Barb and I have held on to our sanity (to some extent) by driving around on the weekends. The Governor’s Executive Order 107 states: All New Jersey residents shall remain home or at their place of residence unless they are ….. which is followed by a long list of exceptions which included “engaging in outdoor activities with partners” and Barb and I are certainly in that category. I admit to not having read the order before the fact; we just decided that if they wanted to put a couple of old geezers away for a while it would at least be different scenery than our apartments.
Here’s an example of the kind of bright, uplifting scene we encountered on our weekend wanderings. It’s Cape May harbor.
Over a nine weekend period we covered from Cape May along the Delaware Bay and River as far north as Easton, PA, and from the cape along the Atlantic as far north as Deal, further north in central Jersey, and lots of territory and destinations in between and beyond including even Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware. Here’s an idea of our travels (not suitable for navigation!) If you’re trying to see this on your phone click on the image to see a full-sized version.
We just drove and looked around and enjoyed. We didn’t leave the car except once to pick up some meds at a CVS or to inspect a porta-potty on a construction site.. We packed sandwiches and water and aimed for waterfront scenes where we could park and enjoy our lunches. Case in point: the PNC parking lot in New Hope overlooking the Delaware River.
On another weekend I wanted to return to Greenwich, an18th century customs port of entry into the U.S. It had been a while which explains (duhhhh) why we wound up driving aimlessly around “the other” Greenwich which is near Paulsboro … not the same. So, on yet another trip we found it south west of Bridgeton on the Cohansey River. This is the real deal; the main street is still called “Ye Greate Street” and is lined with buildings from the 18th century. There is also the headquarters of the Cumberland County Historical Society.
Also on the street is the Old Stone Tavern, built in 1726 by Captain Jacob Ware. Since my mother’s cousin married Fred Ware in nearby Deerfield I figure I’m probably related by marriage to Jacob’s family. I always find these things out after the property has slipped away. Here it is:
Another worthwhile and photogenic site is the Greenwich Boat Works and Marina which includes a graveyard of old, discarded boats. Among them I spotted a wooden yacht made, I think, by the long-gone Trumpy Boat Works of Annapolis, probably in the ’30s.
Sic transit gloria mundi.
Nearby, our charming (it was, once) lunch spot on the Cohansey River.
Loving Cape May as we do we managed two day trips there…a long drive but so enjoyable driving around the town. Regrets that we couldn’t stop and enter some favorite shops. Our lunch spot? Predictable: Sunset Beach, but a blustery day.
Still at the southern extremes of the state we discovered and toured Town Bank on another day trip. In looking up some things on Google Maps I had noticed a large community layout on the Delaware Bay side of the cape. Shazam; something to investigate. It begins from the road that leads to the Lewes Ferry. The road from there passes north along the bay through North Cape May, Town Bank, the Villas, and then past a number of beaches until ending at Bidwell Creek above Reed’s Beach. Yup, another lunch spot and we smiled as we ate.
We were entertained by the cormorants just off the entrance to Bidwell Creek. No social distancing here. On the north shore there were dozens more waiting for an empty piling.
As seen on the map we also had some trips up north, typically to known scenic destinations. A favorite is Ken Lockwood Gorge, beautiful though tough to navigate on a single lane road with limited parking.
And the nearby Red Mill at Clinton, NJ, an iconic destination with its red-painted mill building at a waterfall. Almost everyone shoots the mill and the waterfall from the nearby bridge or the parking lot across the river. This, however, is what I saw that day while sitting there and enjoying our lunch.
It was a fun nine weekends during which we saw things we hadn’t seen before as well as old friend sites. In addition to lunching by lakes, bays or oceans we also enjoyed just meandering through rural areas and farmland. Route 9 in Delaware north from Bombay Hook is just such a gem…rural villages with periodic glimpses of the Delaware River heading north. We exposed no one including ourselves but it was sure a good treatment for our heads. A parting scene….magnificent cherry trees in the Washington Crossing Park.