Saratoga Race Tracking & Canoeing Down the Battenkill

by Christine on August 1st, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Exercise

It’s been another busy weekend for me! I hope you all had a busy but lovely weekend as well!

On Saturday we braved the weekend crowds and checked out the Saratoga Race Track. We found a shady spot, so the temperature was wonderful (it was very hot in the sun).  Hubby and I each had $40 to gamble with. We stuck around for 7 races, and at the end of the day I was up $5 and hubby was down $20. Not too bad! Considering the admission is only $3/person and you can bring in your own food/drink (including alcohol), it was a very reasonable day!

Food at the race track is notoriously bad. You can find a salad for sale, but you have to look pretty hard. I don’t think I’ve ever seen any fresh fruit for sale there. However, the track does a great job of featuring local mom&pop businesses, so if you want some Hattie’s Fried Chicken, you’re all set! I had a bowl of beef & barley soup that was surprisingly good (150-200 calories, perhaps). Later I got a diet coke fountain drink for a treat. I don’t want to make drinking soda a habit, but as a treat I don’t mind. It tasted great on a hot day!

When we got home from the track, hubby and I made some homemade spaghetti. I can’t eat the noodles, so I just had a cup of “sauce soup.” I added some extra veggies to fill it up. It is not a low-calorie meal, so portion sizes are key when eating “sauce soup!”

On Sunday we went canoeing down the Battenkill River. The Battenkill is a very wide creek that runs from Vermont to the Hudson River. We canoed down the portion located in Washington County, New York. Oh, it was my favorite local canoe ride in a long time! Although the stream was very shallow in areas (and once we had to do a significant portage to bypass a dam) it was incredibly scenic and wonderful. We saw an eagle and eagle’s nest; a deer; countless fishes; a crawfish the size of my hand, including a whole bunch of teeny-tiny crawfishes; lots of large birds (egrets perhaps?) and lots more.



At lunchtime we found a wonderful sandy shore where we pulled over for some food. Afterwards we jumped into the water and swam for an hour. The creek bottom was soft sand, and it was a terrific way to break up a hot canoeing day!

At the end of our journey we ended up at the Greenwich Town Park. What a great little park! It’s free to get in, and they have a whole swimming section roped off. I’ll need to remember to come back here the next time I feel like swimming. The park also has a pavillion, picnic tables, basketball court, volleyball court, playground, iron grills for cooking, and more. It wasn’t very crowded either.  While the boys were getting the drop-off car upstream, I spent more time swimming in the creek. It was a fantastic!

For local peeps: For this trip we put in at the Rexleigh Covered Bridge and ended up at the Greenwich Town Park located east of the town on Route 29. I wouldn’t recommend this exact route because of the long portage around the dam (I’m not sure, but it might be Center Falls). I’d start at the covered bridge and end at the dam just east of the town of Greenwich.

It was a great way to get some exercise, too. Portaging and carrying the canoes/kayaks took quite a bit of energy and zapped all of us of our strength. Padding of course involves a little energy, and swimming in the current was even more.

When I got home, I quickly grilled up some dinner (we were starving): steak and baked potato. I would have made some veggie for myself but lacked the time. I scarfed the food down and immediately went outside to get some yard work done. I weeded my vegetable garden, cut some of the grass, cleaned some old lumber from under our porch, took out the trash, and did 5 loads of laundry.  I was exhausted by the time I sat down on the couch to relax at night!

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