June 02, 2009 GMT
Virginia To New York (End of Part One)

I had spent hours studying maps looking for a good route avoiding the larger towns from Front Royal the northern end of Skyline Drive to Princeton New Jersey. My Motherís birthday was coming up and my brother Keith was flying from Australia to England for the celebrations. I could hardly not Ďnip across the pondí if Keith was travelling all the way from Australia. Foolishly I booked a flight from JFK, New York. In hindsight a smaller airport would have been easier. I had met Hank Farber at the Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge and Campground in North Carolina. He lived in Princeton NJ and kindly offered to store my bike. I could get the train into New York from there.

I ended up plotting a route on the GPS taking in all the small roads I could find. Weaving around Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia with an overnight stop in Susquehanna State Park. I was the only one in the camp. The house behind was bunk accomodation and toilets. I had my evening meal sitting in a rocking chair on the veranda.

Maryland Susquehanna SP.jpg
Maryland Campsite

I arrived at Bulls Island State Park Campground 26 miles from Princeton. Bulls Island is in the Delaware River on the Pennsylvania / New Jersey border.

The route worked well and would have been impossible without the GPS or a navigator sat behind me. It was mainly rolling farmland with some forest. I saw a number of Amish folk in Pennsylvania. It would have been interesting to chat to some of them on their, what seems to me to be an 18th century lifestyle. Unfortunately the opportunity never arose.

I am heading into New York on Friday catching up with Greg who I haven't seen for over 20 years then flying back to the UK Saturday evening. New York will be the first large town I have been in since starting the trip in Miami.

I have done over 4500 miles from Miami to Princeton New Jersey in eight weeks. The direct route is about 1350 miles. I have avoided Interstates and major roads wherever possible and done less than 100 miles in total on these. The only built up area has been at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay around Newport News, Portsmouth, Norfolk and Virginia Beach on the way to and from False Cape State Park for the Memorial Day Weekend.

The vast majority of the roads have been very quiet and enjoyable to ride on (unlike the Interstates). I have done a couple of 30 mile stretches of dirt road and a few shorter sections. These could have been avoided but added to the variety.

I have camped every night except one when I stayed in a B&B because the camping gear was wet. Not including getting to America, cost of paperwork and bike parts (tyre, chain & sprocket) it has cost about $260 per week (185 pounds sterling). Most of this was on camping fees of between $5 and $33 per night.

When I return in three weeks time I intend to head north, mainly along the coast to Nova Scotia to do the Cabotís Trail.

Posted by ianmoor@tiscali.co.uk at June 02, 2009 07:53 PM GMT

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