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Split Rock pool in the Shawangunks, NY

(Source: travel-tales.org)

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In 1886 construction began for the railway bridge spanning the Hudson between Poughkeepsie and Highland.  The first train crossed December 29, 1888. When the bridge opened in 1889, it was the longest bridge in North America and the first bridge to span the Hudson River between Albany and New York City. It was a key link between western raw materials to eastern industrial centres until a fire in 1974 closed it.

Since then it fell into disrepair until in 1992 the Walkway over the Hudson project started to turn it into a publically accessible walk way.  It was opened as such in October 2009 and I think it is now the longest pedestrian bridge in the world.

At the Highland End there remains a reminder of its original freight rail purpose

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I struggled to see the other end of the 1.28 mile bridge from either end.

An American flag flies at the centre of the bridge from which you get a great view of the Mid-Hudson Bridge to the south and the river with and without traffic to the north.

While on the bridge you don’t really see its construction, luckily from Poughkeepsie Station which is between the two bridges you get quite a good view of both of them from underneath and professional pictures are displayed along the walkway.

For daily pictures from this blog you can follow me on tumblr. at www.traveltash.tumblr.com and on Twitter @tash_higman.   You can follow the current journey ‘live’ by liking the Travel-Tales page on Facebook at  www.facebook.com/traveltalesorg where I also post additional small titbits that don’t fit into the twice-weekly blog posts.

 

Walking on sunshine In 1886 construction began for the railway bridge spanning the Hudson between Poughkeepsie and Highland.  The first train crossed December 29, 1888.
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Views from a look-out in the Shawangunks, NY

(Source: travel-tales.org)

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Catskills in the distance while hiking in the Shawangunks, NY

(Source: travel-tales.org)

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The Mohawk River and some of its tributaries in New York State

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The day after arriving in Poughkeepsie my host and I went for a hike and a swim in the Shawangunks.  We entered the Mohonk Preserve at West Trapps and scrambled up to a peak on the Shwangunk Ridge providing great views of the the preserve and the Catskills in the distance.

There is a benchmark at this point, placed in 1976 although we were confused why it is a National Ocean Survey marker, which tends to track tides rather than a National Ocean and Geodetic Marker which are used for spatial mapping.

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On carefully scrambling down this ‘path’ again

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we took a leisurely walk along the Undercliff Road.  We saw many climbers climbing the cliff the road is named after.  I feel my fingernails are too important to me to risk them climbing up a cliff – specially when there are leisurely walks available instead!  The walk brought us to a bathing spot in the Coxing Kill (stream) where it has split a rock to form this lovely gully ending in a nice clear pool.

The water is very cold but it was nice to rest and cool off.

For daily pictures from this blog you can follow me on tumblr. at www.traveltash.tumblr.com and on Twitter @tash_higman.   You can follow the current journey ‘live’ by liking the Travel-Tales page on Facebook at  www.facebook.com/traveltalesorg where I also post additional small titbits that don’t fit into the twice-weekly blog posts.

Views and dunks in the Shawangunks The day after arriving in Poughkeepsie my host and I went for a hike and a swim in the Shawangunks.  
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Entering New York State

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Vineyards in Pennsylvania

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On leaving Erie (an hour and a half late) I travelled through the wine growing region of Pennsylvania.  No, I didn’t know they grew wine grapes there either.  There are far more wine growing areas in the US than we Europeans know about.

We then spent hours travelling through wooded areas.  Despite these pictures of leaves starting to turn, most of the woods were still bright green, the end of August is a little too early for leaf-peeping.  The woodland was also interspersed with clearings of wild flowers.  I can see how later in the year this route would be quite spectacular.

Near Buffalo we met the Mohawk River.  The river is large and slow flowing with many small tributaries before it meets the Hudson just north of Albany. The train follows the Hudson river and clouds provided fantastic lighting of the wide expanse of the river and the bridges crossing it.

To my surprise at one point I spotted a lone kayaker on the Hudson

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On my arrival in Poughkeepsie I was met quite formally by the friend I am staying with in New York State

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For daily pictures from this blog you can follow me on tumblr. at www.traveltash.tumblr.com and on Twitter @tash_higman.   You can follow the current journey ‘live’ by liking the Travel-Tales page on Facebook at  www.facebook.com/traveltalesorg where I also post additional small titbits that don’t fit into the twice-weekly blog posts.

Flowing Mohawk On leaving Erie (an hour and a half late) I travelled through the wine growing region of Pennsylvania.  
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Public art in Erie, PA

(Source: wp.me)