Saturday, June 28, 2014

Days 4 and 5: NYC to Niagara Falls

June 27 - 28, 2014

It's hard to be in a bad mood when you're riding a bicycle on a sunny, warm day.  And you feel even better when you witness the stunning views from the Walkway over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie, NY.  Here's a pic as we made our way over and back:

We then cycled to Val-Kill, Eleanor Roosevelt's cottage that is now a national historic site situated on 180 acres of beautiful countryside ideal for hiking and cycling.  Many First Ladies are defined through their husband's work, but Eleanor Roosevelt crafted a legacy truly her own.  Married to Franklin D. Roosevelt (U.S. President from 1932 - 1945), she was the first and only First Lady to hold her own press conference.  She was the first white resident of Washington, D.C. to join the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.  She was appointed Chairman of the United Nations Human Rights Commission.  She wrote books, gave many lectures and created a meaningful life that had a positive impact on countless people.  Eiko and I vowed to return to Val-Kill again, next time without kids, in order to spend more time learning about this fascinating person.

Here are two of Eleanor Roosevelt's quotes that I particularly like:
 - "The greatest thing I have learned is how good it is to come home again."
 - "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift.  That's why it's called the present."

We spent the night in the Mills Norrie State Park on the banks of the Hudson River.  Here are a few pics of us setting up the tent:

And here's the view of the majestic Hudson River from our campsite.  

The temperature cooled overnight, and we snuggled inside sleeping bags in our tent.  But by the time we began riding again this morning, the day was sunny and hot.  As we cycled past one of the Hudson River's tributaries, Saya asked if she could cool off in the water.  Seven-year-olds come up with the best ideas:

We finished today's ride in the town of Hudson, New York, named after the river we've been cycling along for the past five days.  The town was founded in 1785 on land purchased from the local Native Americans over a century earlier by Dutch settlers.  Whalers from New England settled here at the time, and the town's street signs pay homage to this history by including an image of a whale.  Sho pointed out that detail, which I would have overlooked.  I love traveling with my kids.  They are living reminders to slow down and recognize the wisdom in Eleanor Roosevelt's observation that "today is a gift."

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