The Hudson River area is a must do for any paddling history buff. It’s like paddling back in time-old bulkheads and remnants of docks, ice houses from the thriving ice industry, all this stuff, all these leftovers from industries that are no longer in existence. It kinda cracks me up that folks, myself included, assume that what industries we have now will always be. Any paddle around the country opens one’s eyes to the fallacy of that assumption. Shit changes. It might take awhile, but such is the way of “industrial evolution” and the evolution of societies and ideas.
We reluctantly left Chris Acker’s wonderful home a bit outside of downtown Hudson. Down at the docks I enjoyed a brief banter with the friendly and fun folks at the Hudson Power Boat Association, and diddle dinked myself outta the last bits of tidal push. Yup, 35 miles against the tide. All. The. Way. Up. I DID, though, have some wind at my back and even a few little swells to ride!
Lindsy has been knocking it out with outreach to the local paddling groups and such. One group she reached out to, the Albany Capital area kayakers (I think that’s who they are!), actually had a couple of folks just happen to be in the area where I paddled in to meet up with my family, who came up for the weekend. Sharon and Don paddled a bit of a stretch with me, which is always a highlight for me on these trips. I have some company on the water and its also a great way to get also local knowledge (I learned that camping was recently allowed at any of the locks!!! Yay!!!) Earlier I paddled with a guy I just happened to meet up with in the water-am totally blanking on his name. Very fit gentleman who had grown up in the area, had worked in the chemistry industry and who was pretty concerned with the unknown chemicals involved in gas compression. Never mind the explosive potential.
From there it was all about switching back and forth across the river to duck out of the tide & current. Remnants of the ice industry were everywhere. Those folks must have been so pissed at refrigeration. Think we should go back to ice houses? I don’t. Progress is sometimes painful, as my ailing butt reminds me. Eventually though, we all adjust and move on, adapt or die, just as my derrière will (completely a result of more time on Stand-Up Paddle – SUP – and not enough long hours in the canoe).
A major highlight came at the end of the day-Lindsy completely knocked it out of the park with her networking capabilities. She had contacted Albany News 10 earlier in the day and upon arriving at Starbuck Island Boat Club, discovered that there was a solar powered boat in residence. So she reached out to David Borton, the guy heading up that project which had started under the auspices of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (he is a professor there), and not only did he come out to join in the press fun, but he gave them a ride to meet me on the water!
I love what this guy Borton is going. Talk about the evolution of industry, we need to evolve our whole energy industry. We can definitely do better on that front!
Forward ho and to the canal I will go!