In August 2019, Brendan Davis and Kirk Muir Horton paddled 315 miles from source to sea down the Hudson River. Starting in the Adirondacks and ending at the Statue of Liberty, their trip was about as unpredictable and complex as the river itself.
The trip started off as a way for Brendan to pay tribute to the source of his childhood exploration. But the Hudson offered discoveries and challenges along the way, both aquatic and otherwise, that tested and formed a bond between the new friends, and in turn between them and the Hudson.
Without much paddling experience, and with a relatively new friendship to boot, they took their 10-foot inflatable raft to Lake Tear of the Clouds and started their journey downriver. Brendan and Kirk encountered dry riverbeds and class III whitewater, and battled heavy tides. When things went wrong they hitched rides on rafts, boats, and cars. In times of need strangers became friends. From a trickle to the sea, they explore the river, revisited Brendan’s childhood home in Cornwall, NY, and traveled down one of America’s most influential yet endangered rivers. —From the filmmaker