Saturday, May 30, 2009

Tarrytown, NY to Waterford, NY (May 26 - 31)

We timed our departure from Tarrytown to coincide with Young America coming by. The rest of the day we traded photo ops (YA passing West Point and Carolyn Ann anchored at Bannerman's Castle) and were treated to a commentary, worthy of any professional guide, of the sights along the way. Fred and Linda live in Newburgh, NY and know the area well. As we passed by Kykuit, we attempted to disprove the claim that it can't be seen from the river. It's up there - but not easy to find!
The landscape along the Hudson is interesting. Even beyond the Palisades, the banks are still mostly rocky cliffs. There are few areas where actually living on the water is practical. We saw a few of these rather unattractive developments.
The other problem is that the railroad tracks run right on the river's edge on both sides most of the time. I assume these folks have gotten used to the noise of the train that runs through their yard. At the end of the day, we anchored near Young America and enjoyed dessert and a pleasant evening with Fred and Linda. In the morning, Linda coaxed K-nute off the bottom - that's the anchor (boy, does Joe want one!) - and they moved up to the marina in Newburgh. We went farther up the river and docked at the Poughkeepsie Yacht Club which is actually in Hyde Park. More mansions were waiting to be explored! Fred and Linda made it easy for us with the generous loan of a vehicle. Before we got started on the sightseeing, Joe had some boat maintenance to do. I watched the members of the yacht club re-install moorings. This seemed to be popular activity - or maybe it really did take that many people to do it! Because of ice, they remove all the moorings and docks for the winter and move them back in the spring.
We toured the extravagant Vanderbilt Mansion...
the more comfortable Roosevelt home...
drove around the second oldest golf course in the US - Dinsmore...
and had dinner with Fred and Linda at the CIA (Culinary Institute of America). The main CIA building was formerly a Jesuit monastery and is a commanding presence along the river. They have five different restaurants. We ate at the American one. The students do everything. Our meal was delicious and the service was impeccable - new silverware at every course, gold knife to scrap the crumbs off the table - they even candled our 2004 bottle of red wine!
Since we had a vehicle, we extended our stay and drove up to the Hudson Maritime Museum in Kingston. We forgot to take a picture of the museum, but we saw this tugboat parked nearby while we killing time waiting for the museum to open.
The museum was small, but had a nice history of the development of the steamboat and a display and film on ice boating.
By sheer coincidence, we had to go right through Rhinebeck to get to Kingston and there just happened to be another historic home there - Wilderstein. Joe had been really good about going to these and consented again. The last resident of this home was Daisy Suckley, the granddaughter of Thomas Suckley who built the original house on the site. We had seen Daisy in the ice boating film at the museum. It had been big news when they took her for her first ice boat ride - she had been 90 years old. She was cousin to both FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt (who were also cousins) through a couple different family lines, and also a good friend to FDR. She gave him the famous scottie dog Fala. Actually, one interesting thing is how intertwined the few families were that owned Hudson Valley land from the time of land grants on.
No, we didn't break the rules to get these interior pictures - I bought postcards.
On our way back to Hyde Park, we did one more mansion tour - Staatsburgh, the Mills estate. It was very much like the Vanderbilt estate - all gilt and French imports - built for the shock and awe affect it would have on their guests. Our docent was a bit obnoxious and I was afraid I wouldn't get Joe on another tour. Fortunately, we saw pictures of the next one I wanted to see and Joe was on board again!
The next day we drove farther north to Hudson and Olana, the home that Frederic Church, the landscape painter, had built. He and his wife had purchased the hill top property and planned to build in the style of a French chateau. Before they started, they traveled for a year or so in the middle East. Upon their return, they decided to alter the style. Actually, the docents refuse to even pin it down to one style. Church eventually added a studio onto the main house and painted there. Now there is a gallery in one of the un-restored bedrooms that houses studies and finished paintings of the views from the estate. As from all these estates, there would be no shortage of material.
Back at the boat, Joe took this sunset picture (haven't had many of those yet this trip!) that looked a lot like some that Church had painted! We finally left Poughkeepsie Yacht Club and headed north. We were able to get one last glimpse of Olana on the way by. There are interesting old lighthouses along the way up the Hudson. I'll have other pictures in picasa as each one is unique. This one, with its plea for salvation, caught our attention. How can you refuse? Albany had been recommended as a place to stop and offers a trolley tour that sounded interesting.
Information on the website was vague, so I called only to discover that the tours would be offered on weekends in June - the following weekend.
So we cruised on by, happy that we didn't have to negotiate this interchange. Anybody know what this building in Albany is? Once through Albany, we reached the lock at Troy. This lock is federally operated as opposed to the NY state operated Erie Canal locks. As we approached the lock, the operator informed us that one of his gates was broken and he could only accommodate boats up to 20 feet wide. Carolyn Ann is just shy of 16 feet - didn't leave much margin of error - but then Joe doesn't need that! We entered the "canyon" and soon were raised up to the new water level. The flow over the dam on the left shows the change in level.
Once through the lock, we came to the sign directing us to either the Erie or Champlain Canal. We're taking the Erie - Champlain next summer? We tied up at the Waterford visitor center. The locks in Waterford are the official start of the Erie system. Across the river from Waterford, an easy walk, was a grocery store with pharmacy. We stayed an extra night so we could refill all the prescriptions. Rocky slept in and thought he was in heaven when the sun-spot visited him in bed. If you'd like to see more pictures, follow the link to our picasa albums: (it's not always updated at the same time as this one, but I catch up eventually!)

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