Tag Archives: Alpine

Trip 5: Hudson River, Manhattan to Irvington, October 1999

Text and Photo by Vladimir Brezina

Autumn colors

Saturday, 30 October

Met John and Kathy at Dyckman Street. Put boats together and launched at 11:30 a.m. around the predicted beginning of flood current. Warm for late October. Fog still not burned off completely, but sun gradually appearing. At first light wind from the north, then calm.

Palisades very colorful in the thinning fog. Lunch at Alpine. Stopped at Italian Gardens (waterfall and foliage very picturesque) then crossed over to Irvington. Arrived around 4 p.m.; took out at convenient boat ramp in parking lot by the train station. Briefly saw Kathy’s show at the gallery, then Metro-North train back to New York.

(Note: It’s nice to see that Vlad sometimes went on short and sweet paddles, as well as the longer ones he was known for. And Italian Gardens site was a favored destination for us from Pier 40, though we often failed to make it that far–somehow we constantly managed to underestimate the time required!)

Touched By Fire: An Early-Autumn Kayak Trip Along the Palisades

By Johna Till Johnson
Photos by Vladimir Brezina

Autumn is a time of melancholy, of dreams and mists. It’s also a time of intense beauty—and a reminder that everything in life is transient.

That’s particularly true when it comes to catching the leaves turning along the Hudson: Bare hints of color one day, blazing the next, and then fading—all in the space of a week or two.

For New York City kayakers with day jobs, the challenge is that the currents are right for a weekend trip up the Hudson only once every two weeks—which means there are only two October weekends to catch this ephemeral color.

The first weekend with a daytime flood current was October 15-16. Either weekend day would have worked, but since I’d just gotten back from an intense week of traveling, Sunday was the better fit. Plus, Saturday’s winds were pretty severe—predicted and ultimately proving to be over 20 knots. So we agreed to go Sunday.

By then, the winds had calmed somewhat. Vlad and I set off on a crystalline, perfect, early-autumn day.

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