Adventure at Work
Living in one of the most beautiful and most historic regions of our country has provided me the opportunity to work on projects that have introduced me to places I often didn’t know existed. And my curiosity for the world around me and constant search for new adventures have frequently set me off visiting these places. Making and taking the time to explore the area around me and do things I don’t do in a typical day, provides time for reflection, gives me more energy, and makes me more productive. Stepping away from my desk not only recharges my creativity, it helps me to learn firsthand about the places and experiences I am promoting to better prepare me for the work I do for my clients.
Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor
As part of the National Park Service, the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor (ECNHC) works to preserve and share our heritage, promote tourism and foster vibrant communities along the waterway. Their projects have inspired me to cycle the trail and paddle the waterway to experience the places and activities we are promoting firsthand.
When my son Justin was 8, we bought him his first kayak on Lake George, but wanted to find a safer place for him to learn to paddle. The confined space and gentle flow of the Glens Falls Feeder Canal was the perfect place for him to get comfortable and for me to let him go without worrying about his safety. I had grown up in Glens Falls, but never knew about the Feeder Canal until I started working with the ECNHC. The rock lined walls pass through really beautiful and unexpected spots. Going through the Finch Paper facility, especially under one of their buildings, was one of his favorite parts of journey. The following year, we introduced some friends to the waterway here as well.
My work with the Corridor has also provided me some other unique experiences as well. A few years ago, the folks at New York State Canal Corporation invited me to tag along on their Canal Inspection Tour. Justin, two of his friends, and I boarded the Grand Erie tug as she made her way from Tribes Hill to Rotterdam. I was grateful for the opportunity to bring the boys along on that beautiful fall day and introduce them to the canal that way.
This past year I worked on promoting a new initiative of the ECNHC, the Canalway Challenge. Having been part the team that helped to create it, I felt it was only fitting to sign up for a challenge. Logging a few miles at a kick off event paddling the Waterford Flight, I was able to introduce my husband Kevin and two friends, Jamie and Jane, to the Challenge, the waterway, and the experience of paddling through 5 locks. Jane, who is always up for an adventure, and my neighbor Trish helped me get several more miles in cycling from Lock 7 in Niskayuna to the Twin Bridges. And another friend, Deb, came with me as I added miles cycling from Lock 10 to Schoharie Crossing, where we saw the amazing remains of the 1840 aqueduct. I finished the Challenge last week with my colleague Ruth peddling almost 27 miles on a similar route. We are looking forward to heading back and paddling around the aqueduct there.
Parks and Trails New York
In addition to the ECNHC, I have also had the opportunity to work with Parks and Trails New York an advocacy group that promotes the development of trails across the state. A few years ago, my marketing partners, Ruth Sadinsky, Sarah Bilofsky and Kim Hickok of Web Instinct, and I developed a comprehensive brand “Cycle the Erie Canal” to promote cycling along the Erie Canalway Trail from Buffalo to Albany. As part of our research, we packed up the bikes, the car, and our kids and headed west to spend a day in Little Falls to experience the trail for ourselves.
Our day had us cycling a segment of the trail around the town, which included crossing the lock with the largest lift in New York State, watching climbers scale rocks that are tens of thousands of years old, visiting the Revolutionary war era Herikmer house, antiquing and eating ice cream at Canalplace, and picnicking alongside the lock.
It was so much fun, we went back for more! A few weeks later, I brought Jane, her son Nick and Justin back to the same area to “model” for some photographs for the web site for that project. The images are still included in the slide show that cycles through the home pages of both the CTEC and PTNY websites. It was a great way to introduce the boys to American history and make memories that live on.
Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area
Another project for the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, also part of the National Park Service, had me exploring another part of the state and its history. When I was working on their Guidebook of Heritage Sites, we were missing recent photos of some of the sites we were including in the book, so Kevin, Justin, and I set out to see what we could photograph to fill in the gaps. Our drive down the thruway, took us to Clove Furnace, Bear Mountain State Park, Mount Gulian Historic Site, the Walkway over the Hudson, and the Glebe House in Poughkeepsie. A few weeks later, Jane, Nick Justin and I visited the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site and Opus 40, an incredible environmental sculpture in Saugerties.