New Jersey in a nutshell
We arrived in New Jersey by ferry and we gracefully left the same way. It’s been a terrific time of year to bike down the Jersey shore. Some areas have been like ghost towns, sand blowing across the road like tumbleweeds and no one around except for us and hundreds of empty beach houses. The boardwalks have been amazing, going for miles sometimes. It’s been windy, and most of the time it’s been a headwind. It’s also been wonderfully flat, a change from the Vermont landscape we’ve been accustomed to.
We left Brooklyn and headed to South Street Seaport to pick up the Seastreak ferry to Atlantic Highlands, NJ. It was a beautiful day in NYC, or at least we thought. As we got father away from the city the smog became so clear that we were apalled that we had been in the midst of it! The air quality in NJ was much better.
We got off the ferry and had a leisurely bike ride to Sandy Hook. It’s a part of Gateway National Recreation Area. We found our spot on the beach and had lunch and a relaxing time soaking up the sun. It felt like a summer day. The bike paths were seemingly endless and it was hard to believe that we had been in Manhattan only hours before.
We camped in the woods around Red Bank that evening and kept the miles to a minimum. The next morning, Monday, we packed up and went to a diner in Red Bank for breakfast and then we rode all day to Island Beach State Park, approximately 50 miles. It was a tough day for Debi, she picked up a cold in NYC so we had frequent stops for water and medicine.
We got up the next morning in Island Beach State Park and went to Tom’s River. We were in search of wifi to figure out the next few days of our time in NJ. We came across a terrific library and had a great conversation with a bike cop named Frank. After looking at the weather and the miles left between Tom’s River and Cape May we decided it was time to treat ourselves with a hotel stay. We found a great deal for 2 nights at the Atlantic City Hilton on hotels.com. It was going to be a push, 67 miles to AC, but we decided it would be worth it and the weather was right.
Staying in AC for 2 day ended up being the best decision. Wednesday brought with it huge wind gusts, up to 50 mph! There was hardly anyone out. We tried to go for walk and we were practically blown away. We had a relaxing time at the hotel and exploring the boardwalk and peeking into the casinos.
We left AC Thursday morning and bike about 50 miles to outside of Cape May. It was a terrific ride. New Jersey has been great to bike in, we’ve had boardwalks, bike lanes, huge shoulders, and well labeled routes. We confidently give biking on the Jersey shore an emphatic thumbs up!
We camped outside of Cape May and Friday we slowly made our way to the Cape May-Lewes ferry. We arrived in Lewes around 6:30 pm and went directly to Bryan’s cousin Joanna’s home. Joanna’s sister Gillian was in town too so we all went to dinner at Joanna’s family’s restaurant Kindle. A terrific end to a wonderful week.
Next stop is Washington DC.
See you soon,
Debi and Bryan
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