Friday, October 12, 2018

October 12, 2018. Cape May, NJ to Ocean City, MD. 29 Miles.

We'd already made our reservations for the Cape May ferry, so we rolled out early to be in line by 7:30 AM for the 8:30 crossing to Lewes, DE. It was very windy this morning, 20-25 MPH winds from the northwest.

We got on the ferry and it left on time; it was a rough crossing. Dianne was afraid and Tom was a bit queasy but the rest of us rolled with it. We had one of the deckhands take our group photo in the shirt Dennis designed. Here we all are on our last day together: Dianne, Doris, me, Bill, Dennis, Diana, Tom and Fred. Dianne and I played Scrabble throughout the crossing.

We landed at Lewes, DE and drove to a small restaurant for a late breakfast. We had planned on eating on the boat, but it was such a rough trip that the captain requested that we stay seated. We only got out of our seats for the photo!

After breakfast we lined up on the beach for our morning photo.

The path through Cape Henlopen State Park was great fun. We passed by another defense tower from World War II.

The State Park Trail led right to the Walking Dunes Trail. It was really clever how they built the raised trail to protect the dunes. The Walking Dunes Trail led right into the Gordons Pond Trail. We stopped at several locations to look at the dunes and the waterbirds. We could see the ocean off in the distance.

At the end of the trails we stopped for a quick break and then it was but a short jaunt to the boardwalk at Rehoboth Beach.

After Rehoboth Beach we rode the rest of the day on DE 1, which was busy at times but had a nice wide bike lane. Dennis had a flat tire just a few miles out from Ocean City.

Finally we were there! We crossed the state line into Maryland, and I officially finished biking all 50 states! This was the best biking day ever--we had bright sunshine, the wind was at our backs and we were on trail or substantial bike lanes the entire route.

We checked into our hotel, cleaned up and went down to take advantage of happy hour. My cousin Rochelle and her husband Steve drove here from Annapolis to have dinner with us. We all had a great time and Rochelle and Steve were good sports listening to all of our biking stories.

We said farewell to Fred, Doris, Tom and Dennis after dinner--they are leaving for Michigan tomorrow morning. Dianne, Diana and I are going to do one more ride in Delaware before we all head for home.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

October 11, 2018. Long Beach Island to The Wildwoods, NJ.

We'd planned to ride today... it started raining while we were eating breakfast, and showed no sign of letting up. We drove all the way to Cape May in the rain.

We stopped by the ferry dock to reserve our spots for tomorrow morning. Then we went to the Cape May Lighthouse, constructed in 1859 and still operational. The rain stopped while we were there.

There is a museum and a visitors center on the site. I walked out on the beach to see the "Bunker", the remnants of a fortification system from World War II. There is also a tower nearby that was used to locate and identify enemy ships during that war.

The lighthouse was open, so I took the 198 stairs to the top. It was very windy up there! I took photos of the surrounding area including our truck and trailer in the parking lot far below me.

By the time I came down from the top the clouds had started to dissipate so I took more photos of the lighthouse. I also bought a Cape May lighthouse Christmas ornament.

We went to the motel then, and checked in and arranged parking for the trailer. This is a 1950s era motel and there was 50s music playing on outdoor speakers. We ate our lunch outside on the pool deck. 

Doris, Fred, Diana, Dennis and Tom went in Fred's car to see downtown Cape May. Bill took a rest and Dianne and I walked to the nearby Wildwoods beach.

We walked down the boardwalk and saw the sights. This Wildwoods sign overlooks the beach. Dianne, who is 6 feet tall, is standing to the right of the W to give some perspective. It's a big sign!

Dianne and I played some Scrabble on the pool deck while listening to 1950s music until it was time to go to dinner. We met the others at the Lobster House and had a wonderful meal. After we ordered our drinks the group surprised me with a USA cycling jersey listing all the states!  And then Bill knocked me over with a cycling 50 pendant with a diamond in it. He admitted to the group that this is the first time he ever bought jewelry for a woman without her having some input into it. I know that this is a true statement!

After dinner we came back to the motel and sat out on the pool deck and had a glass of wine. Here I am in all my finery--50 state jersey and 50 state cycling pendant.  What a wonderful surprise! We have decided that we are riding the Delaware shore tomorrow rain or shine--and that will be my 50th state.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

October 10, 2018. Seaside Heights to Long Beach Island, NJ. 35 Miles.

It was very foggy this morning. We had planned to bike to breakfast, but walked instead, allowing a little more time for the fog to lift.  We then loaded our luggage in the trailer and biked over to the boardwalk for our morning photo. Bill and Doris drove over.

The amusement park at the boardwalk was shrouded in fog, but actually looked pretty cool.

Instead of following the bike route we stayed on the boardwalk until it ended and then backtracked to the route. It was just too much fun!

We rode over a long bridge on Highway 36 because it was the only way to get across the bay. It was foggy on the bridge but most of us had lights on our bikes, and the drivers were considerate of us. We rode through the small town of Tom's River and then got on the Barnegat Branch Trail, a lovely but unpaved rail trail.

We stopped for lunch and the strangest thing happened: It started raining as soon as we got in the restaurant. It rained through lunch, and let up just as we were finishing... then it started pouring again so we ordered dessert. By the time we were done eating our dessert the rain had stopped and it did not rain again today!

We got back on the trail and rode it as far as we could before getting on the busy Highway 9.

Everyone we met on the boardwalk and the bike trail was nice to us. The man above told us about the train that used to run in this corridor. It was hard to break away from him--I think he was lonely.

We finally got on highway 9 and made the turn onto 72 heading toward Long Beach Island. When we got to the last turn before the causeway Bill  and Doris were waiting by the side of the road. The bridge was under construction and there were signs posted "no bikes allowed on bridge". We were just a couple of miles from our motel so we loaded the bikes and drove across the bridge to the motel.

We tried to walk out for ice cream, but the places that our phones told us were open were not. We went to 3 different ones. Fred finally went back for the car and Fred and Doris and Bill and I drove about 5 miles before we found ice cream. Then we went to the beach. I was the only one to wade into the surf and it was not even cold!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

October 9, 2018. Hazlett to Seaside Heights, NJ. 51 Miles.

It was quite overcast this morning, but there was 0% chance of rain until noon--a good day for biking! We lined up ready to take on the world.

After a very short ride on the streets (and only one wrong turn) we got on the Henry Hudson trail. It was a beautiful trail, and such a nice change from riding in the city.

The path went right through Long Branch and Bill and Doris were waiting for us there. We broke out the maple leaf cookies that Julie brought us Sunday. They were delicious!

Right after we left Bill and Doris we got onto the Bayshore Trail. It is very well-named! It runs right alongside the water. 

We enjoyed the views, stopping often for photo opportunities.

There was a section of the Bayshore trail that was cinders, and right after that Fred got another flat tire. His rear tire is in pretty sad shape, so after lunch we stopped at a bike shop and he bought a new tire. Finally!

We certainly did not expect to see palm trees in New Jersey!

We biked on the boardwalk for miles, and when we were not on the boardwalk we were on Ocean Avenue. It was a beautiful ride. We stopped at Asbury Park and went into the brick pavilion. There are shops and restaurants there, and a theater. I bet this place is hopping in the summertime!

There were miles and miles of large beachfront homes, some from the 1800s, all in excellent repair.

We had to cross a bridge that was under construction, which was nerve-wracking. After that the last 15 miles were tough. We rode mostly on Hwy 35 South, a busy thoroughfare. We were ever so glad to be here in October instead of in the summer! When we arrived at Seaside Heights we found just one bar open for dinner. Fortunately there is one that will be open for breakfast too. Most places here on the Jersey Shore are closed for the season.