Jersey down, on into PA

Chilly night. Found out heater hasĀ  lo, med, & high heat level settings. Spent heat comfortable night but traffic noise provide its own discomfort. Pancakes for Bfast. Grocery shop again at A & P.

Headed back to NY and back into Jersey to Wawayanda SP. Parked at boat launch and no bike riders. Nobody replied to my web posting. Beautiful day. Headed out with park supplied map. Wandered around.

Viewed old iron furnace that smelted iron back in mid 1800s. Resource extraction. Can’t live with environmental damage and can’t live with out what it produces.

iron furnace
iron furnace

Rock gardens coming on strong. Rode a few feet of some and walked a bunch of feet on others.

Ran into Rhodendron thickets that are almost inpenetratable like my first lost experience in PA 33 years ago:

need a cut path to get through
need a cut path to get through

Add another fall to the log: front wheel caught in a rut, stalled it and flung me down on my left side. Couple of bruises forth coming.

Back @ TH, just too beautiful to load up. Talked to a rider heading out.

Drove out of Jersey and over Delaware Water gap. Lots of traffic. Drove into Jim Thorpe for next bunch of rides. Town in tight valley. Pulled into parking lot just off Main. A couple with a double touring kayak on their car talked to me for several minutes, gave me their version of local news. Walked around building to go to bike shop on Main. Woman on street across from store greets me with ride info from shop and local news. She even open the shop and gave me a for sale guide book.

Drove up out of valley to XG. Pull in, office closed, started to drive away. Car pulls up, XG manager. Start visiting. Fee is $20. Said too much, asked where else park for free, he said Walmart. Just about to drive away and he says there are showers here but it would be cold getting out. He then said I have never seen you but if you camp here and leave before 7:00 you’re good. he then continued to visit with me. he was taken by my mountain biking the states and perceived me to be a different person. He is envious of me; he wants to adventure like this but can’t let go of his anchor. 68 years old, cancer survivor. Pulled into campsite poised for rapid get away.

Getting way chilly. Walked up to shower. Restroom no heated. Shower nozzle sent a diverse spray of about body heat temp. Required keeping constant pulling on a string to keep h2o on. Started shivering thinking I might go hypodermic in a shower. Back to van and turned on the heat.

Walked down to lake in twilight. Canadian geese were talking and small groups flew just above surface of h2o. Watched several geese pull some flying stunts.

Hunkered down inside van enjoying heat. No idea of temp outside but forecast tonight is 28 deg.

World series on XM. In PA should find some Phillies fans. Need to go to a bar one night and watch it.

Closing up early to go to bed.

2 times the Hudson & Blue Mountain

Slept with the heater on lowest setting. part way thru night I turned it off as it was like summer sweating season. Traffic noise abated late at night & picked up again around 5:00. Chilly out from under the covers. Fixed bfast but didn’t dally as I was concerned about being in a school parking lot with beer & Scotch out of site.

Drove down Hudson Valley to Peekskill home of Blue Mountain. I crossed the Hudson West to East. Mistake driving with the commuters as I drive slower than their harried schedule permits. Some trees still have leaves. Back in the low hills in the valley.

Found Blue. Getting ready & 3 rigs with bikes pulled in and got ready to go. I beat them and asked if I could join their ride. Guys a bit younger than me. Said yes. I was prepared to ride the Chainstretcher race course or numbered trails. They promptly took off and dove onto fun technical rocky trails. Lots of logs across the trail that are rideable if I would just get with balance. Pretty good ride, 9.27 miles & 1610′. Remember in the East, the length is shorter but the average miles per hour are lower also. Takes longer to cover less ground. Comment: this East Coast riding requires balance, legs to horse up a rock face, ability to continually thread a needle line over rock faces, ability to make tight turns, in short, way more technical than West. Elevation comes in short pieces, always climbing, descending & traversing. Much different than a big grinder climb and long downhill. To say nothing of the tree cover. Now that the leaves have dropped the forest floor is open but the tread is sometimes well hiden by fallen leaves. Sometimes a leaf gets stuck near a wheel and it makes the sound like when we put baseball cards in the spokes. Another comment: Says something about middle aged men still riding bicycles.

Interesting rider, Buzz. I asked about his name if it was a childhood nickname. He said, no, he had it from get go from a war buddy who saved his dad’s life in the big one. He is an ER doc at a Bronx hospital, one of the busiest in the country. And an accomplished mtn bike rider.

Headed West to Jersey. Climbed Bear Mtn a tight, twisty road up and over and then crossed the Hudson again. Still pretty.

Saw sign for camping as I headed down rt 94. Lost it in whatever town. Stopped at lumber store and asked for directions, just 5 mins away. I drove in and walked into office and asked for a shower. Older than me man said he didn’t know if he could allow me and owners weren’t around to give him advice. I challenged him to make the call. he said ok and pay as much as I felt was appropriate. I paid $4.00 and showered.

Continued drive into Sussex, NJ. Found bike shop right along hwy. Stopped in & learned of rides at Wawayanda back North.

Drove on & stopped at an A & P grocery store. Did some shopping. I think this was the first time since a kid in Mansfield have I been in an A & P.

Found a parking spot behind a closed bank branch just off highway which is way noisier than past. Cars with exhaust issues. Big shop guy said that only police are state so I should be secure.

World Series is on. XM Radio. ist inning Phillies up 2-0.

Drive & rest day into New York

Chilly AM again. Should have run the heater.

Crashed about 200′ off main highway, noisy. I couldn’t live beside the roads like I have seen these houses. Imagine a B & B with your window about 40′ from a semi running the gears. Or the building shaking.

Forecast was for showers about 2:00PM. Headed back into NY over the Hudson which at RT 199 is really wide (no dimensions, just gut feel). Plan was to ride Jockey Hill near Sawkill. Poor navigation on my part left me wandering around. Back into Lake Katrine, parked at RR station to figure out where I was and how to get to where I needed to be. Guy pulls up on a cheap Walmart type bike with heavy work gloves, etc. Looked like I would be dealing with a person that should be under treatment somewhere other than on the street. Not the case. Articulate. On vaca from electrician job, raised his 3 kids after his wife dashed. A bit of a character. We chatted a while. He did wiring at original Woodstock.

He straightened me out and I headed out. I hit TH under dropping gray clouds. I dallyed for a few minutes and the clouds dumped rain. Just as well that I was lost because I would have been riding during that dump.

Wandered driving around with no goal. Pretty countryside. In NE they diverted the h2o for h2o power for mills etc. Dams blocked salmon migrating upstream.

Found Kingston. Parked in Hannaford Grocery store parking lot doing internet research. Called LBS inquiring about rides. Strike out. Then tried health clubs for a shower. Struck out also.

Tried a KOA XG and was dissed. I questioned the operator why and he told me that the county requires them to log in every person who enters the XG. In order for me to shower I would have to pay for a site: $30. I chatted with him a while wondering if he discriminates. In essence he said it depends if the person(s) would threaten the family atmosphere. I finally asked him which was my premise: Is our generation more tolerant than our parents? What sparked the question was listening to XM music of the 50’s and me looking like an old hippie. People who listened to that music when it was new would have been busting my chops all along on my odessey.

Checked out a Walmart in Kingston for possible crash site but couldn’t find a suitable level spot far away from the shopping crowd. Drove a bit further S and found a overflow school parking lot about 1/2 block off rt 9 blocked by a house and a hedge. No overnight street parking in this burg. Don’t know what their policy is about parking overnight in a school lot.

Tomorrow I plan on riding Blue Mtn reservation near Peekskill then beat feet West to NW NJ and maybe a Jersey ride.

Today is the 95th day out, I have ridden 1073 miles on 69 rides.

I am spending hours a day on computer searching rides, writing this, emailing, satisfying my Craig mind. My trip would be a heck of a lot different with out it.