It was absolutely gorgeous here today! Temperatures in the low 60s in February? You have to go outside and enjoy that if you have a chance. It would be damn near criminal to sit inside and miss it.
There are lots of places to go out and enjoy nature in this area. The winter kind of limits the choices a bit. It snowed a lot not too terribly long ago, and all that snow still lingers. Many of the parks and hiking areas do not plow or clear the trails of snow, so that makes finding a bit of outdoors to enjoy somewhat more interesting.
I knew I wanted to be by the water. I was craving some time to chill out, listen to the water, and have some solitude with my thoughts. There is no ocean or beach conveniently nearby, but there is the Hudson River, and that was going to be the best I could manage. Of course, that's pretty much where everyone else was going to head to enjoy such lovely weather.
Forget the waterfront in Poughkeepsie. That will be crowded. Easiest place to get to, especially for those with no car.
Walkway Over the Hudson is out, too. I know that place is going to be a mob scene: nice weather, and they actually clear the snow. Everyone and their uncle will be there. Plus, you're really over the water, not close enough to hear the waves.
I decided to head across the river, take my chances in one of the parks over there.
I was right about the Walkway -- I could see the line of parked cars on the Highland end stretched down the street.
So I headed farther North. Scenic Hudson has some great parks, and hopefully the sun would have melted the snow enough to be able to walk around a bit.
I decided to try Esopus Meadows Preserve and Lighthouse Park. I've been there before, and if the snow has melted enough I could get right near the river. There never seems to be nearly as many people enjoying the parks on that side of the river (or I am just incredibly lucky in my visit times), so finding a bit of solitude should be easier.
I made a good choice. There were a few cars there, but I only saw maybe 10 other people the entire time I was there. A few people had kayaks they were getting ready to launch, others were out walking their dogs. It wasn't hard at all to find a spot to just sit in the sun, listening to the waves lap the shoreline.
Of course, I had to take some pictures before I left. You didn't think I would miss out on that chance, did you?
In case you need directions.
Looking North up the shoreline
It's a beach, of sorts
I love the look of the tree roots
View from the little wooden bridge
Closest thing to a beach I could find
Think an entire tree washed ashore
I was sitting on said tree, relaxing and just enjoying the warmth of the sun and the gentle sounds of the water, when I heard what I thought sounded like horse hooves on pavement. Seemed kind of strange, as I don't know that many people around here just ride horses down the road. I hadn't seen a horse trailer with any of the parked vehicles. To be fair, it wouldn't be the first time I had come across someone on horseback in a public park. I looked around and only saw two people sitting at a picnic table.
After getting my fill of the sun and the river, I decided to head back to my car. Up ahead I could see the two people from the picnic tables, and they had stopped on the footbridge to take pictures of something. I waited for them to finish and move along, wondering why they wanted to take a picture of a cement building so badly. I got my answer when I got closer to the bridge.
I knew I heard horses!
Honestly, it was kind of a relief to see the horses. I mean, the sound of hooves on pavement is pretty specific, and I could not figure out what else the noise could possibly have been. It gets better, though.
The horses were pulling a wagon!
Okay, I get that it might not seem terribly exciting to you, Friends. But seriously? You do not see that shit every day around here. This was both fantastic and surreal. I'm so glad I decided to venture out to this park today! If I had gone anywhere else I would have missed out on seeing this. It's kind of ridiculous how seeing something so unexpected can make me so giddy.
I hope you had a good day as well, Friends. Maybe you found something awesome that brought you a little unexpected spark of joy as well. I sure hope so.