Sunday, September 19, 2021

Sunday Lunch and Rushing River Waters

Another spectacular September day, honed to pure perfection by rushing river waters!  Who doesn't delight in a plunging waterfall or in dancing river rapids, set all a-sparkle by sunshine blazing out of a clear blue sky?  My husband and I sure did today, when we went up to Lake Luzerne to enjoy a picnic lunch on a bench overlooking the Hudson River where it falls through a gorge at Rockwell Falls.

After dining with the music of rushing water and enjoying the sight of clouds of mist rising above the falls, we made our way down a steep bank to enjoy a closer view of Rockwell Falls.  We clambered out onto riverside rocks just abreast of the falls and observed the Hudson River flowing down from the Adirondacks and plunging with a roar through the narrow cliff-bound gorge.

The riverside rocks here are weathered into fantastic shapes by the force of raging floods and thousands and thousands of years.

There are many "kettle holes" bored into the rock by boulders spun by whirling currents over millennia, some no bigger than teacups, others big enough for a bear to take a bath in.  Those kettle holes that had no drainholes were filled to their brims today, caused either by recent torrential rains or else by floodwaters rising to stream across even the highest ones. It is interesting to note that the waters of Adirondack rivers and streams are often the color of Coca-Cola, stained by the tannins of hemlock bark and needles.

On our way home, we decided to take a detour up the course of the Sacandaga River, which joins the Hudson River right here at Hadley/Lake Luzerne.  A shallower river than the Hudson, the Sacandaga is famous for its whitewater rapids, and this lovely small park that lies just upstream from Hadley on Dean Mountain Road is called Whitewater Park.  A very apt name!

A spacious deck provides great views of this river's beautiful rapids. There are also a few picnic tables and barbecue grills for public use.

We could also see these two bridges spanning the Sacandaga downstream, the closer one a former railroad bridge, and the one beyond with arching supports a historic parabolic structure called the "Bow Bridge."  Long in disrepair, funds were raised some years ago to restore it to functional use by automobiles. Until just three years ago, trains did cross the railroad bridge, but all train traffic across it was discontinued in the spring of 2018.

But wait! What are those small rail cars crossing the bridge today?  It turns out, there still IS some traffic across this railroad bridge, but the cars are "rail bikes," self-propelled recreational vehicles that can be rented from a business called Revolution Rail Co., with a station right here in Hadley.

What a wonderful way to spend a gorgeous day, pedaling through the beautiful Adirondacks, and getting some healthful exercise at the same time! Here's a link to Revolution Rail's website if you'd like to explore this option for yourself:

1 comment:

threecollie said...

Our daughter went on a rail biking date last fall out in Western NY. Props to the gent who thought of such a fun date. Love your photos!