Leaving Staten Island we were lucky to get a ride over the Outer Bridge into New Jersey to avoid taking a longer detour risking heavy traffic. We said our goodbyes to Frank and Madeline (Staten Island) and the days we spent with them, back on the road for Team Bowditch. We plotted our course through New Jersey and set out. Our goal for the next few days would be the Cape May Lewes Ferry Terminal.
Traveling along the roads of New Jersey and finally following a coastal route, for us, was refreshing. There was a lot to get used to. The water tastes of sulpher, the ground is sand, all the trees are needle bearing, and Paul and I had our own seperate backpacking tents to sleep in. There are no hills where we are now traveling, just changes in elevation, but only in the slightest degree. Our only setbacks to long distances are constant driving headwinds and the rough resistance of an old road.
We passed by many cranberry bogs (most labeled for Ocean Spray), and scoffed at the amount of local sand that attached itself to the many moving parts of our bikes. We settled down off a sandy fire road and searched for a clearing in the brush. A quick meal of canned fish and Ramen Noodles were consumed that night. Right away we could feel the weather change, and suddenly we knew that it was going to rain. Paul and I slept through our first major storm. The torrents that drove against my rain fly spun down the seams in thick rivulets and were immediately lost in the sand. Neither of our tents leaked.
We started seeing more coastal features in the landscape. Marshes and dunes appeared in stretches along the road. Beach homes were appearing and so were their communities. Just as we pulled into the Cape May region the sun set beautiful colours along the estuaries of the coast. We stayed with a family that night and were taken out to Lucky Bones, a local restaurant down by the harbor. We traveled the short seven mile trip to the ferry the next morning and said goodbye to New Jersey and it’s wilderness.