WATERFORD, N.Y. (WTEN) – One man is on a mission to travel up the Hudson River, through the canal system, and eventually to Lake Champlain. Barry Clark, 83, is doing it all in the name of love.
It’s a love story for the ages, a man and his boat taking a trip up north, and it’s all in honor of his late wife.
Barry Clark set out from his home in East Windsor, New Jersey on Sunday, making it here to Waterford Wednesday afternoon.
“I started preparing a boat and here I am. Headed north,” said Barry.
It’s an adventure he had talked about taking with his wife, Dolores. But unfortunately, she passed away suddenly. Now, he’s making the trip in honor of her.
“She was adventurous. She was a very positive person. That’s the key to life,” said Barry.
His small boat, packed with only the essentials, carries her name and her memory.
“Dolores, the love of my life for more than 40 years. It’s her,” said Barry.
Barry’s journey isn’t without its challenging times–but he won’t let that stop him.
“With all the problems, I never had a thought of turning back, never.”
He’s been caught in lots of bad weather and has counted on the kindness of strangers to help him along.
“He spent the night apparently under the Tappen Zee Bridge, so people have kind of been taking him in as he came up,” said Waterford town Councilman David Ball.
Ball first heard of Barry’s expedition on social media, but he never expected to meet the adventure-seeker in person.
“I look up and here comes Barry up the Hudson River in the boat and I’m thinking I think I see the guy,” said Ball.
“I was surprised. I came around the point over here and someone hollers out, hey Barry! And I said how would somebody know me here?”
Ball decided to take it upon himself to get Barry ready for the next leg of his journey.
“Hot shower, a hot meal, flashlight, clean clothes and stuff,” said Ball.
Even giving him a piece of Waterford to take with him the rest of the way.
“There’s a lot of like-me’s out there who would be more than glad to help this guy out,” said Ball.
Grateful as ever, Barry embraces the help and says meeting new people is the best part of the whole thing. He’s even giving some advice about life and love along the way.
“A life with a purpose. When you’re working together as a team for 40-some years, your purpose in life has been achieved,” said Barry.
But, if you ask him, Barry will tell you he’s just an old guy in a boat.
“He asked, why is everyone interested in the story? I said, well honestly Barry, the truth, it’s a love story. He got teary eyed and said you’re right,” said Ball.
Taking Dolores on one last adventure, and keeping her memory alive.
“I want to make the best of every day. So here I am, trying to do just that,” said Barry.