An Unpaddle

North along the ice-bound Hudson

By Johna Till Johnson

It was the first weekend in February. I was back in town. Brian’s broken elbow had healed. It was a beautiful day: Sunny, windless, relatively warm.

So we headed to Yonkers Paddling and Rowing Club to take out our boats for the first time in… too long.

“It might be iced in,” I cautioned as we drove. But I didn’t really think so. Yes, there’d been the Polar Vortex and its sub-freezing temperatures earlier in the week. But we’d had several days of warmth.

Surely everything was melted by now?

Er, no.

As we gazed at the ice-locked boat ramp, the only thing we could do was laugh. “We’re not going out today!” I said. “Nope!” Brian agreed.

Brian laughing

Instead, we went out to the end of the pier and took pictures of each other and the frozen Hudson. And laughed in the sunshine.

Johna at end of dock

We drove back to Brooklyn along the West Side highway, watching the ice in the river diminish as we headed south. Inwood, where Julie paddles, was still packed in, but the river was mostly ice-free by the George Washington Bridge. The embayment at Pier 84 was wide open; had my Avocet been seaworthy, I could have taken it out. And I later learned that Bonnie had had a lovely paddle that same weekend in Jamaica Bay. Yonkers was just slightly too far north to permit us to go out.

Ice ice baby!

But we didn’t mind! We had a lovely excursion in the sun and mild air, and saw ice floes in the Hudson. Next time….

Johna looking south

7 responses to “An Unpaddle

  1. Ice ice baby is right–it looks freezing out there!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Johna Till Johnson

      It was actually in the 50s that day… but it had been VEEERY cold the week before!

      (Neither Brian nor I are nuts enough to go out in sub-freezing weather without hats on!).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. At least you had some time out together – hopefully next time it will be a little warmer :)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the frozen Hudson photos. Mum talked about that happening in the 1920’s when she was a wee lass. You’ve changed hair colour and it looks wizard! So glad Brian’s able to join you again. Wishing you lots of sun to defrost those waters. 🌞🌞🌞

    Liked by 1 person

    • Johna Till Johnson

      Ah thank you! Actually, my hair did that all by its ownself. :-) Amazing how you spend half your life lightening your hair and then one day you discover…. it’s gone and done it on its own!

      Though I think Brian’s hair looks marvelous. He’s one of the few gingers who keeps the color well into adulthood (I know he looks younger, but he’s actually in his 30s).

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Bonnie K. Aldinger

    Oh, I feel even luckier that we weren’t iced in now. It wasn’t a sure thing by any means!

    Fun seeing the Hudson all full of ice, though.


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