Sunday, October 25, 2009

Peak of the Fall Season

As promised the masthead photo has changed. Wish I could line them up so the procession of the season would be obvious. In today's photo more of the trees are in full color. Yesterday's rain did not do them in. So today's glorious sunshine puts the spotlight on all the golds, oranges and reds. And how about that cloudless blue sky! 


Another 'Peak' Experience

In the 1880's a cantilever suspension railroad bridge was constructed spanning the Hudson River from Higland on the west bank to Poughkeepsie on the east.
It served commercial traffic in a mighty way especially during WWII when as many as 300 trains a day crossed its span. Gradually it fell out of use and its derelect fate was sealed by a fire in the 1970's that ravaged most of the track. Yet the structure was sound. I remember back in the late 1990s there was talk of a bungee jumping operation to take advantage of the bridge deck's 215 height from the surface of the river.

Then about six years ago a new idea began to percolate in the minds of some imaginative and highly motviated people. Why not construct a new deck across the entire length of the bridge exclusively for pedestrian and bicycle traffic linking extensive railtrails on the west bank with the city of Poughkeepsie on the east bank? The project ultimately required $39 million in grants from federal, state and local governments as well as grants from philanthropic and civic groups, private donors and organizations specific created to preserve our landscape patrimony. The final push came with a determination to open the Walkway in 2009, the year of the quadricentennial anniversary of the discovery of the river by Henry Hudson. With the deck, fencing, and banners in place a hge crowd made the first formal walk across the longest pedestrian brige in the world on October 3, 2009. There is no charge to cross the Walkway which will eventual be designated a state park site.

On Thursday, October 22, 2009, on the spur of the moment, eight members of our community decided to take advantage of perfect weather and follow the advice of an enthusiastic friend who said, “You must walk over that bridge.”

We were not disappointed. In fact we were over whelmed by the beauty of the project, the glorious experience of walking across the bridge and viewing from its height the river and landscape which we love.
We pray that the Walkway Over the Hudson Board of Directors and the friends of the Walkway will be rewarded, that continuing efforts to improve and promote the Walkway will be blessed, and that all who visit it will be called to greater reverence for the natural beauty and resources entrusted to our care. We hope that the ’Walkway experience’ will an inspire even greater service and dedication to land and natural resources preservation.

How to Get There:

Higland Side
From west, north, south - New York State Thruway to Exit 18 New Paltz. Make right at Rt. 299 east. At end left onto Rt. 9W south. Left onto Haviland Avenue inHighland. Proceed to entrance on left.

Poughkeesie Side
From east - Rt. 44-55 into Poughkeepsie to Parker Avenue (MetroNorth Railroad Station).
From north and south - use Rt. 9

1 comment:

Annette said...

These photos make me really miss home... I'm stationed in Arizona right now (sigh) and seeing the leaves in all their beauty remind me so of Pennsylvania. Thank you for sharing! It was like a breath of fresh air.