Bastille Day “Pedal and Paddle” Weekend

Bannerman Castle

When I was younger, I wasn’t crazy about Bastille Day being in the summer mostly because we never got to celebrate it at school. Instead, on our last day of school, Bastille Day was grouped together with all of the kids born in the summer gathered at the front of the classroom, and we toasted a batch of juice and cupcakes.

But over the years, I’ve enjoyed Bastille Day in July. For one thing, having lived a decade in a place with seasons, it’s much less depressing to have celebrate this day in the summer than, say, in the middle of winter. For one thing, we get to be outside, and over the years, I’ve taken advantage of the warmer climate.

This past weekend, Sarah took me on a weekend trip to Cold Spring. I had been through here twice on bike rides, but I never got to stay there. Sarah reserved us a room at the celebrated Pig Hill Inn, we brought our bikes on the Metro North, and we headed up for a weekend.


On our first day, we biked to Hyde Park, following Route 9D and Route 9, and two paved rail trails, and then for a visit to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum. The trip to the Presidential Library was a personal mission of mine to visit as many as I can. So far, I’ve covered the Nixon, Kennedy, and Franklin Roosevelt, so I have a lot of ground to cover still. We got lost a lot so the bike ride took a long time, but I’m anxious to try it again.

To Bannerman Castle

The second day was an amazing kayak trip to Bannerman Island to tour the ruins of Bannerman Castle. Having never really kayaked before, it was really amazing to be able to paddle nearly 3.5 miles each way to an abandoned castle on an island in the middle of Hudson River. While the tour was ho-hum, and we didn’t get to see as much as I had hoped, getting there by kayak on a 90 degree day was really invigorating.