Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Walk on a Beautiful Sunday

Last Sunday was possibly the last nice weather day that we will see in 2012.  Of course, if cold weather and so on is your taste, then you're the wrong person for this post.  For Lisa and I, it was about as nice as it can get.  Sunny, 60's, and the fall colors near their peak.

We planned to make it a leisurely type of day, but we were absolutely going to walk somewhere.  Lisa's initial intention was to go to Val-Kill, the cottage and grounds that Eleanor Roosevelt owned until the end of her life in 1962.  That plan seemed to be scuttled when we decided to grab a small breakfast (Robbie needs his coffee) and head on over to a different trail.

We drove to Quiet Cove, a small park off US 9, just north of the city of Poughkeepsie.  I took the above shot of the Walkway over the Hudson and the Mid-Hudson Bridge from there.  There is a house on the site that seems to be rented out for meetings and such, but it's the deck looking out onto the Hudson that is the winner.  It's a sweet little park, but it didn't have the trail that we intended to take, so we drove up the road into Hyde Park, where we found the beginning of the next trail that we wanted to take.  The bonus to this was parking at the old Hyde Park train station.
But as we started walking, something just didn't seem right about this trail.  For Lisa, it was a touch too familiar.  I think she wanted something new, and I had no objections, so after checking out this awesome waterfall on the edge of the Vanderbilt Mansion property, we went back to plan A.

We drove around the Vanderbilt property, where I got this great shot.
From there, it was on to Val Kill.  We did the walk to Top Cottage, FDR's "retreat.", built around 1938.  The guide we met there told us that the President only went there 98 times before his death in 1945, and never slept there.  Of course, Lisa and I were curious how one defines "sleep" in this case.

Giggity giggity goo.

Still, I had to laugh at the thought of Franklin Roosevelt, who had a beautiful house just about three miles away on the Hudson River, needing to go to a "retreat."  Ah, wealth.  So obnoxious.
It's a nice little place, and worth a fast visit.  The view (before the trees grew) must have been fantastic.
The walk from Val-Kill to Top Cottage was decent.  Nothing strenuous about it.  If anything, it reminded me of walks I used to take on the many trails in the woods surrounding my boyhood home (now mostly gone).

Back at Val-Kill, we decided to visit the cottage of one of the 20th Century's most important women.  But...the tour wouldn't start for 90 minutes and we were hungry.  Yet the tour would be free, so we went and grabbed some lunch at the Hyde Park Brewing Company.

Housed in an old Howard Johnson's (my mom and I ate there a few times when we visited the FDR estate 30 years ago), I snapped a picture of Simple Simon and Pieman (the old HoJo logo) that still exists on the floor in Hyde Park.
After we nibbled on our pretzel (goes great with beer and football), pizza, and pasta (all outstanding), we bounced back to Val-Kill for the quick tour of the grounds.  Eleanor Roosevelt (not to be confused with Eleanor Rigby) lived quite simply in this cottage housed in the former home of Val-Kill Industries.  Her two good friends who lived in a house right next to the industrial-looking cottage.
Eleanor Roosevelt's living room.  Of particular interest to me was her radio (of course).  Amazing to think she entertained JFK here, among others.
We finished our tour, giggling at times like school kids over silly things like big fat leaves and such.  That's the bond that only two people so close can share, and the contents will make no sense to anyone else.  We finished our day on that note.

I hope the weather gives us more moments like this, but it was pretty good regardless.

Here's a sign picture for you to finish up.  I'm happy to give.  It's the kind of guy I am.  A good way to "end" things.

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