GHRP 2005

Recollections of The Great Hudson River Paddle

Consider the ingredients - One good cause for one great river, 6 outstanding guides, an unbeatable land support crew, and 30 or so kayakers of highly varied background, skill, and temperment. Spice this up with an ever changing array of day paddlers, festivals, guests, and well wishers. The outcome was the highly successful Fifth Annual Great Hudson River Paddle, Albany to Manhattan, July 7-17, 2005.

A short discussion with a fellow paddler during a June day trip, a last-minute application, very little thought, and I found myself signed up for this adventure. Shortly before departure, it occured to me that this trip promised to be the absolute antithesis of my "normal" kayak trip, which typically involves leaving what vestiges of civilization can be found in my one-stoplight town and going beyond the grid. Egad. Panic set in. I would be captive in a social event for 10 full days without a bailout. What was I thinking?

In The Lonely Land by Sigurd Olson, the author quotes a fellow expeditioner, Omond Solandt, who gave this explanation of why he took on a trip: "I went along to iron out the wrinkles in my soul". This quote made perfect sense to me in the context of a wilderness expedition. As a result of this GHRP, I now appreciate that wisdom in a wider realm.

It was my great good fortune to be exposed to these forty-plus individuals who demonstrated an extraordinary level of caring and concern for each other, the river, and all the life we encountered. It was my further good fortune to experience the Hudson River Valley from the seat of my kayak, visiting places at once legendary and contemporary, enhanced by the knowledge and pride of the guides and local paddlers. With little previous knowledge of the valley and much of its storied past, each day was a revelation both scenic and historic.

The experience enabled me to reaffirm the presence of good in our midst, and to see the cumulative positive effects of remediation and stewardship in the valley. I know that anyone involved in the GHRP'05 walked away with many personal rewards. I hope that our participation enhances the growth and development of the Hudson River Watertrail Association and other similar organizations and endeavors.

I would love to thank each and every person who touched my life during those ten days. Without a VERY long list and to avoid the risk of missing someone, I'll just say that I hope to see you on the water again. Soon!


Visit the Official GHRP Website


GHRP '05 By The Numbers

nb: Most numbers are "current enhanced". We mostly had ebb, ranging from 1 to 3 knots, assisting in our travel downriver, with the exception of the last little leg into Wappinger's Falls. All data recorded on my deck with my Garmin Map76C.

Day 1 - Albany to New Baltimore
15.56 miles, 4hr 11min moving time
Speed made good 3.7 mph
Max speed 7.4 mph

Day 2 - New Baltimore to Athens
13.79 miles, 4hr 2min moving time
Speed made good 3.6 mph
Max speed 7.3 mph

Day 3 - Athens to Saugerties
16.99 miles, 4hr 24min moving time
Speed made good 3.8 mph
Max speed 7.1 mph

Day 4 - Saugerties to Norrie Point
17.32 miles, 4hr 58min moving time
Speed made good 3.5 mph
Max speed 7.1 mph

Day 5 - Norrie Point to Wappinger's Falls
20.71 miles, 6hr 24min moving time
Speed made good 3.2 mph
Max speed 7.1 mph

Day 6 - Wappinger's Falls to Cold Spring
14.45 miles, 4hr 37min moving time
Speed made good 3.1 mph
Max speed 5.8 mph

Day 7 - Cold Spring to Annsville
11.07 miles, 2hr 51min moving time
Speed made good 3.9 mph
Max speed 7.0 mph

Day 8 - Annsville to Croton Point
9.4 miles, 2hr 27min moving time
Speed made good 3.8 mph
Max speed 7.0 mph

Day 9 - Croton Point to Yonkers
18.35 miles, 4hr 16min moving time
Speed made good 4.3 mph
Max speed 7.1 mph

Day 10 - Yonkers to Downtown Boathouse
16.88 miles, 3hr 12min moving time
Speed made good 5.3 mph
Max speed 9.3 mph








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