Hackensack River Canoe & Kayak Club

paddling for over a third of a century

Hudson River at GW Bridge
by Betty Wiest

Wednesday, July 14, 2013

Sunday morning.....most people sleep in on Sunday mornings, but our hearty group (Manfred, Christine and George, Lois and Henry, Carolyn, Monica, Andy, Anita, Ken, Stan, Cory and me) ventured into the Hudson River early in the day, mostly to see the Little Red Lighthouse made famous in a book, The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Grey Bridge by H. Swift. “This heartwarming classic tells the tale of a small red lighthouse on the Manhattan bank of the Hudson River who proudly protects boats with his faithful beam. When a great expanse of gray steel, which also shines a bright light into the fog, is built over the little red lighthouse, he feels useless in comparison. But he soon learns the importance of all things, big or small.” Sweet story.

The current was a bit “confused” as Anita commented. Truly, it was the toughest part of the trip...and it was right at the beginning, under the bridge on the Jersey side. We managed to make it and regroup north of the structure so we could paddle en masse to the other side. And by the time we arrived, we were just where we wanted to be...at the Little Red Lighthouse. It was too bad that the rocky shoreline prevented us from beaching our boats and exploring the park. We continued down the river past the sewage treatment plant with Riverside Park atop it (did you know it has an ice skating rink, soccer field, indoor pool. restaurant and parkland?). Again, with no landing area, we grouped just south of the treatment plant, putting us at about 125th Street, near the famous Fairway Market and fabulous “ribs” restaurant. George, whose dream is to call for delivery service from the rib restaurant, saw a small dock, got out of his boat and managed to inquire with a fellow at the side of the road, about the logistics. What was the results, George? I forgot to ask!

From there we all were in position to cross back over to the NJ side. Recent boat/barge activity created some interesting swells as we all made our way to Edgewater and the old Binghamton, a restaurant/club boat, now in such disrepair that it’s sinking. It brought back memories for many of us who went there in its heyday. We managed to take a group picture for sentimental reasons.

The Jersey side paddle north to the launch was more of a sightseeing journey with lots of condos and various housing units, some of which clearly sustained dock damage from Sandy.

We ended the trip with a delightful trunk show--coffee, cake, cookies and other “cool” beverages compliments of Manfred and Mariana. Delish! Well, okay with no picnic table in sight, the truck of his car made an excellent table for all the culinary delights.