September 28: New Paltz to Port Jervis, New York/Matamoras, Pennsylvania 59.3 miles
The hotel provided a "continental" breakfast according to the room guide, but we couldn't find it. There was something that looked like a bagel, but no one was sure and certainly not interested in trying so it was off to the local diner about a half mile down the street. The morning was cloudy, but the forecast said no rain until evening, so everyone chanced it without rain gear. It was cool, so layering was a need, but by now we are all very use to doing that.
A great breakfast and off we go again only to find a Starbucks on the next block! Can't pass that up, so another quick stop and then finally off down Main Street and out into the country. Far in the distance the road headed straight uphill and each of us were dreading the early climb. However, at the very bottom, the route took an immediate left and down the valley floor. A wonderful surprise and a welcome turn!!
The morning was spent coasting down through a gorgeous valley loaded with horse farms full of stallions prancing in the field and buildings large enough to house a small town. On the left and right were the hills covered with the changing trees encircled with low flying clouds and mist. What a great way to start the day!!
The road twisted and turned through this area allowing plenty of time to just sit back and enjoy. Any uphill was small and required only a short burst of power. Even the small settlements were interesting named: Bruynswick, Shawangunk, Dwaarkill, Ulsterville. This is "old USA" territory. Historical markers can be seen decorating the roadside on a regular basis. Most of the area had been settled in the late 1600s or early 1700s. Most of the names come from a family or Indian tribe that lived on this land years ago.
About halfway through the morning after "flying" down a great hill just as the road took a bend to the left a sign appeared that gave warning and a need to slow down. At the entrance of one of the beautiful horse farms the road sign stated: "Caution Gene Crossing". It brought this group to a halt! We weren't sure if the X's lived on the south side and the Y's on the north and the middle of the road was the breeding ground -- or the reverse -- but for sure we didn't want to run any gene over!!!
Burlingham and Bloomingburg were next and seemed a little depressed. The eloquent homes of the horse territory were gone and now replaced with small run down homes or trailers with all the family possessions stacked in the front yard. But Nancy provided the perfect sag "morning break" -- New York Sharp Cheddar Cheese and fresh apples!!!
Middletown was the lunch stop, but like the two towns before it, it too is depressed. After much investigation we found a "Chicken Wing" fast food stand -- great wings!! A day on the road and anything tastes good!!
Exiting the roaring metropolis of Middletown, we were almost run over by three does running from between two houses. A scream from Peg and the deer went scampering back from where they came from.
The afternoon found us climbing more than the morning, but nothing really too hard. After several days of hard climbs, this was a wonderful relief. The skies were slowly getting darker now and the wind was picking up blowing, of course, directly into us making a nice wall to ride through. As we approached the Delaware River the historical signs now were on every corner. Indian raids, original fort, original church, site of the first setter's home -- Port Jervis, Erie Turntable -- all part of our past.
Port Jervis sits on the border between New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The area for many years was the center of the railroad service from this area to Lake Erie, but like most rail businesses has long since gone belly up. Settled in the late 1600s Port Jervis has a rich history, but is slowly dying from a lack of commerce.
The Delaware River acts as the border between New York and Pennsylvania. Matamoras is the sister city of Port Jervis, but on the Penn. side. Our home tonight is in Matamoras -- we have found the motel, but not the town!
Dinner after doing some minor repairs on Peg's bike and then to bed. Another long day tomorrow as we head into the Pocono Mountains.
Don't Run Over Those Genes!!!
D & H Canal in the Neversink River!
Jan Crossing the Delaware -- just like George Washington!
The Lenni Lennape Indians were Native to This Area -- Jan's father was part Lenni Lennape