It starts at 125th Street and works its way down, through Riverside Park. I liked that the concept was simple, meaning I wouldn't have to keep checking directions to stay on track. Just get to 125th, cut over to Riverside Park, and head on down. Just to be safe, though, I had the TONY website send the directions to my cell phone. When I didn't receive the message I figured so what, I can remember the directions.
Floyd and I walked to the nearest subway station, on Broadway. Before descending the steps I popped the boy into his bag. I bought a ten-dollar pass and swiped it through the turnstyle. The no. 1 train arrived almost immediately and it was far from full. It was about ten in the morning on Labor Day. I set the dog backpack on the seat next to me:
We got off at the elevated station on 125th.
Down the steps and onto the street we went.
Fortunately, I could see the Hudson River from the street. A good thing because I no longer remembered which direction the subway train had come from. We hoofed it down about four long blocks. Not particularly interesting blocks. Until I saw the pathway.
One of the signs there, the brown one, says the Grant Memorial is to the left. I knew that seeing this memorial was part of the trek, but I didn't see why I'd want to go back the way I came. What I did not understand at that time is that the path along the Hudson is wedged between the river and the Hudson Parkway, a freeway-like drive that has very few crossings. I did not think much about this, knowing that I was entering a pathway within the park and that's what I wanted.
The path is divided into two sections: pedestrians only on the right and bikes and other vehicles on the left.
It does get a little crowded at times. We walked along it for a long time. At times the area widened and sometimes there were dirt paths to my right - runners seemed to prefer those and so did I. Often the area to the right of the path was wide enough to allow people to lie on the grass, sit on the rocks, just relax. We took advantage a couple of times, stopping to sit on rocks and watch the river.
At irregular locations along the waterfront people had constructed various wood sculptures out of driftwood.
I realized, after we'd been at it a while, that I had taken the wrong path. We were in Riverside Park, sure, but not within the main part of it. And we were separated from that portion by the busy Hudson Parkway. Even if I were to cross that drive, a suicidal option, I would not have been able to get into the park, which I could see from where I was. There were high chainlink fences facing me. Realizing that I had once again failed to follow even simple directions, I bit it and went on. Finally we came to a divergence. A sign, a path, a way to 104th Street.
You can bet I took that path, on into Riverside Park. By the time we got into the park we had passed several of the monuments and other items, including the upper dog run, that were listed in the TONY walk description. I was starting to feel the walk, too. A few years ago I was regularly walking into town and back again, about four miles, along an asphalt path. I am very far from being in that good shape now. My legs were aching and my feet were beginning to object. I wasn't quite limping, though! So while I am not doing as well as I was a few years ago, I am doing better than I was a few months ago.
While we were deep into the park I looked up and saw this young woman. She was sketching, but you can't tell that from the photo. A case of the wrong camera for the job.
Or a case of my not yet knowing all I can do with the camera I did have with me. I was feeling quite sweaty by this time. When we got to about 90th Street we sat on a bench so I could record our condition:
My expression is less from exhaustion and more from trying to see us in the camera, trying to get us lined up properly for the shot.
We started working our way back to the apartment at 85th Street. When we got to Broadway we only got halfway across it. From my seat on a bench there - actually, I had headed for the bench specifically - I saw this couple and their baby.
We zigged our way to 81st Street, where I passed this sign, which I pass often while walking.
The sign is advertising the sales office for luxury condominiums. The outside of that scaffolding advertises that it is a "pre-war" project, and shows pictures of the lobby and amenities that look like they are from the 30s. Of course the entire inside is being demolished and rebuilt. I thought about the contrast between the sales office and the sales offices in other parts of the country, and the "pre-war" identification. I'm not sure that would be a selling point in Las Vegas, which barely knows pre-war.
It took a lot longer to do this trek than I had hoped. The total length was a bit over three miles and I think I averaged a 30-minute mile. I tended to drag a bit for the last several blocks, but I didn't actually reach that point where I have to tell my feet "now you", "and now you". My body felt achey and stiff the rest of the day, and last night I took two tylenol pm capsules just to be safe. I'm not 100% now but neither have I had cramps or limps. It's a victory of sorts.