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From New Jersey into New York,

Bypassing the big cities and seeing the country steeped in the history,

From New Jersey to New York

Historic Odessa and New Castle

September 6, 2015

Odessa

Odessa, Delaware was my first stop of the day on my way to New Jersey into New York, two states which weren’t on the top of my list of must see places. The town was founded in the 1700s as Cantwell’s Bridge. It is this wonderful small town (384 people in 2010 census) whose old buildings have been preserved, looking almost new.

Odessa Historic district

This is a wonderful example of the Federal style of homes that you find scattered throughout the region. I loved that I could go through the jail and courthouse which were built in the early 1800s.  The town is so small, you can see it all in and hour of walking around depending on how often you stop to admire the various buildings and gardens.

New Castle

This city is on the boarder of Delaware and New Jersey and yes, it’s a city, not a town. The old town is filled with historic buildings like the oldest continuously operating bed and breakfast in the US. It was opened int 1769. The city was founded by Peter Stuyvesant in 1651 to control the shipping channels. The city has been controlled by the Netherlands, Sweden and Great Britain. You want to go to the pier while there. The ships were gone when I was there because of the major storms predicted in the area.

I also discovered that William Penn landed in New Castle and stayed there prior to moving on to Pennsylvania.

Oh, and yes, that’s my trike and trailer in front of the building.

New Castle Bed and Breakfast from 1790s

New Jersey

I left Delaware behind for New Jersey, heading south along the shore, doing my best to bypass all the major cities. (I did mention that I despise large cities, didn’t I?). Cape May was this interesting place which was part historic and part tourist. I loved the old town. I turned north and ended up staying just north of Wildwood. My plan was to take Rte. 9 north to 50 west then to 30 north. It will be interesting to see how different the interior of the state is from the coast.

September 7, 2015

New Jersey isn’t totally made up of nasty cities. There are a whole slew of scenic roads to ride in the southern areas. I headed north from Wildwood. I did find Rte 50 N but never saw the sign for 30. Not that I minded as the country was nice and I enjoyed my trip through the interior were there were few towns. My normal way of getting lost is missing a turn, but I don’t mind. Normally I get the go through places that I normally wouldn’t see. I ended up on Rte 563 to 70 then on to 206 which would take me to the interstate to bypass Trenton, NJ.

I got off the on US 31 N, then headed south on 57 to I could take the start of of 519 through the wilds of NW New Jersey. The choice was great as the route was scenic with small towns, a lot of farms, low mountains and plenty of curves going from the lowlands into the woods.

Tramontin Harley Davidson

I needed to have my bike serviced as I had reached the 6,000 mile mark. I found the Tramontin dealership in this really small town called Hope which you wouldn’t think would have a Harley dealer. The dealership could do the service, but it wouldn’t be ready until the morning, so I needed to find a place to stay.

The owner directed me to the MIllrace Pond  Inn, which is an old grist mill  built in the 1700s and turned into an inn using most of the interior framework. It was a place with a lot of character with no two rooms alike. I was given a room overlooking the garden They had a dinning room so I didn’t need to find a place to eat.

There is a tavern in the basement with the stream running through it and a bridge across it to get to the tavern. Don’t get drunk ad the fall off the bridge is over four foot down onto rocks. I will say that it was one of the nicer unique places I stayed at during my trip but it didn’t come cheap. I felt the inn was worth the price for good food, a unique room with a comfortable bed and friendly staff. It can be found by turning right at the flashing light in Hope when going north on route 519  and it isn’t far down the hill on your left.

September 8, 2015

Hope is one of the older towns in the area, but is so small that the blinking red light is the center of town which goes for two blocks on each side of the light. The staff at the dealership had picked up my bike the evening before and then came and got me when it was done the next morning. I was ready to leave by 11 AM, my service completed and fully packed from my stay at the inn.

I decided to continue on 521 N so I skirted the Kittantinny mountains. The road was one of those twisties we motorcyclist love to ride. I stopped at Swartswood State Park and took pictures of the southern end of the lake.

Swartswood State Park

Lake Swartswood

It was so picturesque with the lily pads. and trees around the shore.

A Not so Little State

From New Jersey into New York

By the afternoon I went from New Jersey into New York. I was on route 6 in NY my planned bypass of NYC. It was a rural road with a lot of curves, hills and stoplights. I missed a turn (again…lol) and ended up on route 9 W going through the middle of the West Point Compound. The road was one of those detours where I got to see more than I expected.

When I reconnected with route 6, I went over Bear Mountain. This is NOT a road for the faint of heart. The road is narrow with a ton of 25-35 MPH curves. As I was coming off the mountain, there is a scenic stop to view the Hudson River. The toll bridge where the road crosses the river can be seen from this point.

Hudson River in New York

If you notice, the trees are beginning to turn. My goal is to make New England before the colors go away.

Being the adventurous type, I decided to take the Taconic Parkway north. It is open only to passenger vehicles. No large trucks, thankfully. I thought it was be a nice road to travel but quickly found out differently.

First of all, most of the car drivers had no idea of what it meant to stay in one lane. What that means is that they take their lane and your’s too, leaving you with nowhere to go except into the wall if traveling in the right hand lane. It made for some harrowing curves as the cars shared my lane. The second thing is that these drivers must have believed the parkway was a speedway and they were in a race. I pulled off for the night, dreading getting back on the parkway in the morning. I was lucky, there was less traffic so it wasn’t quite so dangerous.

September 9, 2015

I had been trying to make the Copake KOA but there was no way I was staying on the parkway after dark, so opted for a motel. It was a good thing when I discovered they were charging $74 for a tent site, so I headed to Mystic, CT where the KOA there had places for tents. It was a good idea, but when I arrived, it began to rain. Now you need to understand that I can put up my tent in less than 30 min by myself. That includes putting down the barrier tarp, staking the bottom, putting in the spring bars and putting it up with the awning. In a downpour…not happening.

One of the helpers at the campground helped me to get the tent raised. I ended up having mop up water from the inside, but I had a place to sleep. It was dark before I got everything I needed unloaded. Then I had another problem. The air mattress had been punctured by the sharp corner of the table. The hole wasn’t little…it was a big one. I patched the hole the the air was still leading out. Okay…another hole to be patched.

Problems galore

When the mattress held air, I went to bed to awaken at 3 AM with a rock digging into my hip and freezing cold from the water running under the tent. My tent was on an incline with tons of rocks, tree roots and a river flowing under it from the heavy rain. My bike was sitting in a pond and the bathrooms were on the other side of that pond.

I re-inflated the mattress. Again, it was almost flat at 5:30 AM. The rain had slowed. I needed to get up. When I rolled onto my knees….pain…a lot of pain. I struggled to my feet and checked out my knees. They were both bruised. How?  I’ve no idea but they hurt. Since I was up, I made a cup of tea and played games until daylight so I could see to fix breakfast. The rain wasn’t done, so I spent the day working on the computer, playing games and reading. I enjoyed the down time…that is except for the air mattress.

Mystic, CT Camp

Where I am standing to take this picture of the Mystic campsite was a pond. This is the day after I arrived.

 

 

 

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