Friday, June 26, 2015

Kingston, NY

Continuing up the Hudson River, we arrived at Kingston, NY on June 18 where we stayed at the Rondout (Creek) Yacht Basin.  It was a beautiful day cruising up the Hudson during this eight hour trip.  We passed West Point on the west bank in a very dramatic setting, then Cold Spring and Hyde Park on the east bank (which we mentioned in our last blog). 

Kingston Hudson Highlands West PointKingston Hudson Highlands Westpoint3Kingston Hudson View of CIAKingston Hudson Bannerman Island

We visited Cold Spring and Hyde Park by car just a day or two earlier and it took less then an hour to get there.  But when one is traveling 8 mph by boat, life moves at a much slower pace!  This stretch of the Hudson is known as the Hudson Highlands.  The scenery is very evocative and  familiar if you know the work of the Hudson River School of Artists.  The scenery is dramatic with cliffs, wide expanses of green, and amazing mansions scattered on both banks.

Kingston Hudson Highlands River GourgeKingston Hudson Highlands River ViewKingston Hudson Highland Cliff House

As we arrived in Kingston, we passed the Esopus Lighthouse, one of many up and down the Hudson.

Kingston Hudson Esopus Lighthouse3

Jonny spent the first day in Kingston successfully fixing our two broken heads and reinforcing Lynn’s decision that he is the best husband – ever!  That evening we celebrated with dinner at the Marina Harbor Restaurant with Vicky and Chuck from Patriot who we had met at the Rendezvous.  We enjoyed hearing their story – they are both former FBI agents out of DC and have been traveling extensively on their boat for the last several years. 

On Saturday, we took a long, challenging and fun bike ride up, up, up the hill from our marina to the city of Kingston which is the third oldest city in New York.  It was also New York’s first capital.   Many of the larger river towns are built in two sections, the lower town which is right on the river,  and the upper town which is often the “high rent district.”  That section of Kingston is called the Stockade Area.  In 1658 the European  settlers who were living and farming there were ordered to move their houses and barns from the lowlands to a higher bluff and rebuild them behind a 14–foot high wall to protect them from the Esopus Indians with whom they were feuding.  During the day, the men left the stockade to work the fields, but the women and children were confined to life within the stockade.  The villagers lived this way until 1664 when a peace treaty was signed ending the second of the two wars with the Esopus Indians.   The streets of the original village are still there though the wooden houses are long gone.  Limestone houses were built in their place and many of  those houses still remain.  Over the years they have  been enhanced with architectural elements such as Gothic Revival gables and gingerbread trim. There is a block with four of these amazing  limestone house, one on each corner, and each is in remarkably great shape! 

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The Stockade neighborhood was hosting an authentic  farmer’s market complete with local produce, meats, wines and even a classical string quartet performing.   But before we succumbed to buying everything in sight, we decided to eat lunch at a quirky, kitschy,  vegetarian café with delicious food called “Outdated, An Antique Café”  that was filled with all kinds of antiques and memorabilia, all of it for sale.

Kingston bandKingston cafe 1

We continued our bike ride through town and passed a number of  amazing murals painted on the sides of buildings.  We couldn’t help capturing some of the images. 

Kingston mural 2Kingston Mural 3Kingston Mural 1

Just as we were headed back to the boat (luckily it was all downhill now), it began to sprinkle.  The forecast called for rain the next day, so Lynn made some bean soup in the pressure cooker to keep us warm and cozy on what we expected to be a rainy trip to our next destination, New Baltimore, NY.

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