There was a back-and-forth of emails, and finally six agreed to go. So early Saturday, Snakehead picked me up and we drove to meet the others in Bordentown, and then played follow-the-leader down to the Belleplain State Forest to start the ride to find the highest point in Cape May County.
Above: the Kermit figurine that Laura keeps on her bike (of the same name) is in costume for the occasion. Below, plastic flamingos at Lake Nummy.
It was a beautiful day; a bit cool, but sunny with little wind.
As close as we were to the ocean, the closest we came was this river mouth, where I got this seabird and the lighthouse.
We stopped at a Wawa, were we chatted with a guy who was riding a dirtbike; he seemed impressed that we pushed our bikes around on our own steam.
We proceeded along the route Tom had picked, until we came to a place where the paved road gave way to dirt (now THERE's a surprise on a Tom ride). We took a sidetrack, and came across some guys refurbishing a diesel engine, and bent their ears for way too long (they didn't seem to mind though; we only left because Tom seemed impatient).
Back to the Wawa (it's that kind of route), and then to the high point. It was hard to find; the county has the topography of Formica... but eventually Tom, with one eye on his GPS, let use know he'd found it.
Above, the buildings at Lake Nummy, where we started. As he was packing up, Jack drove from one end of the lot to the other to get closer to the rest room; I guess he's excused after riding 60+ miles, even if it was flat.
From there, we drove to Ocean City to the Biscayne Suites hotel. Although the hotel was good, the town was pretty much closed; we had a good dinner at Vittorio's (I asked, "Can we get a table for six?" The reply, Italian-accented, was, "It's off-season. I can get you a table for twenty."), but when we went to the Boardwalk, almost everything was closed. We went back to the hotel, and after a chat with Tom where I tried to make believe I understood what he was talking about with the computer industry, I went to bed.
The next day, we got up,and, after a quick coffee-and-breakfast at a Wawa (are these ubiquitous in South Jersey?), we drove to Smithville for another fifty miles. Although it was warmer than the day before, skies were grey and the leaves were browner; the transition from October the day before to November this day was almost comic. There was a taste of rain in the air, that held off, but it was still a beautiful ride.
Above, Jack and Dorothy, whose pictures from the day before
We stopped at a local deli; a farmer had just come in with his kids and a load of pumpkins of various descriptions.
Despite being tired, we kept up a quick pace on the way back. Ed pulled us aside near the end; his grandparents had a house just off the main route, so he led us through his memories, and we stopped and got pictures of the house.
We got back to the cars, and loaded up and came home. Ride page is here.
I'm grateful I have such friends, and such opportunities. I'm also grateful to have The Excellent Wife (TEW) to come home to!