Week 9: A family affair

Rachel Baker came to Open House with a crowd: four members of her family. A dance movement therapist, Baker lives near Washington, DC; her New York brother organized the outing.

They arrived late thanks to triathlon traffic and just managed to squeeze into the third and last wave of paddlers.

Baker hadn't been in a kayak for 15 years, and had never dealt with river currents and waves, so she was a little nervous. But everything turned out fine. "It was a lot of fun," she said. "I've seen the Hudson River many times but I've never been on it. This was just a great experience."

Hot weather and blue skies brought 77 paddlers to the river. The currents were gentle and all three waves enjoyed southbound trips toward the George Washington Bridge.

Open House continues through Labor Day; here's how to try it out for yourself.