By Johna Till Johnson and Vladimir Brezina
Photos by David Hupert
There are star-crossed lovers. And then there are star-crossed paddlers….
All autumn, we’ve been trying to get up north to paddle in one of our favorite parts of the Hudson, around Stockport, not far south of Albany. In summer, it’s breathtakingly beautiful. But Vlad’s favorite time there is fall, when the autumn foliage blazes like fire and the air is cool and clear.
This year, we had added incentive to make the trip: Our fellow paddler David Hupert suggested getting together up there. That dovetailed perfectly with our idea of heading up by train late Friday or early Saturday with our folding kayaks, and camping for a night or two while we took a leisurely sightseeing paddle around the area.
So we made plans…
The first weekend—the 20th/21st of October—we had to cancel at the last minute because of work pressures. David advised us that we missed a spectacular weekend of paddling up there, with the fall foliage colors at their peak. (We were happy to miss, however, a darker discovery that another fellow paddler made that Sunday right at the island where we planned to camp.)
Still, David assured us that the fall foliage was not yet over. The second weekend was October 27th/28th. We planned to go until we read about the prospect of Hurricane Sandy making landfall in New York City on Monday—and decided that we didn’t want to risk Amtrak shutting down and leaving us stranded for days in a tent upstate somewhere. (Good call, as it turned out—the trains shut down about midafternoon on Sunday).
The following weekend, November 3rd/4th, we spent in post-Sandy cleanup at Pier 40 and providing assistance to folks in the Rockaways. The weekend after that Johna had to travel; then there was a “recovery” weekend after an intense week in California. And David is away this upcoming weekend…
The trees are rapidly shedding their leaves, and there are only a few more weekends left before winter sets in. So who knows if we’ll ever make it up to Stockport this year?
But in the meantime, David was kind enough to send us some of his recent photos from up there. Where we are not… but wish we were!