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Day 64 (11.04.07) - Three States in One Day

We left the Catskills and drove through a corner of Pennsylvania and into New Jersey

overcast 52 °F


Miles Driven - 156
Weather: Overcast, Cool (low 50's) but dry
Camped: Wal-Mart in mid- New Jersey somewhere


I've decided to drop the summary, seems like I was just repeating what's in the Sub Heading, so I'll try to make sure that summarizes the day properly going forward.

Actually, I hope (someday) to go back and update all the blog entries, standardize them, edit & improve - probably the same time I get all my pictures at home organized and all the other 'round tuit's caught up... With global warming, are we at risk Hell won't freeze over as quickly as we'd planned?

So I spent the entire 'day off' cleaning up my laptop hard drive and didn't get the blog caught up or some of the other things done that needed doing. Sounds just like being at home to me?

We decided to drive down Hwy 209, a back road, rather then go back to the Interstate - slower, but more pleasant. New York is interesting, they put all sorts of little blue infomative signs all over the place - not always earth shattering however. For the most part, there is also no place to pull over when you see the signs, so I'm not sure how you're supposed to read them! We have learned that some French Huguenots settled in New York in the 1600's and formed the towns of New Paltz and Huguenot. We also learned (from these signs) that a tavern once stood near our campground of last night, that some indians scalped some settlers near Huguonot, that a Mrs. Rohner lived by the road in Port Jervis and holds the world record for being a Den Mother the longest - 43 years. I wonder if they'd put up a blue sign for me having the longest blog entries?

As we continued to drive south on Hwy 209, we saw several signs about a D&H Canal. We pulled over at a park for the D&H Canal and learned this was another canal built around 1825 between the Delaware and Hudson Rivers (D&H)to bring coal to New York City. The canal is mostly gone now, but can be seen in a few places where it has been preserved, like this park.


This was where a wooden aqueduct carried the canal (& barge traffic) over the Neversink River.


We also stopped at the "Erie Turnstile" in Port Jervis (named after the man who got the D&H Canal going). There wasn't a museum or much to see there, just the turnstile:


We passed a few museums on this route, but they were all closed.

Finally, we got to a town called Milford, which was fairly interesting looking in it's own right (old, victorian style buildings) - but I pulled off because I saw a sign saying "Milford Beach". Mom hadn't been able to pick up any sand for several days, it seems a lot of the east coast rivers don't have much access to them, so thought I'd give this one a try. This was a National Park on the Delaware River - mostly mud banks (I got a fair amount on me when I slipped), but Mom found some sand. It was a very nice spot, right under the Milford Bridge - so we stayed there for lunch.


After we crossed this bridge, we were in New Jersey. At first, we enjoyed the state forest along the Delaware River corridor. We also drove through some nice farmland and small communities. However, as we skirted around Newark (we were trying to avoid it, but I guess we got too close - or it just takes up a good portion of the state?) - we got back into what I'd tried to avoid - strip malls for the next 50 miles or so. It was Sunday afternoon and the traffic was bad. Not only that, New Jersey drivers are the rudest we've encountered so far - maybe the people are nice if you get to know them, but on the road they are just strange!

I'm trying to develop a thick enough skin to survive until we get out of this area (and Maryland I suspect), I promise to ignore meaningless honking, drivers that pull out in front of you - then fail to step on the gas, drive around you to the right (on a right turn exit only lane) just because you're an RV, etc.

We stopped at one place, a "Craig House" historic site - I believe it was the site of a Revolutionary War battle, but it seems to have been closed for the season. I did take a picture of a mushroom at least?


Oh well, we found a Wal-mart (most campgrounds are closed around here now) and have pulled over for the night. Will skirt around the southern end of NJ tomorrow and hopefully make it to Philadelphia tomorrow. NJ's nickname is "The Garden State" - I haven't found any yet, but will keep looking.

Posted by jl98584 20:33 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel

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I'm still enjoying. Tonight, like many, I got up around 1:30 when I had restless legs, and I checked again to see if you'd added anything since my earlier bedtime--and yes, I had 3 days' worth to enjoy. I hope you enjoy Philly. Be sure to go to the historic district and hunt up various Robert Morris things--including the bank he started. I think his house and church and grave are all there, too. It's been a long time since we visited.

by msj

I didn't realize Robert Morris was from Phili! We will definitely check that out, possibly the other places you mentioned as well (depending on weather, traffic and parking). Have you visited the Walt Whitman house in neighboring Camden, and if so, is it worth the time?

by jl98584

No, we never visited the Whitman house. My grandfather Thomason was from Vineland, NJ, but we've never explored that. I've never been able to find any genealogy besides his father, also George.

Yes, by all means ask for all the Robert Morris sites. There's a good visitor's center downtown, where the Liberty Bell and all that are. You'll want to see all the history you can, remembering also that Morris was heavily involved in it. I'm sure you know he signed the Declaration and Constitution and, I think, also the Articles of Confederation. The first bank there is of his creation, and his pew is in the old church, and a statue is there downtown. I think his grave also, but Bob can't recall right now.

I'm also remembering another house you might want to see there. One of the oldest homes is that of Bishop White, who was the father of Robert Morris's wife. Bob has done a lot of research and found your own ancestral connection a bit ambiguous, though Grandmom was sure of it because of that Julia LeGrand book. Bob thinks that perhaps you all descended from him via an illegitimate relationship, rather than by White's daughter, but he isn't sure, and the house is interesting anyway.

Bob also reminds me to tell you that we visited Reuben Johnston's very old home in Alexandria, VA (one of the historic ones we learned of at the library, but probably a visitor's center would list it). This is the father of R. LeGrand Johnston. You'll probably be in that area in a few more days.

Actually, the church in Hartford would have been some distance from your Wal-Mart. It used to be near the seminary and our apartment, on Prospect Ave., but they sold that old mansion and built a real church in a suburb off to the east a bit (can't think now). So you probably made the right decision there.

by msj

There are gardens in New Jersey, just away from the cities. The New Jersy coast is intersting too. There are a lot of beaches and beach towns. National Geographic did an article on them a few months ago.

by drque

NJ drivers! LOL. What's really pathetic is when the odd one makes it as far south as Houston. When they drive crazy like that in Houston--where I find drivers generally to be courteous (letting you cut in in heavy traffic w/o honking or flipping you off)--it is kind of funny. I've seen NJ drivers (at least license plates) doing their thing and thinking to myself, "What are they trying to prove? They just have to be nice and people will let them in!" But they are so used to being rude that they keep it up here. Of course, 5 hours moving 50 miles on the NJ Turnpike on a weekend would be enough to make anyone rude. I don't care to ever do THAT again!

by TexasRTJ

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