From Binghampton, I ride east on Hwy 17. On my old fashioned paper map, Hwy 17 looks like interstate highway. In riding it, that's exactly what it is, an interstate. I'm not sure how far I've ridden when I notice that I'm getting hungry and a bit tired of eating Clif Bars all day long.
I pull off the highway and into Deposit, New York, looking for a local cafe. I spot one but it looks a bit too artsy-fartsy for me so I ride around a bit. Nothing. It's the only place I see. I pull over and stop a young fellow walking down a local street. I ask about a good cafe in town and he gives me directions.....back to the artsy-fartsy place! I guess it's the only cafe in Deposit, New York. That, or it's the best cafe in Deposit, New York.
Here's a picture of Butterfield's Cafe. This picture was actually taken after I ate the best Western Omelet that I think I've ever eaten in my life...and that goes back more years than I'd like to admit! I actually got George, my new Deposit, New york BFF, to come out and take the picture for me. He insisted that I be in it. How could I refuse.
Here's the picture of the Best Western Omelet In The World!
If you live or ride in the area around Deposit, New York, Butterfield's Cafe is a cafe that you might ride past. My recommendation....don't pass this place up, you won't be disappointed. It's not very big so I don't recommend you show up with a very big group.
George and I talk a bit as I eat. He asks about my ride, where I'm from, where I'm headed, things like that. He says that since I'm headed generally east, that I should turn off Hwy 17 at Hancock and take 97. He tells me that it's real nice scenic road with lots of twists and hills that runs along the Delaware River. He tells me that it will get me to Port Jervis, New York. After that, he's not sure as he hasn't taken this road past there.
Off I go. I find Hancock without too much trouble and, even with my old fashioned paper maps, I manage to find 97. Earlier in the day, George had recommended the western omelet. Now I find that George is right again. Highway 97 IS a great road to ride.
In my life, I've done quite a bit of traveling, all over this country. One thing that always stands out to me is the fact that as I ride through somewhere, how that place will look like some other place I've ridden through. How some place in Georgia will remind me of roads around Cooperstown, N.Y.. How Deer Lodge, Montana will remind of an area in Kansas. Riding highway 97 doesn't remind me of any place in particular, it reminds me of everyplace. For some strange reason, on this particular road in New York state I feel like I've found whatever it was that I was looking for. And, I can't give you a reason. I just ride along, with the upper reaches of the Delaware River on my right, in a strange peaceful calm. A great ride, on a great riding road, with beautiful scenery everywhere.
As I ride along, in my own state of riding bliss, I notice a sign for a Zane Grey Museum. I'm somewhat taken aback because I've always thought that Arizona had a lock on Zane Grey. Turns out that Zane Grey and his family lived in this area for years. All Arizona had a lock on was a cabin that he lived on as he researched the west for material for his writings. (Side note.....Zane Grey's cabin, in the Payson area of Arizona, burned down in a forest fire a number of years back. So much for our lock on Zane Grey.)
Turns out that the Zame Grey Museum is on the other side of the river. That turns out to be in Pennsylvania. I have to cross this one-laned bridge......
This picture is taken after I rode across the bridge. your looking from Pennsylvania to New York. That blue building across the bridge is the original toll house for the bridge. It's the original tollhouse....but this was not always a bridge. Originally, this was an aquaduct across the river. It was one of four aquaducts that were built by the guy who would later build the Erie Canal. I'm not sure what happened to the other three but this one was converted to a bridge. On the left side, where you can see light poles, there is a walkway. It's about six feet above the road. The actual road surface is the bottom of the aquaduct.
Here's what it looks like from in front of the Zane Grey museum.
The house is quite impressive. An informational tract, left on the front porch, said that a few building modifications have been made to the house by later residents but it's a great place.
Sometimes I swear that somebody has installed one of those plastic electronic strip things that come inside packages that you buy that don't allow you to take the box out of the store without tripping an alarm. The one on my Helix links the Helix to a satellite so that touristy places know when I'm in the area and they can close up 15 mnutes before I get there.
At the bottom of the historical marker, it says that Zane Grey is buried within sight of his house. Great, another famous dead person to visit!
As with so many old churches, there's a graveyard right next door. A nice lady out in front of the church points out where he and his wife are buried. She admits to me, that in all the years that she's attended St. Mark's, she's never been to Zane Grey's grave.
After visiting the gave, and paying my respects if you will, I continue my ride south on 97. It's not long before I reach Port Jervis, N.Y. I cross the river into Matamoras, Pennsylvania. I didn't even know that there was a Matamoras, Pa. The only Matamoras I ever heard of was Matamoras, Mexico, across the border from Brownsville, Texas.
I stop in at the Pennsylvania Visitors Center see if I can pick up a map, oddly enough, of New Jersey. From where I'm standing, if you through a stone in three different directions, you'd hit three different states so I figure that they might have a map of New Jersey. Turns out, they do have a map that has all three states in it.
I grew up in southern New Jersey but I rarely admit that to anyone. Now that I've admitted it to all of you, I have to track down each and every one of you and, as Akmed the Dead Terrorist says, kill you!
In all my years in New Jersey, I'd never been to High Point, New Jersey so that's where I'm headed.
I think that this is my 15th state on this trip......
The High Point Monument. I think that when they refer to the highest point in New Jersey, they're referring to the point that the monument sits on, not the top of the monument. But, after all, this is New Jersey so I could be mistaken.
I took this picture below without realizing that we may be looking at all three states together. I'm standing in New Jersey and I think that's the Delaware River in the left center of the picture. That would put Pennsylvania on the far left and New York on the right. Wow, dumb luck. Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn every now and then .
After High Point, I head in a southeasterly direction, looking for a relatively cheap place to stay for a few days until the start of The Real Cannonball and my very fast trip to the California coast. What I find is the Red Bull Inn in Bridgewater, New Jersey. This Red Bull has absolutely no connection to the other more famous Red Bull. It's an ok place, with the lowest rates that I could find in the area. MapQuest says it about 45 miles from the starting point for the race.
From the Red Bull Inn, in the wee hours of Saturday morning, I'll have to get on highway 22, then 287 to I-78. In a few miles, I'll turn onto U.S. highways 1 & 9 (Pulaski Hwy) to the Holland Tunnel. I'll be trying to avoid as many tolls as possible. This way, I only have to pay $12 for the tunnel.
So, for now, I'm holed up at the Red Bull Inn......