The top of the Hudson RIver

The Hudson River begins at a small damn on Lake Henderson in the Adirondak Mountains in Upstate New York.

It took me 5 days to complete the drive from the Holland Tunnel to Lake Henderson.  

Up the Hudson

Me and my white Mustang (with Jersey plates) made it up the Hudson River in four days.  There were various pitstops off the track: Danbury CT for breakfast with an artist friend, Beacon NY for one of my favorite museums – Dia Beacon, North Adams MS for another favorite museum – Mass MoCA, and West Point (a favorite place from my childhood).

West Point

 

 

Hudson River Project Starts Today

Today, after a sweltering weekend in NYC, I will begin the Hudson River Project by  following the river from Manhattan up to it’s source and document all the bridges and tunnels along the way.

Trouble in the Holland Tunnel

So I’m driving away from DC on the hottest day ever, I stop by MICA (my alma matar) to see the grad show, and then head straight into Friday rush hour on heading to the Holland Tunnel.   The traffic sucks and my thermometer says it’s 102 degrees outside but I just bought a couple bottles of water, and I am safely within the airconditioned confines of my rental car.

Then I see a traffic cop standing in the middle of the intersection in the heat, sweating…. and I’m sitting in the shade and the AC sipping ice cold water.  So I roll down the window and offer him a bottle of water.  He says no.  I ask if he’s sure… and he gets really pissed off.  So I roll up the window and proceed to the toll both and pay the million dollar toll (it’s gone up) and slowly fight my way towards the tunnel.  Until I see another cop standing there and he tells me to pull over.

So now I’m thinking….. all I did was offer him water!  It takes me a couple minutes to get to the shoulder and I’m pissed off because I’m thinking about the hassel it’s going to be while they search my car ask why I have a video camera mounted to shoot out the windshield… and how is that supposed to be art.  So I’m preparing my case when he comes up to the window to tell me I have a flat tire.

So, here’s a fun fact: The Hyundai Elantra doesn’t come with a spare tire.  It comes with a tire “repare kit” which is almost as good as a tire, so  you screw into the tire nozzle and white foam shoots out all over your feet.  And no the tire doesn’t magically inflate, but you’re so distracted by the mess you almost forget that you’re sweating to death infront of the Holland Tunnel.  So you’re not allowed to drive through the tunnel with a flat tire, and you’re also not allowed to have your car rental company come assist you right infront of the tunnel…. so the emergency crew pushed my rental up a ramp, and told me that they’d put air in it but if it didn’t hold, I’d have to get towed to a lot in New Jersey and then wait for my rental car company.   And I’m pretty sure that’s hell on earth.

Lucky me, the tire held long enough for them to walk away, and I quickly got in the tunnel before anybody realized that the tire was soon to be flat again.

Anyway, after driving 2000 miles in my super efficient Hyundai, the rental company came to tow it away…. and brought me a brand new Mustang.  

So I got THAT ^ going for me.

Crossing the unexpected stream

On day two I came across this stream after driving down a dirt road for nearly an hour.  I got out, and waded across it.  It was knee high at the deepest part, and I didn’t want to have to drive all the way back and around…… so I took my rental car and plowed through it.  Probably not the smartest thing I’ve ever done, but it worked.

Mason-Dixon wrap up

 

The Mason-Dixon project took four days to record my progress.  I drove across and video taped every public road that crosses the Mason-Dixon line.  There were over 270 roads including busy highways, county roads and interstates, single lane back roads, and dirt roads that turned into little more than paths through the woods.

The Mason-Dixon line itself is 233 miles, but to weave in and out and cross the line at every road it took my 1400 miles of driving, and 46 hours of travel time.