Wednesday, June 22, 2022
Home to Hopewell Junction, NY
Cumulative Miles: 223
Overcast all day, Low 60s
We pulled out of our driveway at 10:45 on our way to Sylvan Lake Beach Park campground near Hopewell Junction, NY, along the east bank of the Hudson River. Described as beautiful, it’s an area we’ve never visited.
The drive north was easy with no traffic issues. We arrived at the campground, were greeted by the couple who run it and shown to our campsite. It was a lovely, recently converted, clear area along a gravel, lake-front drive. Nice!
There were just five sites in the area complete with 30/50 amp power, water and cable (which we won’t use since we removed our TV). Although a couple of other campers were in view, we were the only people in this section of the campground. Much of the rest of the 80 site campground consisted of seasonal or permanent sites. Facilities were simple but very clean.
Dinner was our own New Year’s Day bean soup and applesauce. We both fell asleep early, exhausted from days of last minute preparation work for this three-month trip.
Thursday, June 23, 2022
Hopewell Junction, NY
Cumulative Miles: 290
Overcast, afternoon rain showers, low 70s
Today’s agenda was to explore the area north of our location, following NY-9 which parallels the Hudson. We started by exploring Hopewell Junction and a trailhead of the Duchess Rail Trail. A 13.5 mile section of the Empire State Trail that runs from Hopewell Junction to Poughkeepsie where it terminates at the Walkway over the Hudson.
At the trailhead we met Jim Hinkle from South Carolina. Jim and his family are on an extended trip and Jim was trail riding while his wife and daughter shopped for a wedding dress in NYC. They are traveling van equipped for camping and described the trip as being on a “Budweiser Budget.” Nice guy, we exchanged info on biking trails and places we’ve been or plan to visit.
Heading north we passed through the towns of Poughkeepsie, Staatsburg and Rhinebeck. These are all charming towns with lots to see and do. Bill was a spoilsport, though, and wouldn’t let Sandy out of the car to shop. Along the way we passed multiple historic mansions that are open to visitors including a Vanderbilt Mansion, Wilderstein and Staatsburgh State Historic Sites, the Locust Grove Estate and the home of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Our first stop was in Poughkeepsie to ride the Walkway over the Hudson. The 1.28 mile, 212 feet high, Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge was built in the late 19th century to link New York and New England to an extensive, nationwide railway network. Today it provides a breathtaking landscape for pedestrians, hikers, joggers and bicyclists. We biked across and just about got to the far end before the rain started. It is a great view, one to take advantage of if you get the chance.
Heading back south we decided on a stop at the Roosevelt home named Springwood. The home is where FDR was born, raised and which he expanded to be able to host dignitaries. It is also the site of his library, the first presidential library. Our tour guide was excellent and the tour was a very good one. Some of the more interesting points concerned the means FDR took to disguise his inability to walk. Also on the grounds were horse stables and the rose garden where he and Eleanor are buried.
The library tour consisted of an excellent museum that documented FDR’s political life with easy-to-read signage. We spent about an hour there and could easily spent another few hours.
Returning to our camper, we made ham steak and cauliflower for dinner. A well-spent day!
Friday, June 24, 2022
Hopewell Junction, NY
Cumulative Miles: 410
Sunny, high in the low 80s
We started the day with a tour of the West Point Military Academy. This was a narrated bus tour with several stops where we could walk around a bit. Just an hour and a quarter long, it barely scratched the surface. Nonetheless, it left us with the impression of beauty and great tradition. The Cadet Chapel was the first stop and is a place of beauty. The final stop was to see an overlook of the Hudson and the preserved thirteen link of the “Great Chain” that was floated across the Hudson to block British ships from sailing up the river. Cool place!
Following the tour we ranged up and down both sides of the river on a mostly unsuccessful trip trying to find a park to have a small picnic lunch. All were either private or unsuitable until we finally found a river front park in Beacon, across the river from Newburgh.
Returning to the camper, Sandy took a nap, a rare occurrence. (Still recovering from our prep?)
Dinner was sautéed beef tenderloin tips with mushrooms, green beans and sliced tomatoes.