Kayaking near Saugerties NY: Lower Esopus Creek

This offseason, my paddling explorations have been curtailed by other commitments. On Saturday morning I had business in Albany. I figured if we got back on the road by mid-afternoon we’d have time to squeeze in a short paddle on the way home.

kayaks on the truck

There is a good variety of choices for kayaking between Albany and my home in the southern Hudson Valley. With only a few hours to get out, I settled on a stretch of flatwater for kayaking near Saugerties: the mouth of Esopus Creek. I’d had an eye on this stretch of water for a while. Last season my curiousity grew when I paddled Rondout Creek, just a little further south.

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Wittenberg and Cornell Hike

During our time living in Colorado, my wife and I fell in love with climbing mountains. Soon after moving there in 2011 we learned of the list of 14ers, Colorado’s 58 14,000-foot peaks. We were hooked and spent most summer and fall weekends ticking these peaks off. I always thought it was dumb to focus on climbing peaks on a list, but something about it is addicting.

Wittenberg from Cornell
Wittenberg from Cornell

Back on the east coast we needed a new objective: The Catskill 3500. Having climbed a handful of these peaks during the winter, we were excited to be on the trail now that it’s warm and everything is green. Our most recent goal was Wittenberg and Cornell Mountains.

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Haverstraw Bay Paddle

Last year I found myself part of a captive audience for a long presentation from the Rockland County Historical Society. It covered a lot of local area history. One story that caught my attention was about the collapse of a couple of blocks of the town of Haverstraw (originally called Haverstroo by the Dutch) in a massive landslide in 1906.

Haverstraw Bay paddler

I knew that brick making was a major industry in the area but hadn’t given much thought to why that was. An abundance of natural clay deposits was the reason the brick factories were located in Haverstraw. Extensive mining of the clay more or less directly under the town led to erosion that eventually caused a giant landslide.

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