At 212 feet tall and 1.28 miles long, [Walkway over the Hudson] is the longest, elevated pedestrian bridge in the world. Is it?
When you live in the borough of Manhattan without a car, you don’t really travel farther than what public transportation allows. I am lucky that I live not too far from JFK or LGA and I work a manageable distance to EWR (you know you’ve been checking those travel sites far too often if you can remember airport codes). But that also means my travel are limited to how much dough I roll in and save. So it isn’t much of a surprise that I rarely go out of the city. Train and cab fare aren’t conducive to savings for a “continental tour” (kudos for you if you know what that means without looking it up).
It was with some grace I have friends with cars willing to drive city folks like me around. I’ve been out apple and pumpkin picking thus far (it is expensive without a car and because it’s such a kitschy thing to do, the farms and cabs really do scalp you) and I didn’t think I could afford another random outer city trip.
So on a crisp, sunny Sunday morning, just as daylight savings took effect, I set off with a few friends to upstate New York. Let me repeat, upstate! That is a wilderness unto itself! Where are all the tall buildings? There are people who feel claustophobic from tight space and those from open space. I fall somewhere in between, mostly fear of socializing.
Drive up to Croton-Harmon on the Metro-North Hudson Line
Armed with a Dunkin’ Donut breakfast sandwich and Starbucks soy chai tea latte (breakfast of a corporate sellout, I know), we scrambled to Grand Central in the midst of NYC marathon and police search traffic. The train ride was smooth with the occasional annoying children behind us probably making bunny ears or funny faces (gawd, I hate kids). I have gone through the whole maternal instinct back to never wanting brats who will suck the life and bank out of me. With relief, our ride ended in less than 50 minutes at Croton-Harmon (Croton pronounced with a long O). Croton-Harmon is a small town fifty minutes express outside of New York City for upper middle class families. There are actually homes with yards, fences, and trees. Despite a snowstorm the recent week, the trees held on to some tenacious golden and crimson leaves while snow banks lined the curb. We stopped for a quick breakfast at a cute diner before heading out to Highland, on the west side of the Hudson river, to begin our minor trek.
Starting our little walk over the Walkway-over-the-Hudson
I had always wanted to walk the Walkway over the Hudson bridge when I had first seen a getaway package on the mta.info site. One mile and half is actually quite a quick walk. Dogs of all kind walked along their masters, bikers go up and down, there are 2 points in which tourists can stop and view across the river on both sides, police drive up and down just to make sure everyone behaved. There was even a cat on a leash that day! It was a beautiful walk, the air felt like fresh woods and cold water, and there was just enough people to keep it busy but not crazy packed like the Brooklyn Bridge.
Leaves over Lake Minnewaska
Overview of Lake Minnewaska
At this point, the sun was slowly descending and we made out way to Minnewaska State Park. Have you seen those movies with lake cabins and hikes up cliffs overlooking some crystal water dark and deep? This was the location. The lake was deep inside what could have once been a quarry, the white stones seemed to be cut in layers. If only one could just dive right off a cliff. I can see why people enjoy living out here.
Only a nerd could see what that said at first glance
I was glad we went back into the town of New Paltz. If Williamsburg could be a city, New Paltz would be it. There were coffee shops for musicians, coffee shops for tech nerds even! We ended up eating at Mexicali Blue where it was town for fish tacos! On blue corn tortilla! AMAZING! There was even a special for ghost chili brownies. If anyone knows, ghost chilis are the spiciest chilis in the world! Good luck downing that!
It was a long day, a long trek. Lots of things to see, lots of traveling in between. As always, leaving New York City is a breath of fresh air (literally, as well), but I was itching to get back into the city, the grimy, smelly, and busy life.