Hudson Valley Tour

I'm planning to take this tour in 2016 because it provides access to some sites that have become difficult to see on your own without a reservation. Among the sites that I especially want to visit again is the West Point Military Academy (which is the oldest of the military academies and figured heavily during the Revolutionary War). West Point used to be very welcoming to casual tourists back in the 1970s, but the bombing on September 11th of the World Trade Center forced the army to become sticklers about security. Little can be seen there now without special accommodations (or a ride on the "tour bus"). It's too bad that one's time at the Academy is now limited; it is so impressive to see how the future army officers are prepared for command and the Hotel Thayer is a great place for business meetings. My favorite memory of early visits to West Point include the story of the "chain" that the cadet-engineers forged during the Revolutionary War and dragged across the Hudson River to connect to winches on both sides. When the enemy sailed up the Hudson River, cadets who were on watch on both sides of the river cranked up those winches and when the chain was taut, it ripped open the hulls of sailing vessels which did not turn back. (It's a great story of how the cadets contributed to the war effort--made better by watching the pride in the face of the cadet who relates the story of how those old-timey engineers devised such clever ways to bedevil their opponents. I would expect that those aspects of the tour of West Point are gone as visitors are limited in where they can walk and what they can see. I'm still sentimental about seeing the military academy.)

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