AmeriCanada 2015

NOTE:  When Sharon adds comments, they will be in {curly brackets}. Bob's comments, after Sharon's comments, will be in red.

Day 39. Tuesday, September 1, 2015. The Vanderbilt Mansion, FDR's home, The Skyway Walking Bridge.

A 'notion' of our path today is shown below in blue. It is suggested by Google Maps, but does not include a northbound path, where we crossed east to west over the Hudson near Rhinebeck, went up to the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, and crossed back over to the east. Today our path will be all over the place, seeing the sights in the Hudson River Valley. {I had read of this area and many websites said not to miss it. I guess in the 1900's many wealthy people built homes here to get awa;y from New York City. We will see what they found so special about it.}


Good Morning. It's about 8:30 and today we are touring the nearby Vanderbilt Mansion, then we'll wing it, which means, in guy talk, we will do whatever the women want to do

We're on our way, and quickly pass some bones that seem to be in the shape of a ship. What's up with that?

Out on the main road, we pass the Sushi mansion, then McMansion's. Do we want some McFries? Not now. See, everything can be called a mansion if you work at it just a little.

Arriving at the Vanderbilt property, there is an impressive descending entry road. We park and while Nancy gets us tickets in the visitor center, Sharon and I head over to catch up with the walking ranger-led group that has just lef,hooing that is the tour we can join. Here's the first shot of the mansion itself.

And here's the ranger, who delivers a memorized script, but the content is very informative. Nancy explains that since I have a national Golden Access Pass, we don't have to pay. Woohoo. One fascinating thing that the ranger said was that there were numerous children that had a 'piece' of the fortune, and they apparently ALL built mansions. The ranger continued, "This is the smallest one!"

So here are the shots we took from inside.

This lady reminds me of the problem I have been having with the blankets in the trailer when Sharon remakes the bed and tucks the bottom of the blankets too far up under the mattress. I can't get the blanket up to my neck. It's about mid-chest. (I finally mentioned it to her and she has done the tuck in a way that keeps me warm at night ever since. Listen, wives, Wives listen. Thank you)

There was no air conditioning when the mansion was built, but panels could be raised in this skylight to create airflow throughout the building. At right is a curious double row of columns in the railing. I don't know the reason or the background of this type of support or decoration.

These ladies walk a good stairway.

And this fellow reminds me of a story most of you have heard me tell. Or some of you. Anyway, here goes. A duck walks into a bar. He asks the bartender, "Do you have any grapes?" "No," says the bartender, "Get out of here." And the duck leaves. Next day, the duck walks back into the bar. "Do you have any grapes?" he again asks the bartender. "You asked me that yesterday. No, I don't have any grapes. If you ask me that one more time, I'm gonna nail your bill to the bar." The duck leaves. Next day the duck is back. "Do you have any nails?" The bartender says, "No we don't have any nails." Duck says, "Do you have any grapes?"

We are finished inside, so we go outside, and walk the path to the gardens.

So we come to the beautiful, well-kept gardens.

Sister Loretta, can you ID this butterfly for me? I image-googled 'black and yellow butterfly New York' but didn't seem to get a match.I like the bumblebee dressed in purple.

Dangit, another lady having trouble keeping the sheets up to her neck.

FDR's home isn't too far away, and that's where the womens want to go next. {We are having fun exploring these mansions, and Bob is beig a good sport taking us there.} Below are two portions of a giant tile mosaic on the floor, that shows all the pieces of the FDR property. I wasn't too interested in continuing, so I parked, had a nap, then took some photos.

Here are photos Sharon took. {It is th home that FDR was born in, lived in with his wife, Eleanor, and his mother and where he is buried. They explained a lot about his life, presidency, and World War II. It iwas very informative but not as elegant as the Vanderbilt Mansion.}

Finishing up, we head back to the world of non-mansions, and choose a diner for lunch.

We have read about an old railroad bridge that has been converted into an elevated walkway going clear across the Hudson. It is very, very high, although when we start at the beginning, here on the east side of the river, it is at ground level. So as you can surmise, the ground drops away quickly as the roadway starts heading for the river.

We separate into three groups. Nancy uses it as a snappy-walking-paced exercise, Sharon's face is hot from the sun bearing down us pretty relentlessly on this hot day, and I am in the middle, occasionally stopping to take photos and wait for Sharon.

Below left in the background is the bridge we will use after our walk, to get to the other side of the river. At right is a picture of a picture on the bridge, reminding us that Sturgeons swim in this river. {Well, that is not a sturgeon although they ARE in this river. That is a Striped Bass and it is amazing the size. I took this picture for Brother-in-law Jerry, the great fisherman.}

{This was quite a test of endurance for me. It was so hot and a long way to walk too. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other; a strategy I use in cases like this. Bob saved me by going to get the truck and letting Nancy and I go down the elevator at the river's edge. We made it to over the water and can stop there. But Bob makes the walk back to the parking lot.}

I come to the river and want to throw a coin in and see it hit the water. I find a nickel and give it a little toss. It falls and falls and disappears, hidden by the walkway before it hits the water. So I take a quarter, and throw it mightily straight out. It falls and falls and I see it plunk within a couple of feet of also being hidden by the walkway, but not quite disappearing.


Nancy turns around and comes back toward us. Sharon catches up. Our goal was to reach the river, then turn around and go back. It is HOT HOT HOT, man. I volunteer to walk back, pick up the truck, return and pick them up. Gratefully, they volunteer to ride the elevator to the ground and wait in the shade for me. {We had reservations about the elevator as it creaked and rattled on its way up to us, but there was a friendly elevator operator there when the door opened and we trusted her to take us down.}As I'm returning I take these further photos. I like the biker, caught in mid-air - no wheels touching.

So Sharon calls me and tells me the address of the children's museum where they are, under the walkway. I plug it into my GPS and I'm off.

We get some shots of the walkway from the earth, where I meet them. Man, it's waaaay up there. It is 213 feet high and about a 1 1/4 miles across it, though in a hot sum it is about 4 miles...

We pass by what I understand is a branch of the Culinary Institute of America, where, as you can tell, they have a restaurant.

I wonder if people who go to a dentist college for their dental needs like to eat here.

Sharon wants to go over the Rip Van Winkle bridge, up north. So we take the bridge shown a few photos ago to the west side, and get this photo on the way north. {No idea why it has this name. I'm sure there is a story here but don't know it.}Hey, are we in the Catskills?

We finally get to the bridge and scare up some change.

Our fuel is down to about 1/8th of a tank, so we refuel at a Mobil station at $2.699 per gallon.

On the road again, Sharon says a turkey flew across the front of the car, but I'm in the back seat, looking for my audio recorder. I find it. And that's why you are reading these words.

Heading back to our trailer, we pick up two deer on our left, beside the road.

And finally we are back to our camp a little before 7:30. You can sort of see the elevation differences just around us, in this shot. {He means that each campsite is on its own level which makes for more privacy and a homey feeling. Great camp.}

Began: Interlake RV Park & Sales, Rhinebeck, NY
Pass Through:
End: Interlake RV Park & Sales, Rhinebeck, NY
Miles Today:: 102
Miles for Trip: 8100

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