Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Walkway Over the Hudson

Our last stop for the day was to see the Walkway Over The Hudson.  I had hoped to take the new glass elevator up to the deck of the bridge but we couldn't figure out where to park to find it.  We finally found a parking lot for the walkway on the Poughkeepsie side.  It is a bit of hike from the parking lot to the bridge itself but it was a nice evening.  

We walked across the bridge which stands 212 feet above the river's surface and is 1.28 miles long. It connects Poughkeepsie to Highland, NY.  We didn't get all the way across because the bridge closes at 8 PM and we didn't arrive until 7 PM and we didn't want to be stuck on the other side.

We found the elevator but it wasn't running anyway so it is a good thing that Lee found the parking area.

 The Elevator

 The Poughkeepsie Train Station

"The Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge was built in the late 19th century to link New York and New England to an extensive, nationwide railway network. For decades, it was a major rail corridor for both freight and passengers. After a fire in 1974, the bridge was abandoned and sat for decades as an orphaned relic" (According to the website) It is now the longest elevated pedestrian bridge in the world.

Kaatskill Kaleidoscope

After lunch we headed over to visit the Kaatskill Kaleidoscope in Mount Tremper, NY.   I had seen pictures of it on the Roadside America website, however, when they did their review this little mall was more of a hippies' hangout and everything was brightly colored and groovy.  Now it is the Emerson Mall and everything is upscale.  

We loved these tree sculptures that were outside the mall.

We managed to get to the Kaleidoscope with about a half an hour to see a show and wander around the gift shop.  The lady that waited on us was very friendly and took us right into the silo to see the show.  She told us that they had three different shows so that we could come back again if we wanted to see another one.  There are some sort of benches that you lean up against and rest your head so you can look up, however, she suggested that if we wanted to be comfortable and really feel the sound and vibrations that we just lie on the carpeted floor.  That's what we did although these days getting up and down on the floor with my knee is not exactly easy.  In fact, I'm so clumsy that if there had been anyone else in the room when we were there I would have opted for the benches!

The $250,000 Kaleidoscope was designed by '60s psychedelic artist Isaac Abrams and his son Raphael and it opened in 1996. The elder Abrams called it the "first cathedral of the third millennium." It is the brainchild of Catskills developer Dean Gitter.  When the place opened it was a whole different sort of feel.  Here is a picture of the previous look.

We saw the original Patriotic Show and it was really a fun experience.  The music was enhanced because you could feel the vibrations in the floor and the show was fun.  There were flags, eagles, and our forefather's and president's heads appearing in a Kaleidoscope of color. 

Lee took a few videos with his camera and they came out pretty well.

After Lee helped me off the floor, we headed into the Gift Shop which has many many styles of Kaleidoscopes for sale, some for a few dollars and some for thousands of dollars.  It was fun trying them out.  My mother used to have a Kaleidoscope that fascinated me as a child so this brought back memories.  I've always wondered what she did with it because she didn't have it when I had to move her to a home.

The Store Clerk was named Linda and when she found out that we were from Iowa, she showed us some of her favorite kaleidoscopes that are made in Iowa by Peggy and Steve Kittelson of Woodland Designs in Clermont, Iowa.  They were really wonderful.  See what they have to offer at:

Wethersfield Classical Gardens

Today we have an agenda of three places to see:  Wethersfield Classical Gardens, The Kaatskill Kaleidoscope and we plan on walking on the Walkway over the Hudson if we have time before it closes.

Our first stop was Wethersfield which opened at noon today for a self-guided tour of the classical gardens.  Wethersfield  is located in Amenia, New York and was originally the country estate of Chauncey Devereux Stillman.  The property was originally a dairy farm and he named it Wethersfield after Wethersfield, Connecticut, where his ancestors had settled in the late 1600s.

The House and Gardens are situated at an elevation of 1,200 feet, the highest point in the region, which provides panoramic views of the Catskills to the west and the Berkshires to the north.   It is a gorgeous view as you can see.

 The above is a map of the classical gardens

 This is where we entered the garden

Naiad Fountain

This is the back of the home.  You can tour the home on the weekend but we have seen so many mansions this trip that we decided just to opt for the gardens.

 Nice Greenhouse

When we were on a walk last week, I said something to Lee about the fact that I've never seen a frog on a lily pad before.  They are always sitting on the side of the pond or whatever.  Then today there were several sitting on the lily pads.

This is the view of the home from the carriage road.  Guests would use this entrance.

 This is the Peacock Walk

 Probably because of the Peacock Cage along the walkway

One of the peacocks was outside the cage but he spent a lot of time discussing this with the other peacocks on the inside! 

We met another couple from the area and we traded taking pictures with them.

Lee thought this monument needed a statue 
in the middle so I was it!

 What a beautiful garden and it was also a glorious day!

We wandered throughout the gardens until we were pretty well starved and we went in search of lunch.  We had lunch in Uncle Sonny's Cafe in Stanfordville, NY.  We both had burgers and they were very good.