Word of the day 1: Exploration
The act of exploring and traveling to new places in order to learn about different people, communities, etc.
Word of the day 2: Eureka
“I have found it!”, comes from the Greek work heureka
Today’s lesson started off by talking about the first word of the day, exploration. We learned that explorers travel to new places to discover and learn about communities and find hidden treasures. When explorers make a novel discovery, they shout the word “eureka!” Today, we will be traveling to Inwood Hill Park, which is at the northern tip of Manhattan, to learn about the Lenape Indians who used to live in the park. We will be meeting Luis Ramos, who is going to give us a tour of the Indian caves and other remnants of Native American culture in the park.
We also learned that on the way home, we will be travelling an unfamiliar path: the Westside Greenway along the Hudson River! The riders were excited to finally bike on the other side of Manhattan. Cappy told us to look out for three “hidden” places along the greenway: the lighthouse, Greek pavilion, and the pumpkin house. The riders were told to shout “eureka!” when they found the places. Excited about the new discoveries they would be making on the ride, the riders were excited to set off on today’s journey.
Inwood Hill Park Ride:
Today was the 6th ride of the season! It’s hard to believe that we have already made it past the halfway point of the summer. We got lucky because unlike the past few weeks, it was finally cool outside. We walked our bikes down from the Beacon School to the 1st Ave. bike path. We rode north on 1st Ave. and took a left on 115th St. and travelled westward until we got to St. Nicholas Ave. We then rode north until we arrived at the Harlem River Drive. The street was slightly uphill so it was a tiring but quick ride. We veered off the busy streets and onto the bike path and saw the cluster of three bridges; the Washington, Hamilton, and High Bridges.
We travelled along the Harlem River Drive, passing under the three bridges, until we got to Swindler Cove Park. We stopped at the park and Cappy taught us the barred owl call. The call sounds like “Who cooks for you?” We all practiced our owl calls, but since it was daytime, there were no owls to be seen. We then went to look for the geocache in a small pond area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to find the geocache and had to leave quickly because we had to get to our final destination by noon!
After some more riding along the river, we went back onto the streets of Inwood and ventured north towards Inwood Hill Park. Along the way, we passed by the Columbia University football fields, went up a steep hill, and finally ended in the park! We ate lunch and then rode in the park to meet Luis, our guide for the day. Luis told us about the Shorakkopoch Rock, which, according to legend, is the location at which Peter Minuit purchased Manhattan Island for trinkets and beads worth about 60 Dutch guilders (only $500 in today’s dollars!!). He also told us about the Cherokee Princess Naomi Kennedy who lived in the area. After a brief lesson about Lenape Indian history, we ventured further into the woods and discovered some large rocks. We climbed up the up the rocks to find the Indian caves. We looked around and inside the caves. Luis told us that homeless people used to use the caves as shelter before being displaced a few months ago. We then went to another location in the park see the oyster shells left behind as offering to the gods. We were surprised to hear that the shells were left almost completely intact after 400 years! After thanking Luis, we went to search for our second geocache of the day but couldn’t find it.
Somehow, while exploring the area, a few Cyclopedians got lost in the woods, so we had to scream loudly to get them back to the bikes. Finally, we set off back to the school. We rode on the Westside Greenway along the Hudson River where we were able to spot the Greek Pavilion, Pumpkin House, and Little Red Lighthouse. Our final stop was right under the George Washington Bridge to stop for water before continuing the final stretch to school. We found a geocache here – finally! We quickly rode along the greenway and made our way to 125th St., onto St. Nicholas, and finally on 5th Ave to 96th. It was a long and tiring ride but the weather cooperated with us, and everyone had a lot of fun!
Alberto Rivero, Cappy Collins, Akeem Williams, Lauren Lee, JiaMei Huang, Emera de los Santos, Celeste Matsui
Miles biked: 17.29 miles
Program time (hours): 7 hours
Ride time (hours): 6 hours
Water Quality Monitoring Results
Estimates based on 100lbs, 5′ 2″ ht, 13 yo, average between male and female.