142 Jersey City, NJ to Macedon, NY

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After a bit of study, subway rides and a nice walk we found ourselves entering Prospect Park in Brooklyn. The park is charming generating a feel similar to Central Park but with fewer people. With the park as our starting point we began walking toward our goal the Brooklyn Bridge. Coming north the book The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge by David McCullough had entertained us. We’d read the book to each other as we traveled up the ICW. The book helped the hours this cold spring to slip away. Now it seemed only fitting that it was a cool blustery day as we explored Brooklyn searching out landmarks from the time the bridge was built. Finally we walked back over the bridge, moving slowly, appreciating the history and struggle to build the bridge and enjoying the beauty along with the hundreds of other people enjoying it’s unique walkway above the traffic a level lower and high above the East River.

The J&R sign ran a bell, but the setting seemed odd. We were walking past New York City hall and noticed the sign across the street. Judging from the full-page ads run in the NY Times we’d expected a super store. At second glance we realized it was a super store, but a bit unique. Instead of being one huge store, J&R Music and Computer World was made up of store fronts, each physically separate from the other but taking up the entire block. We got a kick out of wandering into one selling appliances, next to another selling TV’s next to the music store next to the computer store. The complex is huge and interesting to explore.

Linda, Ruth’s sister, left her car in Albany and rode the train into NYC so she could ride up the Hudson River with us. Before starting, we piled in the dinghy and crossed the channel to Liberty Landing State Park Marina from Liberty Harbor Marina. The dinghy ride eliminated a mile of walking around the end of the channel holding the marinas. A ferry took us to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Security to board the ferry was tight. We had to remove belts, and everything from our pockets. Jackets, backpacks and all loose items were x-rayed. With that we could ride the ferry, visit Liberty Island and Ellis Island. However if we wanted to go into the base of the Statue of Liberty once on Liberty Island we’d have go through another security check, reported to be more comprehensive than the first check. The line was long and very slow. We opted to just walk Liberty Island and enjoy the view up to the Statue of Liberty before taking the ferry a second time to explore Ellis Island.

A favorable tide moved us along as we headed up the Hudson River. Once past all the ferryboat traffic to Manhattan Island we had smooth waters. Linda’s enthusiasm on seeing the beauty of the Hudson was contagious, and we acted as tour guides adding information about the shoreline we’d learned during our numerous Hudson River passages.

Linda and Ruth checking out Pollepel Island

Linda and Ruth checking out Pollepel Island

The new dock on the north end of the Pollepel Island had caught our interest as we anchored the night before. A dock sign indicated the island is now part of the New York State Park system. The island residents, Canada Geese, were not happy with our early arrival and noisily honked their displeasure. Ashore old walkways were cleared, and we could easily walk to the ruins of the armory and house. It was a kick seeing the island interior and details that had always been hidden from our anchorage in previous years.

The Hyde Park dockmaster apologized for not being present when we landed and complimented us on getting into the very tight corner slip he’d assigned to us. We started talking and he related some of his horror stories about inexperienced boaters he continually encounters. Once he helped catch a boat as it came up to the gas dock. The captain and crew immediately got out and started heading for the restaurant. John yelled after them and the captain returned explaining that he thought John was a valet parking guy. Turned out the guy had owned the boat for 2 hours and didn’t even have dock lines. He thought they were provided by marinas.

Val Kill came alive as John Fox, our National Park Service guide filled us in on tidbits of information he’s learned from his own research about the Roosevelt family. Our tour went way beyond its allotted time as the four of us chatted about the unique house and its history. Later we saw John again as he acted as Franklin and Eleanor’s Secret Service body guard during a reenactment. Franklin gave a speech about his dog Fala at a dog show being held in conjunction with the dedication of a reproduction of Fala’s doghouse.

Innisfree Garden remains one of the Hyde Park area’s best-kept secrets. It took numerous requests before we found someone who could confirm directions to the garden gem. Don and I had been there on a previous visit and wanted to share it with Linda. We walked the grounds at a leisurely pace pausing frequently to enjoy the blending of rocks, flowers and fountains in beautiful settings.

Linda headed back home by car, and we missed her company as we continued up the Hudson and into the Erie Canal. We traveled along enjoying the freshness of newly leafed trees and bright spring colors as we began working on the most cost effective way to retrieve our RV from Demopolis, AL. Finally at Brewerton, NY we picked up a one-way rental car and started off.

Spring greens gave way to summer’s heat and darker green foliage as we headed south. The next afternoon we had the Trek open and quickly ran through systems getting everything ready for travel. Our overnight trip south stretched into three nights on the road as we poked back shunpiking to avoid I-81 as much as possible. We found Hungry Mother State Park with an access road to the camping area so narrow that an oncoming car we encountered backed up a few hundred yards to a wide spot so we could pass each other. We’d climbed a bit into the Appalachians to reach the park. Spring returned with the higher altitude. The canopy of half grown leaves allowed the sun to sprinkle the forest floor with extra light increasing the springtime feel.

A vague memory of pulling off to park on the road shoulder to look at a tired town with a few historic markers was all we recalled of our visit to Harpers Ferry many—maybe thirty years earlier. On this visit a bus from the visitors center carried us into the town historic district now closed to all traffic except for town residents and bed & breakfast guests. We poked around enjoying the buildings learning more of the long history of this unique location.

Arriving at Brewerton, NY we again had both the Trek and Odyssey together but still in the wrong spot for our staging plans. Bill and Birute arrived to commission B & B for the season. They loaned us their rental car for the final Trek move to Macedon, our planned summer base. Then we became boaters again and enjoyed catching up with Bill and Birute’s adventures and plans for the summer on the Rideau and Trent Severn Canals. They are fun folk to “hang out” with.

In large letters the boat transom reads: “Smooth Move”. Just below in small print is: “Yes Dear”. We cracked up as Wendell and Shirley related how the name resulted from their conversations during some of their more embarrassing boating moments. We spent an enjoyable evening swapping boating tales.

One day while cleaning Odyssey Wendell showed up with his power washer. Stuff previously removed by getting on hands and knees to scrub vanished under the high-pressure water jet. Now we have our own pressure washer.

Odyssey "anchored out" at Mid-Lakes Erie Macedon Landing MarinaThe hottest June on record for the Rochester, NY area was a bit more bearable for us since we were tucked into Mid-Lakes Erie Macedon Landing Marina, along the Erie Canal. A number of empty slips separated us from the next nearest boats. We sit in the cockpit watching passing traffic on the canal. A narrow peninsula of land separated our stern from the canal so there is no wake and the far shore is forest lined adding to the illusion that we are anchored out, but have the luxury of shore power and city water. We’ve even gotten used to the rumble of trains and train whistles since the main line between Rochester and points east runs just on the other side of our shielding forest.

Plans for renting a car went on hold after we’d scoped out parking for the Trek during our first car rental and a drive through of doctor, dentist and other spots we knew we’d be visiting. We experimented driving the Trek and soon found we were quite comfortable threading congested city roads, and finding parking lots. We maneuver around joking that we have the biggest SUV in the county and soon those Hummer owners who see us looking down at their roofs will be thinking about trading up to an RV.

Hot summer days made for slow progress on long neglected projects. The companionway hatch got modified so the new carpeting for the dash can now be a single piece. New carpeting also went into the cockpit. Storage compartments got cleaned and reorganized finally. Little fixit items on the Trek got taken care of and time seemed to fly by. We settled in to a comfortable routine of visiting family, doing projects and trying to stay cool during the heat of the day.

Ruth, Heather, Jeff and Danielle watching fireworks

Ruth, Heather, Jeff and Danielle watching fireworks

Bits of travel got mixed in with being a marina queen. We took off for a few days to stay with Mike and Cindy, helping get ready for their Memorial Day party and staying to enjoy the party. We moved Odyssey all of seven miles to Fairport for a week to enjoy Fairport Days again. Jeff, Danielle, and Heather joined us, and we all got a kick out of the fireworks, watching from the bow of Odyssey. It was a treat watching the girls get their faces painted and just
Cindy, Heather, Danielle in pond. Jeff heading for house. Mike (far right) adding wiring.

Cindy, Heather, Danielle in pond. Jeff heading for house. Mike (far right) adding wiring.

enjoying the festival with them. They even did a sleep over with Gramps and Grammy. It was a ball catching a tadpole and watching Danielle and Heather discover a bit about nature while swimming in Mike and Cindy’s pond. Mike has done an awesome job of turning their property into a lovely park like hilltop setting.

 Brian and Jody Ruth, Linda and Steve looking for birds

Brian, Jody, Ruth, Linda and Steve looking for birds

We had fun times with Steve and Linda bird watching, watching movies and just pokin’. cooked great dinners for our visits. Steve as always lent a hand with misc. projects and Ruth had a chance to play pretend archivist with Linda at Hobart, William Smith where she is a real archivist.

The urge to change the scenery caught up with us in July. We postponed leaving a bit to enjoy Mike and Cindy’s Fourth of July party, said our good bye’s to Jeff, Daniel, and Heather, talked with Steve and Linda about their planned month visit to Newfoundland and Labrador. Then it was time to disconnect shore power and the water line, cast off dock lines and head east along the Erie Canal and then out to Lake Ontario.

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