A River View of the Hudson Valley
My daughter Allison came to visit from California last month for a few weeks. While she was here, she took a kayaking tour of the Hudson that she raved about so much I asked her to write a guest blog about her adventure. I may have to check this one out myself!
Full Moon over the Hudson River
by Allison Maya Borgueta
When I was a kid growing up in Newburgh NY, I never realized what a beautiful area the Hudson Valley was – or what an impressive river the Hudson is, for that matter. It was my home, and familiarity led me to take my surroundings completely for granted. As an adult returning home to visit, I always marvel at the things I never noticed when I lived here.
It was in the spirit of renewed appreciation for my hometown and the Hudson Valley region that I decided to take a Hudson River kayak tour during my most recent visit home. A great decision, as this turned out to be the highlight of my trip. The tour was offered by Storm King Adventure Tours (they go by “SKAT”), which offers multiple options for guided hiking and kayaking tours based out of Cornwall. I chose the full moon tour, a three-hour tour that begins before sunset and concludes after moonrise.
My friend Anna and I arrived early at the SKAT office as instructed to pay and pick up a parking pass, and were greeted warmly by a woman who was busily making preparations for the tour. She introduced us to our guides, Austin and Bree, and helpfully suggested that we make a quick bathroom stop before heading down to the water. From there it was just a very short drive down the hill where we met up with our group. There were about 12 people on our tour, including some families, singles, couples, and friends. A quick show of hands revealed that I was the only one who had never been kayaking before. This surprised me because I had been told that there were always plenty of newbies on every tour. At any rate, my inexperience wasn’t a problem as the tour guides gave us a short lesson/refresher course before we got started.
We launched from Cornwall Landing, and first headed south. I was pleased to find I got the hang of it quickly and experimented a bit with how to paddle most efficiently. The water was warm, the day was beautiful, and I fortunately stayed mostly dry as I decided to bring my phone along for some pictures. We paddled until we came to some high rocks, and Austin guided some volunteers to the shore for a big jump into the river. Anna and I refrained as we hadn’t worn swimsuits, but all of the kids and teens took the plunge. The rest of us had a nice break as we watched and cheered.
From there we crossed the channel to the Beacon side of the river. I chatted with Austin and learned that our route would take us about 5 miles round trip. When we arrived at the other side, we got another brief rest as the guides got out of their kayaks to tie glow sticks to the front and back for after sunset. “This is the rave part of the tour,” Bree joked, which Austin followed up with “untz untz untz”.
I was very excited that our next destination was Bannerman’s Island, as I’ve never had the chance to check the arsenal out up close before. We paddled halfway there, and then stopped to watch the sunset as Bree told us about the history of Bannerman’s Castle. (Note to self: SKAT also offers four-hour Bannerman’s Island hard hat tours, which include kayaking and a historian-guided tour of the island. Next time!) The sunset over Newburgh was stunning. After the sun disappeared, we circled the island and got to see the ruins up close.
As the skies darkened, we snapped each other’s glowsticks and our guides put on headlamps so that we could stay together in the night. We started back for Cornwall, a long but peaceful final stretch. About halfway back, the full moon rose over the trees. It was a startlingly fast moonrise, and so bright. We had a bit of extra time, so we were able to take some leisurely time on the water for more photos and to just enjoy the scenery.
By the end, my arms were exhausted and my shoulders were sore, but my tour of the Hudson River was definitely worth it. SKAT promised a safe, hassle-free, and fun adventure, and my experience exceeded my expectations. I’d recommend it to anyone looking to see the Hudson Valley from a new perspective!
Storm King Adventure Tours offers a variety of guided Hiking and Kayaking adventures in Hudson Valley NY. For more information, visit their website at stormkingadventuretours.com, or call 845-534-7800.
A River View of the Hudson Valley
published by: Janis Borgueta Key Properties of the Hudson Valley in Newburgh NY. Her blog is about living, working and Real Estate in The Hudson Valley. Information here is a community service to the public. Please subscribe to this blog. When you are looking to buy a new home, Search the MLS for New Homes in Newburgh NY. You can contact Janis at (845)-527-7115 or find her on Google+
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