Entries in Troy (2)


River Time

Kate and Hudson River Dog NeenaWe left from the Troy Dam later than planned. High tide was at 9, and by 11 we had already missed two precious hours of the ebb current. On the Hudson, the tides become a tyrant, not letting you stop or rest or eat. You go with those six hours, rest later. Or that's what you do if you want to travel. By noon, when we made our first gravelly stop, the roar of Albany traffic in the background, I knew we were not making miles. This was a trip about river time.

We included Merle, who at age 72 teaches Outward Bound courses, has a shock of curly gray-white hair and a calm steady demeanor; Kate on her pedal boat, after shoulder surgery, long legs shoving south; and me, on a short fall break from teaching, desperate not to think about faculty meetings. The most important team member, however, was Neena, a pint sized dog, which Kate had just rescued. This was Neena’s river baptism. To keep her happy--and who doesn't want to keep a dog happy--we stopped every hour to stretch and pee and marvel over how slowly we were moving.

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Squirrel Madness

Paddling the Hudson through the city of Albany is a daunting experience. It is not that river traffic is so dense.  It’s that the noise overwhelms: the incessant hum of traffic along the highways near shore, the construction under the many bridges—a clang that hurt my teeth. There were interesting sights on shore, like gas tanks and scrap yards, but little wildlife, save two Peregrine Falcons that had made their home under the Troy-Menand’s bridge.

But there, near the bow of my boat, I spied something moving in the water. I usually see beaver or musk rat, sometimes I see snapping turtles, the V of their heads cutting the surface in the Tivoli Bay. This was not any of those familiar creatures. The animal had a fluffy gray tail that floated on the surface of the water, then a tiny head that was barely cutting the surface. A squirrel!

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