I woke to fog. To a duck perched in a tree. It was beautiful and felt out of place., the tree high on a ridge in my front yard. Still, this seemed a good omen: wonders for the day.
Four of us carted our kayaks down the wooden stairs at the North Tivoli Bay launch at noon. Sun, blue sky, a light breeze had taken over. We eased our wetsuit-cloaked bodies into our sleek boats and pushed off. It seemed so normal. And yet but two months ago we were walking this same spot on ice, hefting through snow that reached to our thighs. Now it was all liquid and freedom. To paddle out, under the railroad trestle onto the Hudson River, cold and brown, wide and empty. We skirted the eastern shore, trailing the rip rap, and the still bare trees; the wake of a tug and barge knocked us around a bit. Then we popped back into the bay through a southern passage.