The train going north from Grand Central Station runs through the ‘Sleepy Hollow’ landscape of the Hudson Riverway to Poughkeepsie. The town appears somewhat unprepossessing, given its proximity to West Point Academy and Vassar College. Nonetheless, it revealed the first glimpse of the themes and artefacts which would underpin our entire journey to Minnesota. We saw the relics and remnants of a grand industrial era repurposed for the modern tourist eco-industry. At 212 feet above the Hudson River, we took the 1.28-mile linear park Walkway sited on the former Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge.
The next theme was climate change. Weather warning messages, bulletins and ‘surprises’ became an everyday event.
The third holiday theme that began to seep into our consciousness was water – or rather the role rivers played as arteries of American development.
The people followed water, like veins across the landscape, to build new lives, businesses and communities. These natural highways knitted together the American nation as it developed. In early days, the entire journey from New York to Minnesota was by water and we were able to journey by rail and road because modern transportation had adopted the routes!
An important part of Paul’s pre-travel planning was the location of speciality American Diners. The one in Poughkeepsie did not disappoint!