Day 39 of a Year Long Road Trip Along America’s Scenic Byways
I started day in New York’s Hudson River valley touring West Point. My grandfather briefly attended here until it was determined he had cheated on the vision test by memorizing the eye chart. As a result, he got kicked out. But that is aside from the point. The West Point tour was excellent.
West Point is a self-contained community with its own post office, shopping, grocery and the like. We first stopped at the chapel. He we could glimpse the back of the barracks where the cadets enjoy fun events in the courtyard as well as not so fun events like walking off their demerits. Obviously, with very little free time, walking off demerits for five hours at a time is not the most enjoyable for them. If the cadets rack up over 100 demerits, they join the century club of which two of our presidents were members, Grant and Eisenhower.
The chapel, technically a cathedral, but called a chapel in the military, is home to the largest pipe organ in a religious building in the world. The pipes range in size from a pencil to over 30 feet. Inside the chapel, the hymnals are placed in measured alignment and flags from different times of the United States hang overhead. In addition, a row, marked with a candle always sits empty no matter how many church goers are in attendance as it honors those missing in action.
After visiting the chapel, we stopped at the most photographed place at West Point, the point with the view of the Hudson River. Next to this point, a statue inscribed with civil war leaders’ names stands in the middle of a ring of granite balls. Aside the balls are canons inscribed with the names of the significant civil war battles. Another ring of cannons surrounding the monument are buried downward into the ground as a symbol to never fight among ourselves again as graduates of West Point were fighting each other in the war.
One item at West Point that I have never seen was solar power compacting trash cans. Our government dollars at work! I had to take a picture of it just because I was so surprised. The trash compactor stood in front of the visitor’s center which features an interesting weaponry museum. The displays include all sorts of spears, knifes, guns, as well as cases for atomic bombs and small tanks.
Bear Mountain State Park
After my tour of West Point, we continued through the Hudson River Valley to Bear Mountain State Park. The dogs and I took a walk with what seemed like a Japanese photography class. They stopped continuously to snap photos. On the other hand, Scout, Petey, and I circles the lake and up the Appalachian Trail about half way to the nearby summit. Fall foliage surrounded the sometimes steep, rocky trail, while geese floated peacefully in the below lake.
After our jaunt in nature, we left the Hudson River Valley for Long Island where my cousin Danny and his wife Allison hooked me up for an evening. I met Liam here, an Irish Merchant Ship Captain who just got his European Flying License. He is looking to meet the US FAA regulations as well. He went into the City for the night while Danny, Allison, and I went to an Irish Pub in the neighborhood to watch the Texas Rangers beat the New York Yankees! That was once in a lifetime and fun to see a New York Bar. After the Rangers win, we checked on the progress their daughter Claire’s Sophomore class homecoming float. The theme was Wizard of Oz and the float was great. I’m curious to know if they won. ETB
Map of My Road Trip Across the USA
For a summary about my road trip across the USA, click HERE. For the interactive map, see the below link.
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Check out the photographic note cards and key chains at my shop. Each card has a travel story associated with it. 20% of proceeds are donated to charity.