Sunnyside/ Croton/ Kensico

November 21, 2010

We started our trip up the Hudson on from school. We drove up the westside highway through Manhattan and the Bronx. Towards the city limits the skyline began to dwindle as buildings were replaced with trees. Another 30 minutes up the Hudson and we stopped on the border of Irvington and Tarrytown to visit Washington Irving’s home, Sunnyside. We were met in the tour office by an old woman dressed in 19th century attire. She walked us down a hill to the banks of the Hudson where Irving’s home was. The home was humble, but cozy and covered with vines. The home once sat on a beach surrounded by two inlets where people could dock boats or fish, but a few years after Irving bought it, the railway was built. Irving complained that the trains were bad for his asthma.
The next stop was a drive through Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow and Ossining. We drove passed Sing Sing prison, but couldn’t see anything over the walls. After taking some back roads, we ended up in Croton Point Park, which was once a landfill, but has since been turned into a public park. Somehow we found ourselves driving up a one-way gravel road to a small lodge. We knocked on the door and walked in and were greeted by a woman. She introduced herself and invited us to join her for lunch. The dining table was set with a whole chicken and left over cod she made earlier. We ate and talked to her about local environmental issues and her role in helping the county move towards a greener future. We drove east and up into the hills to Croton Reservoir and dam. The dam was a great site and a mixture of natural and manmade waterfalls. We drove to the top and walked across the bridge, where we got a great view of the landscape. We drove even further into the hills, where we got somewhat lost in some hunting grounds. Eventually we got back on the main road and headed south to Kensico Reservoir. This dam had a big park where children were playing and a large pool was carved out. It was built with large rocks and Ace and I climbed the dam up about 30 feet.
We then headed back towards the city passing through White Plains and other small towns before reaching the Bronx again. We wanted to get a view of a new filtration plant being built in Van Cortland Park, but it was very secure and hidden. We had to walk into the adjacent golf course to get a peak, but it was still hard to see. The plant has taken six years to build so far and will take another three. We finished our trip with a drive through the Bronx and Manhattan.

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