TRIP 2006

Update #24 - August 24th
Pocomoke City, Maryland
6042 miles ( 9667 KM) since March 27th,
6533 miles ( 10,453 KM) since Jan 01st

As always, things planned can get changed at the split second. I took a different route in getting into and out of New York City. After attending the morning service at the United Methodist Church in Fishkill, New York, I got back on the road around 10:45 a.m. There was busy traffic south of town on NY 9 on the way to Cold Spring. I got cut off a couple of times. There were too many interchanges to deal with. When I got to Cold Spring, I had enough of New York drivers. I saw signs for the railroad station of the MTA - Metro North RR. I had caught glimpses of passenger trains starting around Rennsailleur. I decided to go ahead and grab a train to Grand Central Station.

I had enough of NY 9. I wasn't going to miss much of it if I took the train. It would probably have been an eight mile ride from Cold Spring to the Bear Mountain Bridge. I also didn't want to deal with all of the people, roads, and traffic from Haverstraw, New York down to NE New Jersey. I had ridden across the Bear Mountain Bridge last year. I got to the station platform about 12:30 p.m. There was a ramp up to the platform. I called up information to see if I was allowed to take the bike on the train. I wanted to see if there were any security changes that Homeland Security made. I was told that I could get it on and it would be $10 for me one-way to Grand Central Station in mid-town Manhattan. The bike would cost $5. I could have switched the $5 later on for a bike permit.

It was just a twenty-minute wait for the train to arrive. The train left the station around 1 p.m. The railroad kept pretty well close to the Hudson River. I saw West Point on the west bank of the river. I got to see the Bear Mountain Bridge from below. I saw the nuclear reactors along the river just south of Peekskill. I did have to move to another car because the air conditioning. The train made ten stops along the way. It was interesting seeing the George Washington Bridge soaring above me.

Along the way when we got closer to the city, I saw in some train yards a lot of abandoned train cars from as far back as the 1940s. Also, there was an old train station overgrown with weeds. There was a lot of litter. Coming into the city, the train went elevated through the Harlem section. Saw blocks of brick row houses with little patches of backyard with little or no grass. Very few trees. Sections of blocks turned into community gardens. Blocks and blocks of red brick welfare apartments with little air conditioners in some of the windows. Huge dumpsters over-flowing with trash and huge piles of trash near them. After about a mile or two, the train went underground for the rest of the way to Grand Central Station in mid-Manhattan.

The train got to Grand Central Station around 2:30 p.m. I called up Nick on Staten Island but he wasn't home. Didn't know what was really happening with him anyway since he didn't respond to my last emails telling him of my progress. I didn't think that it would be wise for me to go to Staten Island and not find him there. Just left him a message on his answering machine telling that I'm sorry that we didn't connect.

I tried to contact some of the Warm Showers members. There was nobody available on Manhattan. I called up one guy, Esneider, but it turns out that he lived in Queens. I would have had to catch the No 7 subway to the 85th street station and then he would come to the station and get me. I tried to get down to the subway platform but the elevator was out of order. Just the thought about having to do the route tomorrow in reverse and then trying to get out off Manhattan was too much for me to think because of much more traffic and people during the week. I just wanted to get going towards New Jersey.

I stopped to talk to a friendly guy at an information kiosk to find out if there was still the hydrofoil ferry and when it might be running from Battery Park to Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey. I found out that the ferry operated only on weekdays for commuters. Didn't want to stay over night in one of the hostels. Hotel rooms (even the cheapest) would be too expensive. I was given suggestions to either take a NJ Path Train to Hoboken or Jersey City but I didn't want to go that way because it would be dangerous on the roadways and the areas. The other suggestion was to take a NJ Transit train at Penn Station to South Amboy so that I could get south of the Raritan River out of the metroplex area.

I had about a 20 block walk-ride down to Penn Station. Wasn't thrilled at seeing and being in all of the congestion. The roads were less congested than the sidewalks so I rode most of the way. The sidewalks were packed with people of all nationalities. Saw a lot of Orthodox Jews with their kippas on. Amazed at the huge 1-story tall wrap-around TV screens that showed scrolling moving pictures. I rode passed Macy's and Herald Square. There was some movie shooting in the area.

I had a bit of a problem getting into the station. Had a bit of a problem finding the handicap entrance. Rolled the bike right into the station. Wasn't given any kind of security scrutiny. It would be a $9 fare to South Amboy, New Jersey one-way and the bike would be free. I had about a fifteen minute wait for the train but I had a problem of getting down to the platform. I tried to get down the two elevators to Platform 13 but I only found one. I should have written down the instructions. I couldn't find the second elevator so I had to try and get down a flight of stairs. There was an escalator but it was way too narrow to even try. I had to rush down the flight of stairs. Halfway down in my rush, I lot control of the bike so I had a mid-flight crash. I lost the smallest water bottle and my liter bottle. I did get my right knee skinned a little bit. I got on the train just three minutes before it headed out.

The trip south went much better than the New York trains into the city. There was no handicap platform at S. Amboy so I was allowed to stay on until the next stop, Matawan. If I had more time in investigation, I could have found out that I could have taken the train clear down to Bradley Beach just south of Asbury Park. The train arrived at the station around 5:10 p.m.

It took me two and a half days to ride to the southern tip of New Jersey to Cape May. I did some long days and used my headlight and rear flasher. It took a bit of time to find some place out in some open space to find a place to camp out. I got to the ferry depot, Wed. (Aug 23) a little before noon. If I would have gotten there about ten minutes earlier, I would have been able to get on the noon ferry. I had to wait for the 1 p.m. ferry. The ride was 1 hour 20 minutes long and it cost me just $9.50.

After I got off the ferry at Lewes, Delaware, I called up the Warm Showers member. I was invited to spend the night with the Boettgers, who lived about twelve miles from the ferry. Today, I had a good 62 mile ride to Pocomoke City, Maryland. I've got about three miles to go before I cross into Virginia. I am riding down to the tip of the Del-Mar-VA peninsula to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. I'm hoping to get a ride across to Virginia Beach, Virginia. I've got under 100 miles to ride to the bridge.

My plans are to stay on the coast. I plan to head out to the North Carolina Outer Banks and then catch ferries to Ocracoke Island and then down to Morehead City, North Carolina. This is depending on whether the Tropical Storm that is in the Gulf of Mexico area becomes a hurricane. It is my intention is to ride down the coast to Florida before heading back to Americus, Georgia. I plan to visit some people I had missed when I was in Florida back in March.

I'll try and post and update as often as I can if my plans change. The next update should be posted between September 01st and September 08th.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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