Cruising past the numerous red, orange, and yellow hues of fall foliage, National Geographic Sea Lion came upon the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse. Everyone got their cameras ready to capture the eerie scene as fog rose slowly above the Hudson River. After circling the lighthouse a few times, we continued toward the Catskills. We were given the opportunity to visit two state historic sites: Thomas Cole’s house and the house of Frederic Church, the Olana. The house and art studio hold original sketches and masterpieces by Thomas Cole, one of the original artists of America’s first art movement, the Hudson River School. Viewing the intricate pieces inspired a few individuals, and after soaking in the essence of Thomas Cole, some guests tried their hand at painting the surrounding landscape. We also got the opportunity to visit Olana, a Persian style historic house museum that was once owned by Frederic Church, another member of the Hudson River School. After getting our fill of these historic places, it was time to have lunch before our next adventure. In the afternoon, we went to Churchtown Dairy, a dairy farm that hosts an annual farmers market. Young calves, goats, and dairy cows were eager to receive affection. Petting a large fuzzy animal was the perfect ending to an incredibly enriching day.
National Geographic Sea Lion
Sun broke through the early morning near Bear Mountain Bridge in the Lower Hudson Valley. A large group of adventurous hikers took to the trail for scenic photographs and to take a few steps on the Appalachian Trail over the bridge. The morning light shown on a cloudless sky and allowed for beautiful view down upon the Hudson River that has been at the core of our journey. On the way back to the landing site, an osprey was sighted and photographed. Zodiacs offered a scenic cruise and a couple paddlers made their way up Popolopen Creek. After brunch we boarded the Zodiacs as transit to the shore and went to a poetry reading at the Hudson Valley Writers Center. Several poets read selections from their work and then many of us took a walking tour to the Old Dutch Church. The Headless Horseman Bridge and Sleepy Hollow Cemetery provided the perfect atmosphere and setting for a spirited one-man performance of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Washington Irving spent time among the hills that became the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery and his final resting place. We returned to National Geographic Sea Lion , had a wonderful dinner, and got to see the world premiere of the Guest Slideshow that will help everyone recall this amazing trip for years to come.