Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Runyak for Liberty Days 104 thru 108

Day 1 to Day 108
Runyak for Liberty Days 104 thru 108

If you are new to this blog you may want to start at the beginning.
If that is the case see Blog Archive to the right. Or feel free to start here.

In the spring of 2009 I coined the term Runyaking. Not easily explained but in the simplest terms: Runyaking: Placing a kayak by a waterway, and driving a distance down the waterway and parking vehicle and running back to the kayak then paddling to the vehicle. If one wishes to explore the waterway further one can repeat the segment just mentioned from where they left off.

I've completed 108 days of runyaking from the source of my home watershed, the Flint River. By using waterways of Michigan inland rivers, the Great Lakes and connecting rivers, St. Clair, Detroit, and Niagara, the Erie Canal and Hudson River, I've arrive at Cold Spring, NY, about 50 miles from New York City on Sept. 19th, 2016.

In the first four years, I was attempting a solo runyak the Flint source to Niagara Falls. Once reaching that goal I wrote a book, The Runyaker's Journey. This blog only covers the adventure from Niagara to the Statue of Liberty. To read that book, please buy the awesome e-book. It is only $4 and can be purchased many places online. This is the Amazon link. Once at Niagara I did not want to quit so I decided to keep going until reaching Lady Liberty.

Those who have followed me over the years know I have done fundraisers for cancer research (V Foundation for Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, American Cancer Institute.) When I began my runyaking to Niagara Falls and now Statue of Liberty it never crossed my mind to do another. Yet, along my route, people have stopped me and asked if there was a cause for which I was raising money. So, I decided to go looking for a good cancer research institute so when asked I can say "YES." In my search, the Cancer Research Institute, was always one of the highest rated and why I chose to go with them. My friend Corky Meinecke, who died of cancer in 1997 is still the spirit that drives me. If you are following my progress as I Runyak for Liberty and feel you'd like to make a special pledge to someone who has fought cancer, please do. You will be in my thoughts as I runyak to the Statue of Liberty. You can donate at: Riley's CRI page

Runyak for Liberty Day 104, September 15, 2016

Remember clicking on photos will enlarge them.

Roundout Creek departure point.

It took over 600 miles driving for Swiftee and I to arrive back at Roundout Creek, Kingston, NY. I finished there October 2015. Here it is September, 2016 so it was quite the hiatus. I had open chest surgery April of 2016 to replace a aortic valve. Five months later, here I am.
                                                                           Roundout Creek
 Departure point

Esopus Meadows Point
It would make for a 16 mile run from Roundout Creek to the landing in Highland, NY. To break it up and give legs a rest, I decided to do a short segment from Roundout to Esopus Meadows Point. I had some hesitations when I looked at where I'd be landing. It was filled with aquatic vegetation. It looked similar to the landing on the second to last day on the Erie Canal. That day I had to exit the kayak and push Swiftee through the weeds in three feet of water. Here at Esopus I saw a thin trail through the weeds (visible in photo as a white line) so I took a chance, left the van and ran back to Roundout Creek. 
During the run I passed a historical marker of an tavern while running in the village of Port Ewen.

One never thinks of New York ever having slaves, but until 1827 it was legal. When passing the above sign I saw a woman in the yard and stopped and talked to her. Her house looked nothing like a tavern so I had to ask if it was once located on the property. She assured me the house I was looking at was once called Jug Tavern and that Sojourner Truth was a slave there owned by Martinus Schryver. In 2014, Sojourner Truth was included in Smithsonian magazine's list of the "100 Most Significant Americans of All Time".
The Jug Tavern
Named for a place where people brought there jugs and had the filled
Again Swifty plows his way through aquatic weeds
It turned out to be about a 5 mile run to Swiftee, we left Roundout Creek and three miles later grounded to a halt in aquatic weeds. I battled them for a short distance and hit a watery path to where the van was parked.
The weed parted and left a path.
Landing at Esopus Meadows
The departure from Esopus Meadows. Again I had to bust through weeds to get to the open waters. The Hudson
I think the "Meadows" name refers to the aquatic vegetation for on land there was nothing that remotely looked like a meadow.
Still passing the Catskill foothills

Walkway Over the Hudson bridge in foreground, FDR Bridge is afar

It was about a ten mile paddle to where I landed, Bob Shepard Highland Park Landing, in the shadows of Walkway over the Hudson. Just as I was about to land I looked over my right shoulder and was startled. There behind me was another kayaker, "You scared the shit out out of me." I told him, still recovering from the shock. After landing he came over to offer his expertise of the area. His name was Rod. He showed me a paddlers atlas which in it he had many notes of from years of paddling the area. I consider myself old school, but I abandoned paper for Google maps and Garmin navigation years ago. Rod was 76 years old and REALLY old school. He was pointing out the best landings down river. He wasn't quite grasping runyaking, all his offerings left me running extra miles. 

He was genuinely engrossed in what I was trying to accomplish and wanted to hang a while. Any other time I would have liked to spend time with a fellow kayaker but I was cold, wanted to find a place to change into dry warm clothes and go eat. When I said I had plenty to do and was hungry, he offer to meet me at Burger King a couple miles away. I let him know my plan was to go to a brewpub for dinner, and he was welcome to meet me there. He let me know he did not drink and that was a deal killer. When I travel anywhere, I'm definitely not going to eat at a fast food joint that I can eat at down the road from where I live.

I left Rod and Swiftee and went to The Gilded Otter Brewery in New Paltz, NY. I spent the night in Poughkeepsie which is across the river from where I left Swiftee. 

Runyak for Liberty Day 105, September 16, 2016

When kayaking yesterday on my portside I passed the CIA, Culinary Institute of America, located in Hyde Park. After ICE, the Institute of Culinary Education in NYC, CIA is the highest rated culinary school in the USA. I learned of the Apple Pie Bakery there, and knew where my breakfast was coming from when I awoke.
 It did not open until 8:30 am so I walked around the institute. It was worth the wait for the Salted Caramel Toasted Coconut donut was the best donut I'd ever eaten. 
It is at Poughkeepsie I will begin runyaking on the eastside of the Hudson because there are more landings on that side. During my run, I crossed over Hudson, via the Mid-Hudson Bridge, also known as the FDR Bridge 

From the bridge center I can see the other bridge Walkway over the Hudson. I wanted to run over it but it would make for a much longer run. I ran 16 miles the day before and today would run 11 today, so adding anything more was avoided.
This is Lenny 
When prepping for launch on Day 105 I was approached by Lenny, "I'm not usually an inquisitive person, but seeing your sign I have to ask, you really paddled here from Michigan?" When I returned to launch hours later he began telling people I paddled from Minnesota. He had to be corrected twice.
Walkway Over the Hudson at 1.28 miles is recognized by Guinness as the Longest Footbridge in the World. It was a railroad bridge built in 1889. Closed by a fire in 1974 and re-opened as a footbridge in 2009.

Day 105's run would be a 11 miles and my legs needed a break, so I parked the van about halfway at a CVS pharmacy. It meant when I landed to end the paddle I'd need to run again. During the paddle the battery went dead on my phone. The backup external battery was dead also. I was off the grid. No camera, no phone, no GPS.

It was a rough paddle battling waves that made pace over 30 minutes an hour. My landing was up Wappingers Creek in the village of Wappingers Falls. Because of no GPS I couldn't find the creek so I stopped at a marina, walked around slips, found someone to ask. They pointed me in the right direction, saying I had to paddle beneath a railroad trestle. They said, "The tide is low enough you should be able to get underneath it." I found it, and there was plenty of clearance. It was over a mile up the creek before finding the landing. 

At the landing I saw a vehicle with a kayak on top. A lady sitting inside the vehicle asked, "How was it out there today?" I shook my head and told her it was very bad. 

I next had to call Hope and let her know I was out of the water, something I always do. I then realized I had left my dead phone at the slip in the marina when asking for directions. I had to find my way back there with no GPS for directions. I was UP A CREEK in more ways than one.  

I struck up a conversation with the lady in the vehicle, telling her my predicament. She offered to drive me back to the marina, which was about 2 miles away, to find my phone. After finding the dead phone she offered her phone so I could call home. I let Hope know I was out of the water. She answered the call with no caller i.d. seeing it was from New York, and knowing her husband all too well. 

I now still had to run back to the van without GPS and it was getting dark. I told Hope my concern and she said to see if the lady would drive me back to my van at the CVS pharmacy. Knowing the lady had to drive past the van on her way home, I had the nerve to ask her, and she obliged. 

The lady was an real life guardian angel; what were the chances of meeting such a person when I landed, just sitting there, with no one else around, when I was in dire straits. Her name is Betsy and before dropping me off at CVS we agreed to become Facebook friends.

Betsy told me that, that evening she was going to the Harvest Moon Walk on the Walkway over the Hudson, and invited me to come along. I was interested, but by the time I got back to Swiftee and prepped him it was already dark and figured I would not be able to find her. Wish I could have, I missed my second chance to walk the Walkover.
Mid-Hudson Bridge taken from Walkway Over the Hudson Bridge
photo courtesy of Betsy Dommreis

Runyak for Liberty Day 106, September 17, 2016

On the third morning of the 5-day runyaking trip, I awoke knowing my forgotten phone fiasco the day before had messed things up on today's plans. I now had to finish yesterday's running leg from the marina where Betsy drove me, back to the CVS.

Then, once at the CVS, I had to get back to Swiftee, and the van, before starting today's runyaking segment. I could use any method available getting back for the Runyak segment had already been finished. My first thought was getting an Uber ride, but found out they had no service this far from Poughkeepsie. So, I'd have to run the six miles to CVS turn around and walk or run back. On my next trip (next year) I think I will bring a bicycle, this is the second trip in a row where I had to walk miles to the van. Runyaking logistics can be complicated.

The White's Hudson River Marina is where I had left my phone yesterday. It is not listed as a landing with the  Hudson River Greenway Water Trail, and why yesterday I paddled beyond it and over a mile up Wappinger Creek. I had no problems with the marina owners when landing at a slip yesterday so, I decided to go stealth, not ask for permission, since they weren't yet open. I just move Swiftee to the marina to avoid the unnecessary Creek paddle today.

Entrance to Vice-Prez Clinton estate
Most of the 6 mile run was on Sheafe Road to CVS. On the scenic road I passed by what was once the estate of George Clinton, 4th Vice-President under Jefferson and Madison and first governor of New York. He is a founding father that is seldom spoken about today. I know I'm quite ignorant of him, knowing more about Governor Dewitt Clinton, father of the Erie Canal.

When I arrived at Sheafe Road and NY Highway 9, I heard a notification ping on my cell. I stopped running because I saw it was a Facebook message from my newest friend, Betsy. She asked how my previous evening was, since she didn't see me on the Walkway the night before. I told her it was a little too late by the time I moved the kayak to the marina so decided against it.

I mentioned where I now was and she messaged, "Can I come give you a lift. Ha ha?"
I messaged back, "Are you joking? I could use a lift. Lol
She said, "Seriously, I'm a half hour away, but would be happy to come get you."
"I have $20 in my running shorts pocket. It's all yours, worth it to me." I told her. Mostly, because of the time it would save by not walking six miles.
"I'm on my way."
"I'll be at the CVS."
I was back to Swiftee two hours sooner than I figured, thanks to Betsy. Now, not once, but twice she went out of her way to help me. Why? There are just good people in this world that do good deed for strangers without asking for anything in return. They are real life angels. She would not accept my money, or my offer to buy her lunch. We are strangers no more but friends forever.

When I launched two hours earlier than expected, I passed the train trestle over Wappinger Creek that I went under yesterday. It now was high tide and no way would I have gotten under it.

Deliberately I made the runyaking segment short today, since the two days prior I had totaled over 30 miles. Today would be 3.5 mile run and a 2.5 mile kayak the Municipal Launch of Chelsea, NY.

Runyak for Liberty Day 107, September 18, 2016

Municipal Landing of Chelsea, NY

When I prepped Swiftee on the fourth day before running, at the landing at Chelsea, nearby I observed a child of about ten, his father, and grandfather. They were placing chicken necks to nylon strings, the nylon strings with necks were spaced about ten feet apart on a rope that looked to be at least a hundred foot long. Of course I had to ask. "I'm from Michigan and I've never seen this sort of fishing before. What are you aiming to catch?" The father explained they were chicken necking for crabs. I could have asked more about the technique but my curiosity was satisfied and I drove away to position the van at my next port, Beacon, NY, five miles downriver.


When kayaking some time later I passed the chicken-neckers and asked had they caught any. They said they got some big ones, but not many. The grandfather thought the full moon last night was had something do do with inactive crabs. 

    Chelsea Yacht Club, not a classy as one might imagine.

Dock at Beacon City Launch
Where I finished Day 107
Beacon Farmers Mkt in background

I finished paddling Day 107 before 1:00 pm so had plenty of time to check out a brewery, Two Way. I drank and talked to a local there who told me the best restaurant and tap room in Beacon, The Hop.

He steered me right, the food was amazing and the beer selection was great. By late afternoon I ventured to cross over the I-84 Hudson river bridge to a town (Newburgh) much larger than Beacon. I'd spent the night in Newburgh, and before bedding down in the van I visited the waterfront, and made it to Newburgh Brewery, just as they were closing. It was the 588th brewery I drank beer at in my life.

Near the waterfront I passed a fenced park. A gate was open so I parked and walked to it. The seven acres had a museum, monuments, and statues. The park housed Washington's Headquarters, during the final years of the Revolutionary War. Just a dozen miles down the road is West Point where Washington headquartered earlier in the war.

Runyak for Liberty Day 108, September 19, 2016

During the night I woke more than once in the van from hearing rain. I feared what the day would bring for rain was forecasted for much of the day. Still dark out and awake, I said to myself, might as well get started, sooner I get done, the sooner I can head for home. I drove over the I-83 bridge to Beacon and prepped Swiftee while under an umbrella.

Dawn broke when I arrived at Foundry Dock Park in Cold Springs, NY where I'd end my trip.

Photo: Daniel Case, English language Wikipedia
Cold Springs is on the National Register of Historic Places because of the West Point Foundry that operated there from 1817 to 1911 producing artillery used in the Civil War. The village had  very quaint look to it with 19th century buildings covered with ivy.
Every since crossing the Hudson and runyaking on the east side of the river, to get to all landings, I've had to maneuver over the rail system of Amtrak and NYC Metro-North. The railroad runs along side the river all the way to NYC. Since Poughkeepsie, while paddling, fifteen minutes does not pass that I don't hear a train heading north or south.

While running back to Beacon I had to run through the tunnel at Breakneck Point, parallel to the tracks, the train had a separate tunnel not seen here but in the satellite image below.
Next to the launch in Beacon 
Pete and Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park

The 7 mile paddle had some very interesting geography. I had to pass through a narrowing of the river from nearly 1.50 mile wide to 0.50 mile wide. In the narrows were peaks of the Hudson Highlands. It almost looked like a mountain gap was formed by the river. Near the narrows entrance was an an island with a isolated castle. 

Bannerman Castle and the island, Pollepel, has quite a bit of history. The castle was built by David Bannerman a munitions dealer for storage and residence in 1901.

My Day 108 landing was off to the side of the pay parking lot of the NYC Metro-North rail station. There was only two free parking spaces for paddlers (black circle in image) The sign said four hour limit. The van was parked over six hours. So, when portaging Swiftee from the landing to the van I was half expecting a ticket, since I'd seen security patrolling earlier. In the van windows I placed Runyak for Liberty business cards. I do not know if it helped, but the windshield was ticket free. Joyfully, I packed up and went to find lunch before the 12 hour drive home.

Those who have followed me over the years know I have done fundraisers for cancer research (V Foundation for Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, American Cancer Institute.) When I began my runyaking to Niagara Falls and now Statue of Liberty it never crossed my mind to do another. Yet, along my route, people have stopped me and asked if there was a cause for which I was raising money. So, I decided to go looking for a good cancer research institute so when asked I can say "YES." In my search, the Cancer Research Institute, was always one of the highest rated and why I chose to go with them. My friend Corky Meinecke, who died of cancer in 1997 is still the spirit that drives me. If you are following my progress as I Runyak for Liberty and feel you'd like to make a special pledge to someone who has fought cancer, please do. You will be in my thoughts as I runyak to the Statue of Liberty. You can donate at: Riley's CRI page

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Runyak for Liberty Days 99 thru 103

Runyaking: Kayaking a waterway from one point to another point, leaving the kayak, then running back to where the kayak was placed in the water to get the kayak's transport vehicle.

On April 27, 2009 Riley McLincha began runyaking from the source of his home watershed, the Flint River near Oxford MI. His goal is to runyak all the way to the Statue of Liberty. Thus far, after 103 days of runyaking, he has traveled 2220 miles and is in Kingston, NY on the Hudson River. 

Runyak for Liberty Days 99 thru 103

If you are new to this blog you may want to start at the beginning.
If that is the case see archive to the right. Or feel free to start here.

Days 98 thru 103 map

Runyak for Liberty Day 99, October 22, 2015

Leaving home about noon the previous day, and driving with minimal stops I made it close to where I'd launch, Coxsackie, NY by 9:00 pm. I slept in the van at a McDonald after removing Swiftee and making room for an air mattress and myself.

Next morning the sun was near rising, about 6:00 am, when I placed Swiftee where I would I'd begin paddling.
From there I drove the van and parked it at a "landing" I hoped to get to by lunchtime. I was expecting to do a runyak of over 23 miles. To appease my legs I decided to divide the 12 miles up, do a morning run of about 7 miles, and a post kayak run of about 5 miles.

The first landing, where I planted the van was in the village of Athens in the TOWNship of Athens, in the county of Greene.
 Athens, NY
I was perturbed when seeing landing where I planned my midday stop in Athens, it was not in the water, but sitting in the parking lot. It had already been  yank out from the Hudson for the year. It is October, great colorful time of the year for paddling. I'm only 18 miles from in New England, the autumn color mecca. Whoever took the landing out never gave a thought to that.

The Landing has landed (in parking lot) at Athens

On my run from Athens back to Swiftee I did catch some autumn color en-route.  

And, on the way I crossed Murderers Creek and was curious to how it got its name. As I've stated before, creeks in this colonial Dutch area are called "kills." So was creek originally Murderers Kill? 

Wikipedia had this to say about the waterway: The first references of the creek call it Mudenaer's Creek or Mudder Creek. In 1813, the body of a young woman named Sally Hamilton was found in the creek about half a mile north of its mouth. Local lore has it that the modern name of the creek originated from this event

I had a easy 8:30 am push-off from Coxsackie Boat Launch, and ahead the sun was trying its best to break through the clouds

 In the 7 miles of paddling back to Athens the fall colors of the Hudson did not disappoint me.

 The Athens restaurant named after the Greek god of the vine did not stop me for I had beer in my van nearby. 

Because the landing, which can be seen far beyond, was pulled from the river, I had to do a balancing act to exit Swiftee.

I was out of the water from 12:20 pm to 12:50 pm. With just a beer and and cookie lunch, then a call home, I was back at it.
Paddling another 4 miles I pulled into Dutchman's Landing in Catskill, NY. just after passing under the Rip Van Winkle Bridge. Since Albany, where the river is only 1/6 mile wide, the RVW is only the 2nd bridge I've gone under. The river here at Catskill is nearly 3/4 mile wide.
It was windy and chilly when I got out of Swiftee. Something I did not notice when paddling. I took a few minutes to talk to a group of senior citizens (my age) sitting around a picnic table. It seemed as if it could have been their daily hangout. They told me that Dutchman's Landing had been a city dump when they were young.

Running away from the landing into the village of Catskill, and 4 miles beyond, was a uphill battle. The first 2 miles took me a half-an-hour. In doing so I ran by THE Catskill. Remember? Kill is a creek, so the Catskill Mountains name comes from the kill that runs down from them and into the Hudson.

 Fall running in the Village of Catskill

I arrived back to the van in Athens at about 4:00 pm, but it seemed almost dark. I thought it was much later, going on 6:00 pm, for that is what my cellphone said.  Not until letting the wife, Hope know I was finished runyaking for the day, did she set me straight on what time it really was. I know when, but not how it happened. When paddling under the Rip Van Winkle bridge my battery went dead and I inserted a fully charged battery. For some reason after the fresh battery was installed, the date and time was incorrect. Finding out what time it really was was great, I had time to go to two breweries not just one
 Crossroads Brewing, Athens, NY
Chatham Brewing, Chatham, NY

Day 99 - 12.0 run, 11.4 yaked

Runyak for Liberty Day 100, Oct 23, 2015

On this trip I plan on doing 5 days instead of the usual 4 days. Back at home I'd done some estimating recently and found that doing 4 day trips, it was going to take 4 more trips to New York. By doing 5 day trips I could cut it down to this trip then two more. So on this 2nd day of the 5, I again wanted to break the run into two parts, a pre-kayak and a post-kayak. There were no landings between Swiftee would start and finish. I'd have to paddle without a van stopover like I did yesterday. One of the first pre-runyaking, things-to-do, this morning was to find a place between the start and finish where I could leave the van. Somewhere near the middle I found the pull-off area on US 9W. I did not know at the time it was property of Lehigh Cement.

This is the closest I'll get to the the true Catskill Mountains but running on US 9W, between the Hudson and the mountains, many times I was in falling rock area. 

After the 6 mile run, and paddling from village of Catskill, the mountains were very visible on my starboard side.

The 9.5 mile paddle started out at a better than normal pace of about 17 min/mi and but by the last mile, I was paddling in the 13 min/mi range. All because the tidal water movement accelerated as I paddled.

After 11.4 miles of this paddling scenery on my portside.....

landed at a mini-park in Malden.

Before the afternoon 4.5 mile run back to the van and lunched on beer and jerky and pretzels. 

On the run back more than one trains passed. On this side of Hudson, the US highway, and freight railroad, are pinched between the river and the Catskills. Yet, there are way more trains seen on on the east side of the river with commuter trains passing about every half hour. 

Most freight is cement and aggregates from Lehigh Cement Co. Cement has been the industry of this stretch for a century. There was even a town called Cementon. Today running by, it was basically a ghost town. 

 As soon as I finished my run and unlocked my van, a pickup appeared from a driveway which led to quarry on the opposite side of the river. It pulled into the parking area I was in. A septuagenarian stepped out and said, "Riley."
How'd he know my name?

He, in a civil manner, basically read the riot act to me. Seems I was on private property. Property of Lehigh Cement. The man, Argus, was a security guard for the company and had been waiting in the quarry driveway for many hours for me to show up. I parked at 9 a.m. in the morning it was now 4:30.

He pointed to where there was a "private property" sign. It was quite small and on a utility pole facing the road. Pulling in from the direction I came from, no way did I see it.

"How did you know my name?"

"I called the state police, they were here. They got your name from the card on your dashboard."

It was a "Runyaker" card that I'd jammed in the crevice of my air bag compartment. I'd stuck it there months ago to stop a rattling noise I'd been having.

"We had no idea where you were, thought you climbed the fence and was maybe in the cement plant somewhere."

I apologized for being ignorant of the sign and rent-a-cop was satisfied. After driving away I wondered... why didn't they just call the cell number that was visible on the card?

One more story to add to "times the law got involved with my kayaking" over the past 10 years.

Day 100 - 10.50 run, 9.1 yaked

Runyak for Liberty Day 101, Oct 24, 2015

Again, today I planned to divide the run into two parts, one before the paddle, one after. Again, I looked for a place to park the van between the two points. The best place I found to position it was at a church six miles south of the village of Saugerties.
Flatbush Church

After what happened yesterday, causing trouble by parking without permission, I made an effort to get permission to leave the van at Flatbush Church. I searched the internet and found the church's website. I called the pastor, Jennifer Bendelius. I got no answer, so left a message. I also found her Facebook page and left a message there also. Plus, I left a "Runyaker" card on the dashboard and a note explaining I was a Michigan kayaker. 

It was a pleasant 6.25 mi run to Swiftee at Malden Mini-park landing , especially through the town of Saugerties. 

 I'd learned from a Facebook post from friend back in Michigan that Saugerties is the hometown of Jimmy Fallon and his parents still live there. I kept that in mind as I ran through. I truly enjoyed the scenes of the town, although I couldn't imagine Jimmy coming home for anything but to see his parents. There was no "Hometown of Jimmy Fallon" signage anywhere.

Saugerties did have a small but nice farmers market. I interrupted my run to check it out. I had a few bucks in my pocket. I thought of buying a bake good if anything looked good. Nothing caught my eye and I went trotting off.

 When arriving back at Malden Min-park Landing I found Swiftee sitting in water.
When I left him yesterday he was on ground. It's a good think I always cable and lock him or he'd have been long gone.

The tide was still coming in. I would be another hour before heading out to sea again. Besides dealing with incoming tide the wind was also coming from the south. It made for some rough water and twice my mile pace was over 45 minutes. I believe that is the most time it has ever taken to progress a mile in Swiftee. It doesn't take that long to portage Swiftee a mile!

Just as the tide turned and my pace began to accelerate, and I passed Saugerties Lighthouse.

But, just as my pace began to accelerate, waves became very large, so I began decelerating. Then I began battling whitecaps and became unnerved. Ahead I saw a peninsula, with a house at the tip, concerned I may soon capsize I began flailing the paddle in hopes to stay upright. Everything about the situation reminded me of Day 19, trying to get to a rocky shoreline of a breakwater at Grindstone City, MI. That day I lost the battle and was flipped in what turned out to be frigid 3-ft of water. Here today, I surely was in water over my head. 

Today I won the battle. I managed to debark on the breakwater's boulders, then pull Swiftee up to the top of the peninsula, without getting very wet. I was now safe from one more of the many high adrenaline moments of the 101 days of runyaking toward my goal.

I was cold from the winds and headed to the leeward side of the house, which seemed abandoned. I then called Hope to let her know I was out of the water, and explained my situation. What to do next... I had no idea. I had to take some time and think about it.

The peninsula was narrow, 40-ft wide, and half-mile long, that had a two-track trail that led off the peninsula. The boulders on the windward side were being bashed by waves. No way could I re-enter there. In the distance, up the two-track trail, rocks were not seen, a tidal marsh was seen instead. I hoped I could find a place in the tidal marsh where I could re-enter. Dragging the kayak and getting close to the trails other end, I did not see anywhere I could relaunch.

I did notice that the wind had died down. Had it really? Was it just being blocked my the marsh vegetation that kept getting larger the closer I got to mainland? I had to know, so I let go of Swiftee and walked all the way back toward the point the view the rocks.

When there, again I discovered high winds, and boulders still being bashed by waves, I turned around went back to get the kayak of the peninsula.

At the mainland end of the peninsula was at a private marina. I was still looking for a way through the marsh, so continued to search for a re-entry spot. As I did marina workers eyeballed my with suspicion.

After seeing there was no way of getting back into the river from the south-side, I decided to walk back to the van, back at Flatrock Church, which was over 4 miles away. It would be faster to run but I had to save those running muscles for two remaining days of runyaking.

I next talked to one of persons who moments before was giving me suspicious looks. I explained why I was here and asked if I could leave the kayak overnight. He said there'd be a storage fee. 

NO WAY was I gong to pay. I'd traveled over a thousand mile without ever paying for storage, launching, or locking. Not going to start now. I told him I'd be back to pick the kayak up. Then, when not being watched, I hid Swiftee in undercover near the the two-track peninsula trail.

Leaving Swiftee, I felt dejected, for on Day 101 I'd only gained two mile toward my goal. I walked in low spirits knowing the next day, or whenever I continued, I'd have to walk the same distance the opposite direction.

When a mile into the walk, I past a kiosk-like bakery, Sugar Me Sweet, that had a drive-thru . I went inside and bought a whoopie pie with ganache frosting and buttercream filling. It was delicious and gave me the sugar high I needed to get me out of the "woe is me" doldrums.

Day 100 - 6.25 run, 2.3 yaked

Runyak for Liberty Day 102, Oct 25, 2015

I kept a close watch on the weather report. It said until the afternoon, all winds would still be coming from the south. At noon it would switch and come from the northwest. I was skeptical that a nearly 180 degree switch would happen. I drove to the marina and walked the 1/2 mile to the peninsula's end.  
From the house it still was to rough to launch before 11:00 am.

 Abandoned house at peninsula's end

After 11:00 a.m. I made a decision to launch, hoping the weather report would be correct. It was a Sunday and being late October I figured the marina was closed. As I was preparing Swiftee for launch, I saw the man who yesterday said I'd have to pay to store Swiftee overnight. I learned he was the marina's boat mechanic. I asked if I could leave the van until late afternoon. He seemed reluctant to give permission and told me to park at the road's berm, off marina property. His mood changed the more we talked and he eventually showed me where on marina property I could park. It was very close to the water.

 The water was Esopus Creek, one of the larger kills coming out of the Catskill Mountains.

 I launched and paddle out to the Esopus's mouth, to the same Saugerties Lighthouse I'd passed the day before.

Once in the Hudson, I faced the peninsula where I'd previously aborted.

 House and peninsula

From the lighthouse my planned  to paddle to the opposite side of the Hudson from the peninsula. Since yesterday, it occurred that maybe the water was rough only at the peninsula's end. My theory was the peninsula was blocking the "flow," and water was trying to get around peninsula causing turbulence at the point. I decided to paddle the furthest away from the point I could get, to the opposite side of the river where waves hopefully would be smaller. 

It worked, I had no problem getting around the point, but unsure if it was because my theory was correct, or that the wind direction had changed as forecasted. Very likely a combination. The winds did change, and I had good, if not great, paddling all the way to my finish point, Charles Rider Park Boat Launch.

Rider Park was 6.5 miles from Saugerties Lighthouse, and just past the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge.

The 3rd bridge across the Hudson after Albany. River here is 0.85 mi. wide.

 As I approached the bridge my paddle pace began accelerating for the tide was heading out. From the bridge to the landing my average pace was under 13 min./mi.! Twenty-four hours ago it was 45 min./mi.! 
When paddling with, or against the tide, I don't see any current, so it is hard to tell the difference. The tide seems almost magnetic, or like some sort of invisible force.

After landing I had to run back to Flatbush Church, over 4 miles. Of course I wouldn't be done, because my van wasn't there. It was back at the Saugerties Marina. I had a 4.25 mile walk after the run. I could have ran it but it would not count as "runyak" mileage according to runyaking rules (which are made me myself)  
 Flatbush Church revisited.

 Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge from Rider Park

I drove that evening over the toll bridge that an hour ago I'd paddled under. I went to the town of Hyde Park, hometown of FDR. My reason for going had nothing to do with him, but to go to Hyde Park Brewery for dinner. It was my 508th brewery.

Day 100 - 4.25 run, 6.6 yaked

Runyak for Liberty Day 103, Oct 26, 2015

The fifth runyaking day in a row. I've not done a 5 day trip since days Days 63 thru 76, over two years ago. As I stated, I'd done some estimating before the trip and I was going to need more than 12 days of runyaking to get to the Statue. Which meant more than three trips to finish. If I could add a couple day to the next couple trips I might be able to reduce it to just three trips. Today is one of those added days, but because of the aborted day 101, the plan is in jeopardy.

After preparing Swiftee I drove south on route US 9W that parallels the Hudson from Albany to the New Jersey state line. Its sister US 9 does the same on the east side of the river all the way to Manhattan. I drove to where the Hudson River Greenway's map said there was a landing, at Esopus Meadows Point. I searched for a long time but could not find it. I did manage to get to the river after quite a hike but there was no way I was going to portage Swifttee through the terrain. Although it was a beautiful fall hike.

I finally gave up and decided I'd have to do a shorter runyak leg, from Rider Park to to Kingston's Rondout Landing on the Rondout Creek.

The 3.7 mile paddle from Rider Park to Rondout Landing took just over 2 hours, even with some rough water. Each mile's time got faster with the change in the tide direction. 

Where I'd turn off the Hudson and enter Rondout Creek was marked by Rondout Lighthouse.

Rondout Creek

My landing was the property of Rondout Rowing Club. The entire area of Rondout Landing was like a town in itself but actually a enclave of the city of Kingston. I took plenty of time cleaning up and loading Swiftee. I was ready for lunch, but it seemed most restaurants were closed. It was 3:00 pm and a Monday. I did find an Irish pub that was open, but with no craft beer on tap I walked back to the van and had cold cuts and beer.

On the long drive home my thoughts kept going to how the five day trip turned into basically three days. I was hoping for at least 100 mile of runyaking, 50 running and 50 paddling. I ended up with just just over 70, or 37.5 running and 33 paddling. What that comes down to is three more trips instead of two. It perturbed me, but on the other hand, I'm glad I played it safe and aborted when faced with uncertain dangers of a possible capsize on day 101. 

When arriving home and looking at for the missing landing at Esopus Meadows Point, I found it. It was mis-marked on the Hudson Greenway map. There was a landing a half mile north of where I was wandering around. It would have given me another 9 miles of runyaking. Learning this, again I got all bent out of shape. Ughhhh!
Day 103 - run 4.5, yaked 3.7