Poughkeepsie eh? It is not quite the desert you think in this area (I am about 1 1/2 - 2 hours north of you). There are a few dojos down your way, it is just a longer travel..
You're rigth. This was the first year (school year that is) that I've realized how important Aikido is to me (about three years of practice now) and it took me a while to figure out how to find dojos in this area.
The dojo right next to me asked $80/month (... I'm currently paying for everything but housing on a minimum wage campus job.) and it didn't feel right to me so that wasn't going to happen. The dojo I started going to where the sensei is _amazing_ was a 45 minute bicycle ride: no car here. I believe they're associated with a larger dojo in woodstock (maybe your dojo?) I've been going there until now (I'm in the process of graduating and moving to CA)
So that's my story of woe. I think I've become much more competent at finding dojos and getting around with the means I have so the situation should be better when I move.
BTW: A new teacher (Shodokan) is going to start teaching at Vassar college next year... Sad that I missed it but I think it's good that it's hapening at the college.
End of long post,