Hudson River at Haverstraw
by Betty Wiest
Sunday, June 18, 2017
The trip on Sunday, June 18th was in serious trouble in the morning. The weather reports were so iffy...it was foggy and drizzling the entire distance from my house in Ridgewood to Haverstraw Bay County Park. I had only one cancellation that morning, so I was surprised to see 11 other hearty paddlers show up: Bob and Jeri, Mica and Michael, Manfred, Janet, Skip, Bob John, Peter and me. When we launched at 9:30, there was just fog but not too dense that we could not see for several hundred feet...just not across the river. We made the decision to "GO."
The water was very calm when we paddled downriver. There was a huge osprey and later a blue heron that floated by so beautifully in the air. We passed the recreation area of the park, a lengthy utility pipe pier, apartment condos, and a Tilcon plant before the landscape changed to reveal the cliffs. Along the way we looked for and found the Stone Head Garden (we heard that the sculptor recently passed away), and the boulder that is carved with the words "Andre the Spy was here." We found a nice sandy beach to rest. No one ventured too far...the forest was reclaiming the ruins from a bygone era...now overrun with poison ivy and other plants. The sun came out to make the day bright and cheery.
The trip back was a bit more difficult. Some of us paddled around a stationary buoy and headed upriver. The water and wind became somewhat rolling and I found myself paddling twice as hard on the right side just to keep my boat going straight (I really need to get my rudder fixed!) One of our paddlers overshot the takeout at the park and paddled for another approximately three miles...two others kept up with him. This incident points to the need for marine radios. One of the three (who is in great shape) turned up and came to shuttle cars and drivers. This all happened while we enjoyed Manfred's goodies.