Day 9: 661 Miles. It’s a Great Day to Be Great.

FH enjoys some morning joe.

This hotel room was a lot more appealing last night. I wake up in a bed for the first time in over a week and holy hell this shit sucks. I sleep til 5 until I realize how bad the bed is. This hotel is a piece of shit. I cross the bridge across the street from this dump and I’m back into New Jersey. The second of what are two on-duty occifers comes out to let me know about not riding on it. I explain I didn’t see the sign until it was too late (true) and add two doses of “have a good day” to whatever he was babbling about after that. Deli coffee plus a bacon egg and cheese hits the spot. We have 15 more miles past a nuclear power plant to somewhere resembling a town.

Mmmm. Nuclear.

There’s a rail trail out of Easton and we decide to divert off of the adventure cycling route. So worth it. It’s a fantastic trail. Graded. Well covered from the late morning sun. Crushed stone. Some washout. Some mud. I have the thinnest tires of the group at 32c so we’re relatively all good. A couple spots make for tight knuckles but overall it’s wonderfully gorgeous. Running south on what is an isthmus of sorts: we are between the Delaware River and the Delaware Canal on what once was the towpath. Now we duck under cute trestle and/or covered bridges alongside fantastic little locks of love. The backyard game is popping in these parts. Some people live on what is almost an island – each body of water on each side of their house. I need to go home and step my game up or commit landscaping harakiri.

Straddling the Delaware River, we cross it on bridges and each time we’re back and forth between New Jersey and Pennsylvania. I am in pain. I’m reminded of my time last year on the Natchez Trace. It tried everyone’s strength and patience. Yeah. It’s that part of a tour. And it hurts. I find some relief when we hit a swimming spot in the Delaware and refresh. A few more miles and we get to New Hope PA. This is Princeton territory, as evidenced by the houses and the cars and the general demeanor. We cool out in the blazing 94° heat.

We bid the Delaware River adieu and follow the ACA route toward Philadelphia. We will get close but not enter any larger cities until Washington DC. I’m sure Philly and Baltimore could be fun but the suburban ring around any American city is a near death sentence for bicyclists. No bueno.

FH looks over the route. He’s grown a Chaplin mustache.

Campsites are still a problem. Few allow tent camping dude to covid. We get into the Philly suburbs. There ain’t shit for us. Chad decides to mommy-warbucks us a Hampton Inn. Two hotels two nights in a row!!! Bike tour first for me. My first time doesn’t hurt as much as they say it would. In fact it’s not bad at all. In fact it’s super mega ultra awesome. We shower and do some laundry and hang for a bit and get into some verbal jabbing wars, since we’re all too physically beat for much else. We decide no TV and just entertain each other. Plenty laughs. I can’t slap my knees because they hurt, but things are literally that funny. Snores will abound with two in beds and two on the floor. But I think we’re all sleeping like babies tonight. However it is that babies sleep, because they usually don’t.

Hipster inspired inspiration, for sure.

About tonycaferro

Entrepreneur, Citizen, Marketeer, Fire Fighter / EMT, Bicycle-Tourist, Booking Agent, Youth Mentor, Activist, Agitator, Coffee Addict, Foodie, Social Media Nerd, Amateur Film Critic, Son, Brother, Uncle & Rust Belt Representative. Follow me on Twitter @dtr45
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