This is a somewhat slow/sleepy post, much like the town we were in.
If you don’t have much time, go directly to the post on our 2nd day here – Tuesday July 17, and read the post about the Moss Island Pot Holes.
Jul 16 – Mon
We are again on the move with Ashley & Dave.
We covered another 42 miles heading east along the Erie Canal, from Amsterdam to Little Falls New York.
The ride was another beautiful ride (for most of the day), accompanied with 7 locks today.
This section of the Erie Canal runs along Hwy-5.
So at times, we were able to see the highway & some civilization (even a McDonalds). Other sections were completely encircled with greenery and seemed like you were in the Amazon.
The long ride again made for a tiring day, especially given our pace of movement over the last few days. The crew was wearing down, but we will have a 2 day rest in Little Falls.
Near the end of the ride, we approached Lock #17. Lock #17 is different from all the previous locks, in that it has a drop door, not a swing door to enter the lock. The lock is also newer than most of the previous locks. Built in the early 1900’s, it is the largest lock in New York State, lifting/dropping every passing vessel 40 feet & replacing four old locks on the old canal with just one. The design includes a guillotine style lower gate and a concrete arch of which the boats pass under – the only implementation of such a design along the Erie Canal system.
The lock entrance was somewhat hidden around a blind corner.
The water fill into the lock was pretty turbulent, and we also had a 15 minute drenching rain with high winds while we were locking thru.
Deck Hand Nellie had to use all of her arm muscles to hang onto the drop line.
While exiting Lock #17, the rains subsided.
We arrived at the Little Falls Marina @ Rotary Park about 2pm.
We were the only boat at the marina/seawall.
Little Falls is a sleepy town, not much going on.
Ashley & Dave took a bike ride over the Mohawk River Bridge into the small town.
I attempted to reserve a car to drive 1 hour north to Cooperstown NY to see The Baseball Hall of Fame, and the park where my nephews Jake & Brad played ball when they were younger.
Unfortunately, the town is so small, I think they have only 1 rental car, and it was signed out (boo, no Cooperstown on this trip).
For dinner, we went to a place called The Copper Moose Ale House.
Marina dockhand Steve gave us a ride over to the restaurant.
After dinner, we walked the sleepy town a little, then walked back to the boat, about 1.5 miles, arriving home at dark and just before another round of rain storms.
We had lights out about 10pm, and it rained all night.
July 17 – Tue
Tuesday started out as a boring rainy start to the day.
When the rain let up it was still dreary out, but the kids took the bikes into town anyway. They went to the coffee shop, the bead store, & the Alpaca store.
Nellie did laundry and Mike watched TV in the marina courtesy room !
It seemed like the day was going to be a bust for tourism.
But about 3pm the rain stopped for good & sun came back out.
We went back to our original plan for the day, which was to go to nearby Moss Island and search for the famous “Moss Island Potholes”.
We had heard about The Moss Island Potholes from several locals.
But, exactly what are the potholes, and how interesting can a bunch of rocks really be ? The end of the day turned out to be spectacular.
The story goes –
Moss Island is a small island, only 1500 feet long and 625 feet wide.
It is bordered by the Mohawk River on the north, and the Erie Canal to the south.
The Moss Island Land was made over a million years ago by Magma from the earth’s core, injected above ground, and crystallized to become hard rock.
It became an island when the Erie locks were built so boats could avoid the 40 foot falls. It is known for its extremely large (40-50 ft) potholes, as well as being popular with local rock climbers. It was declared a National Landmark in 1976. There are ongoing efforts by the local community to turn Moss Island into a New York State Park. The potholes were created by huge volumes of water falling over prehistoric cliffs once located on Moss Island (like Niagara Falls). Around 20,000-80,000 years ago, the melting glaciers that created the Great Lakes drained through the Mohawk Valley / Hudson River, supplying the water pressure which created the huge potholes.
We took a taxi to Moss Island.
We had to search around for the trailhead to get to the Potholes.
Once at the trailhead, we then had to walk about a half mile thru the woods to find the potholes.
We arrived at The Potholes about 15-20 minutes into the walk. The rest of the story was just beautiful, spectacular, rock formations.
On the walk back from the Potholes, we saw some Rock Climbers, at least one good climber and some younger teens. Moss Island is supposedly famous for this also.
We also took a stroll to the Lock #17 that we had passed thru yesterday.
It was interesting seeing the lock from the land side.
We could see the motors, gearing, and links which activate to open/close the lock doors.
You may remember that the westbound entry door was a guillotine style, drop door.
The one in the photo below is the westbound exit door, a normal swing door.
After looking at the lock mechanism, we went to see some of the downstream side of the lock, dam & powerplant. The powerplant at this dam #17 supplies enough energy to power about 8000 homes.
There was a mechanism arm which is used to pick up large debris/logs from blocking the water intake. Ashley decided to see if the mechanism grabbers could fit a human.
After the fun time at Moss Island, we walked thru a tunnel under the river, and went to dinner at Ruggiero’s Italian Restaurant. It was an authentic Italian place with Sinatra all over the walls and on the music speakers. It was a nice setting and good food.
The night ended with Ashley & Dave going on a final bike ride in Little Falls. They rode along a path that follows the Erie Canal, and is supposedly right above the old path of the original canal and series of locks that were replaced by Lock #17.
Well guess what ? It has been exactly 1 year since Nellie & I left on this great adventure.
It seems like yesterday that we had the great farewell party at Miller Marina.
As we said in the last post, today was going to be a long day – 37 miles, 9 Locks, 17 Bridges, and 2 Guard Gates !
We got off to an early start, and were at Lock #2, the entrance to the Erie Canal, at 7am.
Our travel day was awesome, our early start resulted in only 2 boats at the 7am lock opening. We traveled thru the first 5 locks with a guy named Dave in a sport boat with triple 250 outboards.
It was a long boring day, but also an exciting day filled with a lot of happenings – Like I said, we went thru a total of 9 locks, under 17 bridges, and thru 2 Guard Gates
We passed a Casino – The River Casino & Resort in Schenectady New York
Nellie pitched in with some driving while Mike planned for the next marina !
We had some technical issues, with an impending failure of the rear bumper strap. Captain Mike caught it just before failure. Luckily, we had spares on board. Dave changed the part while underway and we were back in business.
We had some Dam Waterfalls !
We saw ski jump ramps in the Erie Canal.
After what seemed like a very long day, we actually arrived sooner than expected at The Riverlink Park Marina in Amsterdam NY, featuring Dan’s BBQ – aka The River’s Edge Restaurant.
After gettin’ the electrical & water hooked up, it was time for play.
It was a very hot day in upstate NY, and we started our Amsterdam visit with the Safe-Arrival Toast, and then a nice refreshing swim in The Fresh Water !
It was delightful.
Upon return to the aft deck, we were refreshed but it was still hot on the deck with the sun bearing down on us from the forward port side of the boat.
Dave & I used some Beverly Hillbillies ingenuity to create some shade on the aft deck, and all was good in the world.
Later in the evening, Ashley’s friend Jeff from Vermont was in the New York area, and stopped by for the night. Jeff has had an assortment of trades, but is mainly a sustainable home builder from the northeast. Ashley met Jeff nearly 10 years ago when she found his ecologically driven construction business online and spent a summer in Pennsylvania working for him as a young builder-in-training. He is currently taking 2 years off of “work life” to rework his own 1800’s vintage stone house in Vermont.
Team Gettin’ Looped had Dinner at Dan’s BBQ – aka The River’s Edge Restaurant. Right on the Erie Canal, the setting was beautiful and the food was delicious.
BTW – after dinner we saw the “No Swimming” sign right next to the boat. Good thing that we were just floating in the water !
Tomorrow will be another early morning, with our plan to go from Amsterdam, to Little Falls New York – 42 miles, 7 Locks, and 12 bridges.
Jul 13 – Fri
Cute as a Whistle !
That is the phrase today for Waterford New York.
We had only an 11 mile ride today, from Albany to Waterford New York.
I planned a short trip because in Waterford there is a “Visitors Center with Free Dockage, water & 50A power”, so we wanted to arrive early to try to get a spot on the Free dock.
We arrived about 10:30am and snagged our spot on the floating docks along the Mohawk River, just before Lock #2 and the entrance to the Erie Canal.
There are no dock hands, it is 1st come / 1st serve, and you do your own docking & tying up (for example, at the last marina in Albany, we paid $90 for the luxury of having a dock hand help get us tied up).
After gettin’ tied up and connecting the power & water, we went inside the visitors center to register. We met office worker Barb, she is sweet as sugar & reminded me of my aunt Angie by the way she looked and talked. The town of Waterford is very small (8500) & our short initial walk thru town also found many very nice people all saying hello, reminding me of folks earlier on the trip in Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee.
So it is officially Farewell to The Hudson River & Hello to The Erie Canal.
The Hudson River was wonderful, exciting in New York City, and beautiful and peaceful in upstate New York.
Over the next 10 days we will travel thru about 25 locks on our way to Lake Ontario. On Sunday we will travel only 37 miles, but go thru 9 locks.
For a refresher, We did do 1 lock today between Albany & Waterford. It was Ashley & Dave’s 1st locking experience.
Shortly after getting checked in, we went for a walk to check out the town and searched for a place Barb had told us about – Don & Paul’s Coffee Shop, featuring 2 eggs & toast for $2 dollars.
I splurged and had 4 eggs & double toast for $4.00.
The entire bill for all 4 of us with drinks was $19.18, I picked up the check !
They even have a Laundromat where you can get ice cream at the same time you do your laundry !
After a quick stroll thru the small town, we walked over to the Hudson River, sat on the park bench for a while, then crossed the Broad Street Bridge to re-provision at the local grocery store.
We took an Uber back from the grocery store, packed the supplies onto the boat, and then headed over to the Peebles Island State Park. I watched the boats for a while, and Ashley & Dave walked the perimeter trail of the park.
Later that night we went to dinner at McGreivey’s Fine Dining.
They had a white table cloth section & a bar section, both with the same menu.
We sat in the Bar Section and met nice servers Georgia & Jaime.
After dinner, we had a special treat at The Waterford Visitors Center.
It was Movie Night at The Visitors Center.
We watched a movie called The Bedford Incident starring Richard Widmark & Sidney Poitier.
It was a 50’s based story about a demanding ship captain (R. Widmark) and his chase of a Russian Submarine being covered by a magazine writer (S. Poitier).
There were about 12 of us who partook in the Bijou attraction.
Jul 14 – Sat
On Saturday, we went back to Don & Paul’s for breakfast.
Todays bill was about $14.00 for 4 people.
After breakfast, the girls washed some clothes at the laundromat that does not have Ice Cream.
Dave & I cleaned the Eisenglass.
After a little bit of work, we took a taxi to The Cohoes Falls View Park to see some highly rated water falls. The falls were very pretty, but a little disappointing because we could not get near them.
After hanging around the upper viewing sites for The Falls, we went for a walk down to the lower viewing sites.
Like I said, all the “viewing stations” were all far from the falls.
We also went to another area of the park and learned something that we did not really know, or the message had not really sunk in yet until we saw the pictorial graphic.
The poster board showed that The Erie Canal has lived through 3 Stages of Life, accommodating 3 different paths of water routing between the Hudson River & Erie Canal.
> 1825 = The 1st Route of The Erie Canal, also known as Clinton’s ditch, after New York Governor Clinton DeWitt. It is shown in the dotted blue line, and travels on a path just south of the Mohawk River in the city of Cohoes Falls.
> 1842 = The 2nd Route of The Erie Canal, also known as The Enlarged Erie Canal. The canal system became so popular, the canal had to be widened with larger, longer locks for the higher number of boats & bigger boats. It is shown in the dashed blue line, and travels on a path just south of the Mohawk River in the city of Cohoes Falls.
> 1918 = The Erie Barge Canal, also known as The Current Erie Canal. The entry point of the Erie canal was modified from Cohoes Falls to Waterford New York, and the canal was made even larger & longer, to allow for even bigger boats and also small barges. It is shown in the solid blue line, and travels on a path well north of the original canals in Cohoes Falls, thru the city of Waterford. The new first 5 Locks are said to provide the highest rise/drop in the shortest distance of any lock system in the world (169 feet in 0.5 mile). This is where we will begin our Erie Canal journey tomorrow.
After the Cohoes Falls Water Falls, we went for a short walk right next to the marina and saw our own local water falls at the Lock #2 Dam , right next to the Visitors Center.
At this point we had seen most of the sites to see in the metropolis of Waterford New York, and nearby Cohoes Falls.
The afternoon was low-key, with; some book reading, some blogging, some googling, BBQing lunch on the aft deck, and playing some charades with Ashley & Dave.
About 6pm we went in search to replenish our stock of Vodka, there have been may Yeti Juices over the past few weeks (Vodka, Diet 7-up, and OJ). We walked about 1.5 miles to the Lighthouse Liquor Store. During checkout, the clerk & owner Brian said “you look like boaters”. We said “yep, we are” and discussed our journey from Michigan and Ashley/Dave’s 3rd visit from California.
A few minutes later, Liquor Store owner Brian offered to give us a ride back to the marina, how nice !
About 7pm we had Looper visitors for about an hour.
Vessels First Forty (Bill & Bobbie) & State of Mind (Jim & Andrea), came by for a few drinks.
We had originally met Bill & Bobbie in Chicago at DuSable Harbor, and we first met Jim & Andrea in Cape Canaveral. Interestingly enough, both boats are also from Michigan.
Oops – the team photographer was sleeping at the wheel, no photos !
It was an early lights out, we had pizza delivered about 9pm and were tucked in bed about 10:30pm.
Tomorrow will be a long day, we are heading for Amsterdam New York, only 37 miles away but with 9 locks. Each lock is estimated to take about 30 minutes to pass thru. So it will be an early 6am wake up and an attempt to be at the first lock (Erie lock #2) by the opening bell of 7am.
We will retire for the night thinking of our great friends Rick & Linda Spragg, who spent the month of February with us, traveling from Key West to Miami.
Linda’s mom passed away earlier this week and the funeral was today (Saturday, Jul-14).
Our hearts are with you guys, may your mom rest in peace.
Jul 12 – Thu
After what seemed like a very short 2 days in Kingston, we headed another 54 miles north to Albany New York. Albany is the capital of the State of New York, but more importantly to us, is our next to last trip on The Hudson River.
We will stay only 1 night and head out tomorrow to Waterford New York and the beginning of about 25 locks between The Hudson River & Lake Ontario. There are about 35 locks between The Hudson River & Lake Erie, but we will only go thru about 25 of them, choosing to go north to Lake Ontario, the Trent Severn Waterway, and Georgian Bay.
During the ride up to Albany we saw more beautiful waterway, more little light houses, and landed at The Albany Yacht Club about 1:30pm.
With only a short 1 day scheduled for Albany, the initial plan was to chill and just hang out on the boat. We played a game Ashley & Dave brought called Tangoes.
It was a very fun game of using little puzzle pieces to recreate a shape defined by a drawn card.
The game was very difficult, Ashley & Dave kicked butt over Mike & Nellie.
After the Tangoes game, Mikie took a short nappie, Ashley & Dave went on a bike ride, and Nellie read her book.
We went to dinner about 6:30pm at a place called The Illusive Restaurant & Bar.
Nice ambiance, pretty good food, and Dave paid the tab.
And, it was not hard to find, we found it right away.
On the walk back from dinner, we noticed that the city of Albany & county of Rensselaer, honors many of their vets with a banner hanging on all of the street light posts, it was really nice.
After dinner & the walk home, Mike & Nellie did blogging to cover the last 2 days in Kingston and Albany (ports #104 & 105).
Dave and Ash read books, emails, and iPhone stuff.
Dave and Ashley retired about 10am, Mike was the durability champ staying up until 10:45pm !!
Ok, so I took a short power nap in the afternoon, so what, I’m retired.
Next Stop = Waterford New York & the start of The Erie Canal.
Jul 10 – Tue
After 1 week at The Half Moon Bay Marina at Croton on the Hudson, we traveled 54 miles to The Rondout Yacht Basin at Kingston New York.
Kingston is about 100 miles north of New York City, and is about 65 miles south of The Erie Canal.
The ride up The Hudson was beautiful.
The team was in good spirits on this beautiful, sunny, travel day.
The Hudson is lined with beautiful tree-lined hills, there are railroad trains tooting their horns on both sides of the river, and there are many very tall bridges (160 ft clearance).
We passed several of the places we had visited by land ; West Point, The Culinary Institute, and The Walkway Bridge over the Hudson (where we had watched the fireworks).
We passed by a place that Dave Googled and learned that it was called the Indian Point Nuclear Energy Plant.
We also passed some nice little lighthouses, and The Bannerman Castle – a retired military warehouse.
We arrived at the Rondout Yacht Basin in Kingston New York about 1:30pm.
It was a very hot day, so we started our visit with a couple of hours in the Yacht Basin Pool.
The Rondout Yacht Basin is not much to look at, but they have a great pool, including shading screens above the pool. We met with relatively new Loopers (Ellen & Kim), and talked for a while with a local Kingston lady named Ronnie.
After the pool, Dave & I washed the boat & dropped the dinghy into the water.
We took the dinghy across the Rondout Creek Canal to dinner at The Old Savannah Restaurant. Dinner lasted well into the night.
It was a wonderful 1st day in Kingston.
Tomorrow – Sight Seeing in Kingston New York !
Jul 11 – Wed
On Wednesday we again took the dinghy across the Rondout Creek Canal into downtown Kingston.
The Uber quote was $12 one way just to get across the river, so the dinghy definitely came in handy in this town, saving $24 each trip. It was about a 10 minute dinghy ride.
We started the day at The Hudson River Maritime Museum.
When we arrived, there was a rowing school right next to the museum, in process of teaching new students.
The Museum had a host of interesting topics;
> The 1st room contained MANY models of Historic Miniature Wooden Boats. They had photos & bio’s of all the model makers, all a bunch of elderly gentlemen, with the most prevalent being a ole fella named Charlie Niles.
> There was a room dedicated to New York Governor DeWitt Clinton, and his endeavours to create the Erie Canal & link it to The Hudson River.
Clinton was largely responsible for the construction of the Erie Canal.
He was persuaded by Canal proponent Jesse Hawley to support construction of a canal from the eastern shore of Lake Erie to the upper Hudson River.
When first built, the Erie Canal cut transportation costs by a whopping 95%. The contribution of the canal to the worth of the New York region is incalculable.
Upon completion of the canal, it was fact that DeWitt Clinton & dignitaries led the opening ceremonies for the Erie Canal and rode a canal boat named the Seneca Chief from Buffalo New York to New York City, with two flasks of Lake Erie fresh water. They poured the two flasks of Lake Erie fresh water into the New York Harbor, symbolically connecting the two bodies of water forever.
> There was a room dedicated to The Erie Canal – videos of how the locks work, and even photos of the early days when horses would be used to pull boats thru the locks (all sailing vessels at that time). There were also wooden models of the locks.
We will begin the Erie Canal adventure on Sunday.
> The next room was dedicated to Steamships that once traveled the Hudson River. The most famous being The Mary Powell & The Alexander Hamilton.
There was a large steering wheel which actually came from the Alexander Hamilton on display, it was used in the event of a failure in the main steering. The notes said that the steering wheel is so large to provide assisted torque for the heavy rudders, but it still took 4 men to spin it.
There were also a few displays showing how a steam engine works.
> There were rooms dedicated to ;
* Restoring the Hudson from Pollution and renewed fish populations.
* Hurricanes & Flooding Histories of the Hudson & tributaries like Rondout.
* Jobs created by The Hudson River – Cement, Bricks, Fishing
> There was a very interesting exhibit on Ice Boat Racing.
The material suggested that even back as far as the 1800’s there were ice racing boats that could do as much as 90-100 mph with only a 25mph wind (4:1 ratio), making them the fastest vehicles on earth in 1800s.
There are records of an 83-year-old guy named Chuck Nevitt, who doesn’t look like the fastest man on earth, but many believe that in February 1947 Nevitt set a record as the world’s fastest naturally powered human during a remarkable iceboat sail across the flat, black ice of Lake Winnebago.
Stopwatch-clutching spectators gazed slack-jawed as the Coast Guard veteran piloted his 42-foot Flying Dutchmen between two buoys set two miles apart. It took 53 seconds, and that included a tack he made in the middle of the course that added about a quarter-mile to the distance.
“They figured somewhere in there I was doing 150 mph. Maybe 155,” Nevitt said. That would definitely shorten the time required to complete The Loop.
Google searches show that there is currently no Guinness World record for this topic.
After the Maritime Museum, we went to lunch at The Mariners Harbor Restaurant.
After lunch, we went for a stroll around town. We attempted to go to The Trolley Museum but it was only open on the weekend.
The highlight of the day was probably our afternoon dinghy ride to the local swimming holeon the Rondout Creek Canal.
On the way to the swimming hole, we saw some tug boats being worked on. They were up out of the water on a barge that looked like they drove into, then lifted the boat out of the water to work on it.
The tug below looked like it was a new boat, or had just received a major cleaning & a new set of running gear (shafts, props, and shrouds).
After swimming in the creek, we came back to Gettin’ Looped, got some quick showers, and headed out for a Mexican Dinner at a place called The Pier 23 Mole-Mole’. Wednesday was $3 Margareta night !
It was an early nite to bed, tomorrow we had another 55 miles from Kingston to Albany New York!
Jul 3 – Tue
Tuesday was moving day, from New York to Croton on the Hudson.
Croton on the Hudson is about 45 miles north of New York City.
We were joined late Monday afternoon by Jonell’s brother Adam Silorey & 1st mate Patty.
The ride up the Hudson River started with the expected dodging of many water taxi’s and commercial vessels. But by the time we reached the George Washington Bridge, the water traffic had died down.
It was a very hazy/foggy morning, with visibility of only 1-2 miles.
We passed what looked to be a small aircraft carrier, then a large tented structure on the Hudson River, and then the final sets of sky scrapers. After we passed under the George Washington Bridge, the large buildings had about ended and it was so long New York City.
We were not sure if this is an aircraft carrier or not, it appears small
The ride up The Hudson River was Beautiful, the photos don’t really do it justice due to the haze and low visibility. The land had changed from sky scrapers to ; jagged cliffs, trees, and large homes & buildings on top of the cliffs.
As we made our way north, we were finally out of the hustle of all of the city river traffic. All things were peaceful, the visibility continued to degrade as we got further north out of the city , but the crew was at ease and enjoyed a breakfast snack !
As we approached Tarrytown New York, about 40 miles north of NYC, we crossed under the very pretty Tappan Zee Bridge. The bridge was very pretty, but all of the work barges below it were not.
It was a highly congested area under the bridge.
Normally there are cattle gates or fender boards defining where you should cross under the bridge, and usually at the center of the bridge.
We picked the hole that appeared to be the path of minimum traffic.
Out of nowhere came a work boat with some boys waving their arms, saying to go on the other side of the barge.
We are still not sure why, the work boat did not have or did not use a VHF radio, they appeared to prefer arm waving. This was upstate New York, so I think all of their names were “Tony or Frank”.
About 30 minutes later, we arrived at the very pretty Half Moon Bay Marina.
The Half Moon Bay Marina is in a nice little cove, surrounded by small tree-lined hills, and immediately behind the marina are very nice condos.
We rented a car for a few days to travel up to West Point & The Culinary School of America later in the week. So we took the car to explore the town.
We had a sub for lunch at the local deli, came back to the boat, and played euchre during an hour-long rain storm.
After the storm, we went back into town, researched some parks to go swimming at tomorrow, researched some dinner places, and had dinner at a place called ” The Croton Colonial Diner“.
It was not much to look at, a mom/pop joint, but had a very large menu and all the food was great.
Adam & I had the Baby Back Ribs, with Baked Beans & a cup of Split Pea Soup for $10.99 (yea, finally away from NYC prices).
After dinner, we hung out on the aft deck for some family bonding, listened to some music, and called it a night about 10pm.
Jul 4th – Wed
On Wednesday, the 4th of July we had a very full day planned. We had Waterfalls, the Beach, and Fireworks on the agenda.
We started the day with a short drive to The Croton Gorge Park, about 3 miles from the marina, where we saw the spectacular New Croton Dam & Croton Waterfalls.
The New Croton Dam
The original Croton Dam (Old Croton Dam) was built between 1837 and 1842. By 1881, after extensive repairs to the dam, the Aqueduct Commission of the City of New York ordered construction of a new Croton system in 1885. Construction of The New Croton Dam began in 1892 and was completed in 1906.
The New Croton Dam stretches across the Croton River about 22 miles north of New York City. The masonry dam is 266 feet broad at its base and 297 feet high from base to crest. Its foundation extends 130 feet below the bed of the river. At the time of its completion in 1906, it was the tallest dam in the world. New Croton Dam impounds up to 19 billion US gallons of water, a small fraction of the New York City water system’s total storage capacity of 580 billion US gallons.
The New Croton Dam has a public park and trail head at its base and a road along its crest. The road has been limited to pedestrians and emergency vehicles only, since the 9/11 terrorists attacks.
To get to The Dam, we had to walk over a large bridge leading to the crest of the dam.
The Croton Waterfalls The New Croton Dam has an unusual spillway, part artificial and part natural, which forms the beautiful Croton Waterfalls on the north side of the structure. At the base of the waterfalls is a very nice park. It was a lovely peaceful setting on a bright sunny day.
From the bridge at the Top of the Dam, we could see houses built into the hills.
Next stop was The Croton Point Park Beach.
It was a very hot day, about 100 degrees & very humid.
A perfect day for the beach.
Guess what, we were not the only folks who had the idea of going to the beach.
We had made a run past the beach yesterday, and knew where the drop off point was for chairs, coolers, etc.
But as we approached the bridge to get to the park & beach there was a massive traffic jam. We saw many people carrying coolers, food, chairs all the way across the bridge, over a half mile away from the beach (oh-oh). As we approached the cop directing traffic he asked where we were going, we said to the beach, he said “it’s your lucky day, we just opened up a couple of spots”, and he let us drive across the bridge to the park.
Our parking space was right next to the beach (yea).
We carried our stuff over to the swimming hole for the very small beach. It was a somewhat strange place. They made you buy $4 wrist bands to swim, and they performed a safety inspection every few hours and made everyone get out of the water for about 10 minutes.
I asked the park attendant “what was the inspection for”.
She said “to make sure the water was safe”.
I said “what do they physically do”.
She said “I don’t know”.
I did not see anyone with water test kits, they may have been checking for wrist bands, it was a very strange process.
The main swimming area was a very small swimming area sectioned off with buoys and jam-packed with people wearing their wrist bands. Most of the folks were speaking languages that we could not understand.
After about 30 minutes of this area, we opted to go swimming in the forbidden area near all of the boaters.
After about 3 hours at the beach, the hot/humid weather became threatening. We slowly began packing up, and got to the car just as the rains let loose. We were in the safety of the car, but all others were scrambling.
Blessed again !
We came back to the boat, chilled for a few hours, listened to some music, and then cleaned up for dinner.
We drove about 30 miles, but a long 1 hour north of Croton, to a place called Poughkeepsie NY.
They were supposed to have one of the best firework shows next to NYC.
We had reserved advanced tickets to watch the show from atop of the Poughkeepsie Bridge, also known as The Walkway Over the Hudson Bridge.
We arrived in Poughkeepsie and had dinner at an Irish place called Mahoney’s Irish Pub & Steakhouse. We had Guinness, Corn Beef, Shepherd’s Pie, and more. It was very authentic Irish cuisine. It tasted even better because Adam & Patty picked up the check.
The Walkway over the Hudson Bridge The Walkway over the Hudson Bridgeis a steel cantilever bridge spanning the Hudson River between Poughkeepsie New York on the east bank and Highland New York on the west bank. Built as a double track railroad bridge, it was completed on January 1, 1889, and formed part of the Maybrook Railroad Line. It was taken out of service on May 8, 1974, after it was damaged by fire. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. It was reopened on October 3, 2009 as a pedestrian walkway, and named the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park.
While waiting for the fireworks, we saw a pretty cool sunset behind the hills of upstate NY.
As night approached, everyone waited with great anticipation for the fireworks.
The bridge was packed, everyone was staking out their claim for seating.
There were sections of the bridge with tall fences.
Were we going to be able to see thru the fence ?
How high do the fireworks go ?
The questions were endless.
The excitement & anxiety were building.
Then the show began.
It was pretty good, the Detroit show is better.
Maybe we should have driven back down to NYC.
But Poughkeepsie was a sweet little town, and it was much less hassle than the big city.
That was it for Wednesday, the 4th of July !
Jul 5 – Thu
We had another fun day planned for Thursday.
We were able to sleep in a bit after the late night on Wednesday.
The Thursday plan was ;
> The West Point Military Academy, in West Point New York.
> The Culinary School of America , in Hyde Park New York.
Our reservation at West Point was not until the afternoon, so we had time to kill.
Travel agent Mike went into action and discovered that the infamous Sing Sing Prison, was only 4 miles from Croton in a city called Ossining.
Sing Sing is still an open/functional prison, there are no tours unless you misbehave. So we wanted to only get a photo of the outside of the building.
We were attempting to drive to the prison when we saw some signs about a Visitors Center & the Sing Sing Museum.
It was a very small place, connected to the Ossining Community Center Building, and actually was not open on this day.
The nice woman behind the Community Center Counter was kind enough to let us into the museum and give us a few tips on what to see.
The museum had mainly 2 things to see ;
> Displays, models, and Poster Boards for The Sing Sing Prison.
> Displays, models, and Poster Boards for The Ossining Aqueduct.
The Sing Sing Prison.
For you 3 Stooges fans I must say – ” You are now in Sing Sing”.
Criminals have always called it “up the river.”
The Sing Sing Prison, and Ossining the town, are inextricably linked.
In 1902 the town changed its name only because the prison had become so notorious. And that’s just one of a multitude of facts, stories, and myths surrounding this nearly 200-year-old star of stage, screen, song — and grisly executions. It was built in 1825!
In 1825, future warden Elam Lynd, transferred 100 inmates from Auburn prison by barge along the Erie Canal down the Hudson to Sing Sing, where he forced them, at gunpoint, to build the new prison.
The completed cell block was four tiers high. Each cell was seven feet deep, only 39 inches wide, and about six-and-a-half feet high. But with crime a growth industry, it continued to expand for the rest of the 1800s. By the turn of the century, it housed more than 1,200 prisoners.
The name Sing Sing conjures images of the gangster era of the 1920s and ’30s, of Jimmy Cagney movies and cops-and-robbers radio serials. During that time the prison housed the infamous Willie Sutton, Lucky Luciano, members of Murder Incorporated, and other “bad-guys”.
The museum had a bunch of posters showing what life was like at the prison, showing punishment treatments, showing weapons found on the prisoners, a replica Jail Cell, and the infamous Electric Chair.
After touring the museum, we drove to Sing Sing to try to get photos of the real thing.
We probably should have expected it, but you can’t easily drive up to it and take photos unless you are on the Hudson River (Crap, we were just by there 2 days ago).
The Ossining Aqueduct
After looking at the Sing Sing info in the museum, there was a lot of info on the Ossining Aqueduct.
The Ossining Aqueduct (originally called the Old Croton Aqueduct) is a complex Double Arch water distribution system constructed for New York City between 1837 and 1842. The aqueduct, which was among the first in the United States, carried water by gravity 41 miles from the Croton River in Westchester County to reservoirs in Manhattan. We read a bunch of info about the Aqueduct in the museum, and then went to see the real thing outside.
Ok, enough with Ossining, it was time for the main attractions of the day –
> The West Point Academy
> The Culinary Institute of America
The West Point Academy (United States Military Academy)
West Point is the oldest continuously occupied military post in the United States. Located on the Hudson River, West Point was identified by General George Washington as the most important strategic position in America during the American Revolution. Until January 1778, West Point was not occupied by the military. On January 27, 1778, Brigadier General Samuel Holden Parsons and his brigade crossed the ice on the Hudson River and climbed to the plain on West Point and from that day to the present, West Point has been occupied by the United States Army. It comprises approximately 16,000 acres including the campus of the United States Military Academy, which is commonly called “West Point”.
The United States Military Academy (USMA), also known as West Point – is a four-year educational federal service academy. It is one of the four U.S. military service academies and the oldest military academy in the nation (1778).
We went on a 2 hour tour.
It was a very hot day, but unlike Annapolis, West Point is on a very large campus, and the tour was given on/off of a nice air conditioned bus. The tour started at the visitors center where everyone had to get their ticket, after the mandatory advanced on-line security screening.
The tour began at The Cadet Chapel (1830).
Students at West Point are called Cadets, students at Annapolis are called Midshipmen.
The cadet chapel is one of several churches on campus and is a non-denominational church. It was built by marble specialists from Italy. It has extensive “Willet Stained Glass”. Like the church in Annapolis, it also has a pew dedicated to fallen heroes, identified with a candle.
The West Point Cemetery
It overlooks the Hudson River, served as a burial ground for Revolutionary War soldiers and early West Point inhabitants before 1817, when it was officially designated as a military cemetery. Now it allows burial for anyone who attended West Point and their family. The cemetery had many famous old & recent customers like General George Armstrong Custer & General Norman Schwarzkopf.
It also had a section dedicated to West Point Army Sports Heroes. The guide noted famous football coach Earl Blaik. He served as the head football coach at the United States Military Academy from 1941 to 1958, compiling a career college football record of 166–48–14. His Army football teams won three consecutive national championships in 1944, 1945 and 1946
Next stop on the tour was The Old Cadet Chapel.
This was a different church from the Cadet Chapel shown earlier.
It contains a set of plaques on the left wall dedicated to the different Wars, and on the right wall are plaques dedicated to all the Famous Army Generals.
One plaque close to the altar differs from the others: the name once deeply etched there has been obliterated. The absent name is Benedict Arnold, a name now synonymous with “traitor.”
Benedict Arnold was a general during the American Revolutionary War who fought heroically for the American Continental Army—then defected to the British in 1780. He had George Washington’s fullest confidence, and Washington gave him command of the fortifications at West Point. Thru a series of career events which soured Arnold against the new American Military, Arnold felt betrayed for all of his service, was offered money by the British, & planned to surrender West Point to British forces by giving away top secret West Point documents. But in September 1780 the plot was discovered and Arnold escaped with minutes to spare. His name quickly became a byword in the United States for treason and betrayal because he betrayed his countrymen by leading the British army in battle against the men whom he once commanded.
Next stop on the tour was a place with War Monuments
The Civil War Monument
The statue shows upside down torches & cannons buried in the ground, which all are intended to say “let us never be at war with our own brothers again”.
Also near the War Monument section, were a bunch of cannons. The guide gave the story that there is one cannon from every war the Army had victory. The cannons are actual cannons taken from battle from the enemy after the war.
After looking at all the monuments & cannons, we went to the riverfront and were informed that The United Sates Military Academy is called West Point because ; It resides in the city of West Point New York, but also because of its pointed location on the Hudson River. It is on a beautiful bluff, high above a large S-turn on the Hudson River.
Next stop was the statue of General John Sedgwick.
He was wounded but not killed 3 times in battle, leading to the phrase “Lucky Sedgwick”
Legend holds that if a cadet is deficient in academics, the cadet should go to the monument at midnight the night before the term-end examination, in full dress, under arms, and spin the spurs on Sedgwick’s boots. With the resulting good luck, the cadet will pass the test.
I’m not so sure it works, Sedgwick is also known for his last spoken words “”They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance” , right before he was killed by a sharp shooter.
Just after the Sedgwick statue, we saw from a distance some cadets marching & singing their cadence.
On the bus ride back, the guide talked about some famous grads including ; Generals Ulysses Grant, Douglass MacArthur, Dwight Eisenhower, & George Patton.
Like Annapolis, West Point also has their class of Astronauts ; Frank Borman, Buzz Aldrin.
During research, I also found an interesting article on folks who DID NOT make it through West Point, they dropped out ; Edgar Allen Poe, Richard Hatch (TV show Survivor fame), Adam Vinatieri (kicker for Patriots).
It was another great history lesson, today at The United States Military Academy.
Next stop was the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park New York, another 30 minutes north of West Point.
The Culinary Institute of America The Culinary Institute of America is a private college and culinary school specializing in culinary, baking, and pastry arts education. The school’s primary campus is located in Hyde Park, New York, with other branch campuses in St. Helena & Napa, California, San Antonio Texas, and the Republic of Singapore. The college, which was the first to teach culinary arts in the United States, offers associate and bachelor’s degrees, and has the largest staff of American Culinary Federation Certified Master Chefs in the country. The college operates several student-run restaurants on their four U.S. campuses.
There are 4 restaurants & 1 Bakery on Campus –
> The American Bounty Restaurant
> The Bocuse Restaurant
> The Post Road Brew House
> The Ristorante Caterina de’ Medici
> The Apple Pie Bakery Café
Most of the restaurants were inside of the very large main building which also holds the different class rooms. There is a lush garden area surrounding a paver brick area immediately in front of the Culinary Institute. And the entire complex is right on The Hudson River.
As we were walking in, a bunch of America’s future Chef’s came marching out of the building.
We had dinner at The Ristorante Caterina de’ Medici, an Italian restaurant, which was in a separate building. It was near graduation time upcoming in September, and all the students were on edge. The head faculty members were at many of the restaurants tonight doing final evaluations.
All agreed that the dinners were 10 of 10 rating great !
After dinner, Jonell noticed a statue of a silver Sturgeon.
She went to check it out and came back to tell us that it was made entirely of Silverware !
Well, that was it for Thursday July 5th.
We crammed a lot in during 1 day, but it was Adam & Patty’s last day with us.
Jul 6 – Fri
Friday was farewell day for Adam & Patty.
We saw them off about 8am, I was tired and forgot about the going-away photo (boo) !
On the rest of the day Friday, we did just that = REST !
Then, I worked on banking, upcoming dockage reservations, & the blog.
Nellie went to get her hair done & came back and read books.
We went to dinner at a pub called The Tavern at Croton Landing.
The food was so-so, the Guinness was good.
To get to dinner, we had to walk about a mile along the waterfront & a mile back.
We had turned the car in on Friday morning & I was too lazy to unload the bikes.
The walk included traveling down the waterfront boardwalk & up/over a walkway bridge, that gave a nice view of the harbor.
After dinner on our way back to the boat, we stopped at a waterfront park and sat with the locals & listened to a local band playing music.
That was it for Friday.
We got rested up & miss Adam & Patty, wishing they were back.
Jul 7 – Sat Nellie’s 58th Birthday(but on The Loop, every day feels like your birthday).
We had a pretty boring day, but spent most of the afternoon sitting in the park, watchin’ the boats go by.
We went to dinner at supposedly, the nicest place in Croton, The Ocean House Oyster Bar & Grill.
It is a very small place with only 13 tables and seating for only 26 people.
Nellie had a Lobster Roll.
I had Crab Cakes.
The prices were 5*, the food was 4* = not bad but not great.
At night we had some birthday phone calls from Friends & Family.
It was a pretty cool low-key day on Nellie’s Bday.
Jul 8 – Sun
Sunday was another low-key day, but a fun relaxing day.
We started the day with a holding tank Pump Out, what fun !
It had been over a week, and we had 4 people on the boat, and our daughter arrives tomorrow. Time to empty the tanks.
Here at Half Moon Bay, they don’t have slip slide pump-outs or a pump-out boat, so we had to untie the power, water, and dock lines to drive over to the pump out dock. It was not a big deal, but we sure were gettin’ used to having the pump-out boat come to us.
We spent most of the afternoon at the beach.
We walked about a half mile down the very nice Half Moon Bay waterside path.
It is lined with beautifully manicured grass, shrubs, and large boulders.
The path starts as an asphalt walkway, and then changes to a flat stone lined path.
Once we got to the end of the walkway, we had to get to the beach thru a narrow path between the trees inside of the Croton Pointe Park. The narrow tree-lined path then opens up into the beautiful bay. It was Sunday afternoon, so all them folks who have to work tomorrow were enjoying the beautiful day on their boats.
We had a few soda pops, and watched all the New Yorkers party on their nice 7 boat flotilla.
Sunday night was –
> Hot Dogs
> 60 Minutes
> More blog writing
> Cleaning the boat in preparation of the arrival of our daughter Ashley & 1st mate Dave Lyman.
Jul 9 – Mon
On Monday, we rented a car again, for 1 more day.
We used the car to ;
> Take some laundry to the Laundry mat (it is not onsite here at Half Moon Bay).
> Pick Ashley & Dave up from LaGuardia International Airport (saving $160).
> Go Shopping to restock the boat and get some “Ashley Food”.
> Go to dinner at a waterfront restaurant in Ossining.
> Show Ashley & Dave – the Ossining Aqueduct & The Croton Dam.
The day flew by.
Ashley & Dave arrived in NYC about 11:30am.
We got them checked into the Gettin’ Looped Hotel about 1:00pm.
We went shopping between 1-4pm.
On the way to the store, we stopped at the Hudson River Lookout point.
We went to dinner at a place in nearby Ossining (near Sing Sing) called The Boathouse. It was a waterfront place on the Hudson River, that had an outdoor patio and a bar made out of a sailboat.
After dinner we took Ashley & Dave by the Aqueduct in Ossining & the Croton Dam, that we had seen with Adam & Patty.
I must give Ashley & Dave credit.
They left San Fransisco last night about 9pm, flew all night, got into Detroit Metro on a lay-over to New York, were delayed 3 hours in Detroit, arrived in New York about 11:30am, and partied with us until 10pm tonight.
Bed time !
It was a great week at Croton on the Hudson –
> West Point
> Culinary Institute of America
> Croton Dam & Waterfall
> Firewalks on The Walkway Over the Hudson Bridge
> Sing Sing
> The Aqueduct
> The Beach
Next Stop = Kingston New York, about 100 miles north of New York City.
July 1 – Sun
Sunday was an awesome and special day in the Great Loop Tourist Life of Mike & Jonell.
We went to One World Trade Center & The 9/11 Museum and Memorial.
I consider this a very special post, please read the second half about the 9/11 Museum and Memorial when you have time, don’t rush through it.
One World Trade Center
One World Trade Center is the main building of the rebuilt World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan. It is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, and the sixth-tallest in the world. The building has the same name as the North Tower of the original World Trade Center (One World Center) which was destroyed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The new skyscraper stands on the site of the original 6 World Trade Center, not on the same ground as the original One World Center. The 9/11 Museum is on the actual grounds of the original One World Center.
We had reserved a 10am entrance time, and this ended up being a great idea. We beat much of the crowd, and there were only 4 people in our elevator.
The folks at One World definitely had their act together in moving you through security, into the elevators, getting you hooked up with an IPAD, and on your way around the 102nd floor observation deck.
The elevator ride up took less than a minute for 102 floors, and did not have open windows. While traveling up there was a video on the walls showing the evolution of Manhattan over time, with new buildings appearing before your eyes.
Check out this video = https://youtu.be/QNxamOLl5JY
After you arrive at the top, they equip you with an IPAD which you aim in the direction that you are looking, and the IPAD identifies major landmarks. Once you identify a landmark you are interested in, you can hit a link which zooms in on the building and then gives you a little history.
It was pretty cool. I attempted to copy some of the links but was not surprised to find out you cannot copy the links. If interested, you can use the info below to see many of the videos of major landmarks ;
> website = https://revisitoneworld.com/gallery
> email = firstname.lastname@example.org (my junk email file)
> password = RPiTuA9a
Once you started the tour, the IPAD was set up along points of a compass.
We started in the West Quadrant – we could see
> Statue of Liberty Island
> Ellis Island
> The Ole Train Station
> Our Liberty Landing Marina
In the North Quadrant, we could see – The Upper Hudson River & Upper Manhattan
Next was the East Quadrant, we could see – Manhattan, Brooklyn & the Brooklyn Bridge.
Finally to the South Quadrant, we could see – Lower Manhattan, The Governors Island, Wall Street, & Battery Park.
It was like Chicago & Baltimore, a wonderful viewing experience.
But it was nothing compared to the place we went to next !
The 9/11 Museum & Memorial
On the way to The 9/11 Museum, we traveled indoors due to the 100 degree heat outdoors. There was a very large, very nice, very high-end shopping area between the One World Trade Center & The 9/11 Museum & Memorial.
Then we arrived at the 9/11 Museum & Memorial, and that’s when the day started to get really interesting. Much like the Old Slave Market in Charleston, this place induced significant emotions, and created a memorable life experience for us.
It will be easiest to tell the story with the pictures, so I will just show the photos and attach captions to the photos.
Before we start, I must mention that the 9/11 Museum & Memorial is dedicated to the 9/11 victims & first responders at The North & South World Trade Centers, but it is also dedicated to memories of ; The 1993 World Trade Center Bombing, The Pentagon Attack, & the Flight #93 Heroes who most likely saved The White House or The Nations Capitol Building.
Some Quick Facts / Timeline –
> The morning of September 11, 2001 was a beautiful blue sky morning
> 7:59am = AA Flight #11 from Boston to LA takes off
> 8:14am = United Flight #175 from Boston to LA takes off
> 8:20am = AA Flight #77 from Dulles (Washington) to LA, takes off
> 8:41am = United Flight #93 from Newark to San Fran, takes off (45 min Late, Delayed).
> 8:46am = AA-#11 crashes into the North Tower, floors #93-99
> 9:03am = United-#175 crashes into the South Tower, floors #75-85
> 9:37am = AA-#77 crashes into the Pentagon.
> 9:59am = The South Tower Collapses
> 10:07am = Passengers of United-#93 induce the crash, most likely saving the US Capitol Building.
> 10:28am = The North Tower Collapses.
> It became 102 minutes of time which changed the world forever !
> The 9/11 Museum & Memorial was opened exactly 10 years after the event, on September 11, 2011.
> One World Trade Center opened November 3, 2014, and the Observatory opened fairly recently on May 29, 2015.
The Morning of Sept 11, 2001
The Memorial Hall & Virgil Quotation
This Wall is the wall of the Repository which encloses the Unknown Remains of people who perished in the Twin Tower attacks. Ellen told us that 40% of the victims are unclaimed. All cases are still open and will remain open, but much of the DNA has been destroyed and lost. The Big Bold Letters on the wall are made from steel of the original towers. The wall was designed by artist Spencer Finch, and Each of the Blue Squares on the wall are a different shade of Blue. The memorial is inspired by the memorably clear, intensely blue sky of that fateful morning combined with the goal of each Shade of Blue representing the different personalities of all the victims. The squares are individual pieces of Fabriano Paper all hand painted with water colors and hung to represent all the missing persons flyers hung in the city after the event. The Repository is maintained by the Medical Examiner of NYC.
The North Tower Antenna
The Elevator Motor
Ladder Company 3
The North Tower Impact Beam
The Foundation Wall
The Last Column
The North Tower Column Remnants
The Vesey Street Stairs
The Vesey Street stairs, are also known as the “Survivors’ Stairs”.
Over 15,000 people made it to safety on this path.
During the attacks of September 11, 2001, the stairway became a vital safety route for many of the survivors. The stairs were one of very few exit areas which had overhead covering, protecting the lucky people who actually made it out from falling debris. Many people made it out but were killed by the falling debris.
The stairs were mostly intact immediately after 9/11, but they were significantly damaged during the nine-month recovery period. The stairway is also the sole vestige above ground of the World Trade Center.
The 9/11 Flag
The tour ended with a walk through a room which held photos & family mementos of each victim.
After the Museum, we walked outside to The Memorial Plaza.
The Memorial Plaza is an 8-acre park composed of nearly 400 white oak trees, and the largest manmade waterfalls in the United States. Set within the footprints of the original Twin Towers, each pool is approximately 1-acre in size. The names of every person who died in the terror attacks of February 26, 1993 & September 11, 2001 are honored in bronze around the twin Memorial pools.
A couple photos are shown below, but the video shows it better
Video = https://youtu.be/TXutNm9mB5A
It was quite the memorable day, maybe the most memorable of The Loop.