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Sabbath Day – Bridge and Lighthouse

October 14, 2016

There are days when keeping Sabbath feels like an indulgence. And then there are those when I realize just how much I am fed by having time to put everything back into perspective.

I did not set out to walk today. Instead, I left the house with a book of essays on urban planning and went to a coffee shop. However, I couldn’t concentrate because the day was already so beautiful and was calling me back outside. So…

…I drove over the Tappan Zee Bridge and down 9W and the Palisades Parkway to the Englewood Boat Basin in NJ – on the other side to the Hudson. It’s a 35 minute drive and I brought a few Dylan CDs, as it was announced today that Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Windows open. Music cranked. As was my spirit.


I first visited the Englewood Cliffs a month ago. At that time I hiked north. This time I hiked south on the Shore Path. My goal was the Little Red Lighthouse on the far side of the river. I hiked south on the white blazed Shore Trail as far as the Ross Dock Picnic Area. Another two tenths of a mile brought me to a long set of stairs climbing the Palisades. Notice the blue blaze up ahead. This blue trail (stairs?) connects the white blazed Shore Trail below with the aqua blazed Long Path above. The southern terminus of the Long Path is the GW.


This was my first time walking the George Washington Bridge. I stood and watched the power of the water below me for a while, the winds creating wonderful patterns and waves and the sunlight a kaleidoscope on the surface. There are regular signs offering hope and help to potential jumpers. The rattling of loose fencing, though, was enough to keep me far from the side rail. (No actual danger, but the rattling of the fencing leaves one with very physical sense that one should not trust the railing.) I shared the path with a couple of walkers and many bikers.


On the far side of the bridge I had to follow a maze of pedestrian bridges, paths and tunnels to reach Fort Washington, part of the Hudson River Greenway. Tucked below the “Great Gray Bridge” is the famous Little Red Lighthouse, a NYC Landmark and on the National Historic Registry. Most children (and adults) know of it through the book by Hildegarde H. Swift and Lynd Ward, which you can view and have read to you here.


Another perspective on the bridge from below.


And the lighthouse from above.


Since I am having fun, having discovered how to draw on photos, here I am in Hudson Heights, below the bridge, looking back at the Boat Basin where my car is parked.


The homeward journey brought great views of the Palisades, and the very beginning of autumn leaves around Fort Lee, that are one of the reasons I came out today.


My afternoon was our typical Thursday afternoon family routine: a visit to the animals at Greenburgh Nature Center, an early pasta dinner, a walk of the dog, and homework. I will be on a short vacation, starting tomorrow, so the balance of the evening was spent packing with an early bedtime.


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