Weekend Road Trip around Hudson Valley with PapaBear

Back in July, my dad and I took a weekend road trip to several spots and towns in Hudson Valley. The river was our compass, the van our hotel. Our family always goes to the same house upstate New York in Willowemoc, but we are not a family of sameness - in fact, this is the first summer in years that I have not been to upstate New York with my mother or brother. This is the second trip my dad and I took this summer together...which is remarkable because before this year I cannot for the life of me remember when my dad and I ever took a trip together. 

My dad goes upstate almost every weekend in the summer. Once his summer day camp is over he usually escapes for one week driving around garage sales, exploring art galleries and music scenes, and talking with everyone he possibly can. He knows the Hudson Valley and lower Catskills very well! This trip our stops included: Kingston, Poughkeepsie, Beacon, and New Paltz. I'd never see most of the places we visited, but FINALLY I was able to take my dad to a place he'd never seen but I had: the Bonticou Crag hike/rock scramble in New Paltz. Huzzah!

Our trip started late that Friday night when we drove upstate and stopped to sleep in the parking area near Onteora Lake. Our family calls the set of lakes here "Тёплые Озёра" (Warm Lakes) because they are truly warm! It was so lovely to wake up at 8am and go for a swim. Then, I colored in the coloring book I got in Turkey, while my dad talked to some Russian lifeguard dudes and probably taught them how to live their lives.

Swimming in Onteora Lake
Onteora Lake
Then we drove over to Kingston, New York where we walked around the grounds of the Maritime Museum and visited the Trolley Museum of New York - which included taking a trolley to Kingston Point Park right on the Hudson River!
A lady in Kingston, NY.
A sea captain in Kingston, NY.
Maritime Museum in Kingston, NY.
Maritime Museum in Kingston, NY.

Trolley Museum of New York in Kingston.

Trolley Museum of New York in Kingston.
Trolley Museum of New York in Kingston.
An old school NYC A train is at the Trolley Museum of New York in Kingston.
Trolley Museum of New York in Kingston.
Trolley Museum of New York in Kingston.
Old man with an old NYC subway map at theTrolley Museum of New York in Kingston.
Old NYC train that was used as a J, A, and C train
at the Trolley Museum of New York in Kingston.
Old trolley at Trolley Museum of New York in Kingston.
Gettin' artsy at the Trolley Museum of New York in Kingston.
"Take a photo of me doing this."
German trolley at Trolley Museum of New York in Kingston.
After all the trolley-ing around, my dad and I drove over to Poughkeepsie, NY to walk the 3.6 loop around the two bridges over the Hudson River. One is the Walkway Over the Hudson, a purely pedestrian bridge, and the second bridge is the Mid-Hudson Bridge which my family calls the Musical Bridge because in 2009 composer Joseph Bertolozzi created a whole musical arrangement called "Bridge Music" using sounds he recorded from banging, swiping, jiggling things on the bridge. The result is a funky, weird musical arrangement you can listen to on the radio when you're in the area, or at the two Bridge pillars - which is what we did.
Mid-Hudson Bridge
Walkway Over the Hudson
We look alike. We also both think we're smarter than the other.
Poughkeepsie views from the Walkway Over the Hudson
Hudson River and Mid-Hudson Bridge views form the Walkway Over the Hudson
My dad prefers to walk barefoot in cities.
Mid-Hudson Bridge
The Bridge Music of the Mid-Hudson Bridge
Walkway Over the Hudson and Hudson River views from the Mid-Hudson Bridge
Getting ready to dance to Bridge Music.

Bridge Music is inspiring.
Our final stop of the first day was Beacon, a small town on the Hudson. I've heard that many hip, young professionals from New York have been moving to this lovely town. It's got a bustling art scene, cafes and restaurants, pretty shops, and whatever else you're small town dreams are made of, like a small mountain. Maybe I'll move there one day.

The waterfall at Fishkill Creek
My future house in Beacon, NY.
Beacon. This is going to be converted into a bed and breakfast, I believe.
Beacon Falls by night.

That night we slept in a corn field outside of New Paltz, and I had nightmares that we were on someone's property and they would threaten us with a rifle to get off their property. My dad's style of sleeping wherever is quite admirable because it makes road trips fun, easy, and cheap! We ate some fresh, raw corn from the field and then drove into town from breakfast and a brief walk around. After that I took my dad on the Bonticou Crag hike and rock scramble I did eight years ago! It was nice to finally show him something he had not yet seen in upstate New York. Of course that's a whole other post...We really lucked out because it rained most of the second day except for the few hours we had to hike and explore. Then we drove to Little Stony Point near Cold Spring and swam in the Hudson River. 

I woke up like this. We ate fresh, raw corn and it was sweet and delicious.
Nooooo! BOB!!!!!!! He's in New Paltz! (For those in the know.)
New Paltz, NY
Breakfast with the greats in New Paltz, NY.
New Paltz, NY
Leaf warts in New Paltz, NY.
Poppin' porch in New Paltz, NY.
Bzzzz in New Paltz, NY.
Colors in New Paltz, NY
Peace signs in New Paltz, NY.
Great shot in downtown New Paltz by PapaDukes.
Great mural in New Paltz, NY.
Hey there!!
Sunflowers in New Paltz
Sunflowers in New Paltz.
My father pretending to be Van Gogh in New Paltz.
Last stop: Little Stony Point near Cold Spring, NY. Hudson River swimmin'.
Last stop: Little Stony Point near Cold Spring, NY. Hudson River swimmin'/flyin'.

Great times all around. I highly encourage you to explore upstate New York and the Hudson Valley. There are many great small towns to explore, lakes and rivers to swim in, mountains to climb, and memories to make.


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