Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pedestrians and Falcons

On my way home I stopped in Albany instead of Schenectady. Due to track maintenance I had to take the bus from Boston, rather than the train. That's fine except the bus terminal is in Albany, and the train station is in Rensselaer, on opposite sides of the river. There is a bridge, but it's a freeway with massive cloverleafs (cloverleaves?) either end. Shelley and I had come this way heading for our hike. Google maps had shown a walking route across the bridge, but its walking info isn't always accurate. The bus terminal is under the freeway overpasses and we couldn't see any way to get up there. And it wouldn't surprise me if there was no allowance for those pesky pedestrians. After all, they just get in the way of the supremely important traffic. I asked if there was a way to walk across the bridge and they said no, you had to take a taxi. Which we did, but the taxi had no meter and charged us $15 for a two minute ride. To add insult to injury, from the taxi we could see what looked like a walkway across the bridge.

This time I had time to explore and found the entrance to the walkway just a short distance from the bus terminal, connected, logically (for a change) to the paths along the river. As it turned out, google maps was accurate.

In case anyone googles for this, here are some directions: from the bus, head towards the river, past the Holiday Inn. Take the underpass at the end of Broadway. The walkway starts just on the river side of the underpass. On the other side of the river (Rensselaer) you need to make a u-turn off the end of the ramp to get to the small bridge across the train tracks to the station. It's an easy 10 or 15 minute walk.

On my way across the bridge a pair of Peregrine falcons were swooping and circling, making alarm cries. I'm not sure what they were upset about, but there was some construction on the bridge. Maybe it had disturbed or was close to their nest on the bridge? I stopped to watch their flying skills from up close for a change. Beautiful birds and one of the (rare) conservation success stories since they were almost wiped out by DDT and other pesticides, but have since made a good recovery.

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