Saturday, September 5, 2009

Port Jervis, NY: Transient States

So folks, we are moving, moving, moving. After our little encounter with Atlantic hurricanes, fine weather has settled in and we are making some progress, thank you. Three days in Massachusetts, and then three more states in a week -- Connecticut, New York, New Jersey -- they are just flying by. Granted, we are just clipping the corners of some of them, but we stay long enough to note the subtle differences in the landscape and the people to feel we have a good sense of them.

It is heavily wooded in Connecticut, hilly in New York, and people definitely have attitudes and accents in New Jersey. We are often surrounded by tunnels of green foliage, with glimpses occasionally of wooded ridges and waterways. It is not a landscape of grand vistas that we normally would stop to take photographs of, so there is a sparse digital record of this section of our journey. But we also ride by many quaint farmhouses and miles of cornfields, and the image below in New York captures the rural spirit of the country we are passing through.

And sometimes we go by some really nice houses, like the one below in Hyde Park, NY, formerly owned some guy named Vanderbilt. His neighbor down the street was Roosevelt.

These men made their fortunes during the industrial birth of our nation, on the banks of the Hudson River. Probably the biggest river we have crossed thus far, we had a nice view from the bridge at Poughkeepsie looking north on a day of spectacular blue skies.
And it is not just the nice weather keeping up our spirits. Farm stands are frequent, and the sweetest tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers, and corn are a daily treat. And we have some new friends! We met Jean-Philippe and Nathalie from Quebec, at a state park in Connecticut, and they are also traveling the Adventure Cycling Atlantic Coast route. They are an inspiration -- they got rid of everything -- house, cars, clothes -- and are on an 18-month journey to see North America and beyond. Everything they own is what they have on their bikes. They go about as far as we do each day (although quicker up the hills -- they are 10 years younger, after all!). And so we traveled in sync for a couple of days together.

That is Nathalie in front of the mansion above. Jean-Philippe is keeping his own on-line journal, and takes excellent photos, like the two below. They are goal-oriented planners like us, so it is fun to have someone else to endlessly check the route map with.

Here we are chugging over the Hudson River. They are patient traveling companions, waiting for us as we stopped at three, count 'em, three Italian bakeries in Poughkeepsie in pursuit of bread and cuccidati.
And my portrait of them below.

Our last night together we shared a bottle of wine together to celebrate Jean-Philippe's 39th birthday. It was a bittersweet departure the next day. It was the Friday night of Labor Day weekend, and we were surrounded by partying teenagers that caroused until 3 am. John and I sleep with foam earplugs every night, but our friends cannot tolerate them. Exhausted from lack of sleep and angry with the campground management, they left to try and find a quiet hotel to get some rest. We stayed put for a day of rest and to wait out the weekend.

I hope we will meet them again...
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sarah said...

I know this is a really old post but I thought I should let you know that Port Jervis is in NY. NY meets up with NJ and PA at a joint in the Delaware on the East side of Port Jervis. It was a great place to be a kid.

If you ever get back to this side of the country, you should try the Twin Tiers. Just beautiful countryside.

Doris said...

Thanks, Sarah1 You are so right -- thanks for stopping by my b,log.

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