We left Port Jervis this morning and within minutes had crossed the state line into New Jersey and had started down the east (left) bank of the Delaware River. After a half dozen miles on a country road we turned off onto Old Mine Road which followed closely along the river bank through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area with the Kittatiny Mountains to our left. This was absolutely glorious riding. The road descended gradually through the forest; there was almost no traffic allowing us to ride along side-by-side; the weather was cool and heavily overcast; and we saw a bit of wildlife to complement the scenery. We saw deer a couple of times, and the usual assortment of rabbits and squirrels and chipmunks. Other than the spinning of our gears and our labored breathing on the few steep pitches, the major ‘noise’ was bird song.

We arrived at the town of Delaware Water Gap about 44 miles into the ride at noon time after crossing the Delaware River on the sidewalk of I-84, and stopped for lunch. The Appalachian Trail uses the same sidewalk to cross the river so there was a group of AT hikers eating at the same diner. It felt really good to have 44 miles under our wheels by lunchtime.

After lunch we continued down the Delaware River valley, but now on the Pennsylvania side of the river until we got to Belvidere, where we crossed over yet again and returned to the New Jersey side.

We thought briefly about stopping here but decided we still felt pretty good and we would continue on. After stopping for Gatorade and junk food at a convenience store we continued on and reached Phillipsburgh around 4:30. Phillipsburgh is a bit of a pit as towns go, so we crossed over the river yet again, into Easton, Pennsylvania, where we are comfortably ensconced in a room at the Quality Inn.

It rained a bit mid-day, just enough to prompt me to put the rain covers on my panniers. Shortly after we arrived here it started raining again so we went across the street to get a pizza and ate it in the room.

It feels like this was the day we have been anticipating since we left home last Saturday. Cool weather, comfortable, quiet, picturesque roads, and the miles clicking off without sapping us. We made a total of 78 miles today, putting us 400 miles from home. I think we have about 275 miles to go.

Tomorrow we will continue down the Delaware until we reach Lambertville, New Jersey, just across the river from New Hope, Pennsylvania. From Lambertville we’ll head west towards Norristown, just outside of Philadelphia.

Allen Freeman