turn north off the Erie Canal. The scenery quickly turns much more rural and mountainous as you head north on the Hudson River. Instead of sky scrapers and the hustle and bustle of the big city, we see hills covered with green trees and rock ledges.
One of the first major sights is West Point, the United States Military Academy. The gray and black granite buildings are an impressive sight on the hills beside the Hudson River. The academy was established by Thomas Jefferson in 1801. The main campus is a national landmark and has an extensive museum. We were fortunate enough to tour the campus last time with our good friends, Bob and Vicki.
As you travel along the Hudson River and the Erie Canal, trains also travel the same route. Along part of the Hudson River, there are tracks on both sides. On one side, you will spot passenger trains and the other side runs freight trains. Often, we see trains running the tracks next to our route on the river or canals. If you do not see them, you will hear them in the distance.
We stopped at an anchorage near Rondout Creek Light House called Port Ewen. The Lower Place and Southern Cross were already there at the marina in the harbor. After dinner, we took our dinghy in and visited with them. We planned our next destination and expectantly watched the recording of when we visited the Today Show.
We also passed by Esopus Light House, Hudson City Light House, and Saugerties Light House. We saw more lighthouses in this short journey than in many miles along the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico.
As we continue north on the Hudson River, the hills are getting smaller and the houses are more like cottages. Our planned stop for the next couple nights is Starbucks Island Boat Club. The facility is built on an old barge with attached floating docks. It reminded us of Hoppies on the Mississippi river but in better condition. The owner, Joe, is very accommodating and provides a courtesy car. Many marinas provide a courtesy car, but most are old with well over a hundred thousand miles on them. Here the courtesy car was a brand-new Ford Focus loaded with every available option—the nicest courtesy car we have seen. Joe noticed the distance we needed to climb to get into our boats and mentioned that he had some leftover gym equipment that might prove useful for us. Bless his heart, Joe volunteered to meet us up the river in Waterford where he dropped off complimentary aerobic steps for us to use on low docks to climb into our boat. They have proven to be a lifesaver to us—handy and safer when we do so much in and out on our boats.
We grilled dinner and had a pot luck on the barge for dinner with all the loopers there. Moon Shadow, Sandy Gal II, Southern Cross, The Lower Place, and Sanctuary were there which represented Canada, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi and Oklahoma. Each person and couple bring a different flavor to the table and add additional spice to gatherings. It amazes me with such a diverseness in our backgrounds we can still mingle and complement each other so well.
The looper group we are traveling with have mascots on their boats. Those mascots have been known to show up in various locations and events. They even have been known to hold their own mascot meetings. To date, Frog (from Sanctuary) has met a few characters along the way:
- Tator Gator from Southern Cross
- Molly the Mermaid and Polly the Pirate from Moon Shadow
- Margo, a real white Cockatoo, from The Perch
- Inky a black Lab from Panacea
- New additions to Sanctuary: Popeye the Sailor man and Ben from Ben & Jerry’s Ice cream parlor
When we say we are traveling with loopers, it is a lose attachment. The group may stay together for a few days and locations, but often someone needs to stay behind to meet friends/family or attend to some other task. Since the route is a loop, eventually they catch back up and then we celebrate and share happenings experienced apart. Often you meet back up with loopers that you have not seen in months.
Hudson River Light Houses