Through the Pinelands

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We left the Victorian B&B in Tuckerton, and rode most of the day through NJ forests. The Pinelands are dotted with small towns and housing developments, but mostly are trees, swamps and lakes, set in sandy soil flat as a pancake. So much wild land in the most densely populated state in the Union.

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That last photo may be of a hawk’s or eagle’s nest.

In the background, you can see the bridge we rode across the Mullica River. We had to detour for several miles to use this bridge; the most direct route involved a 2-mile stretch on which human powered vehicles and pedestrians are banned. (We have sneaked over a couple of off-limits bridges on this trip – when there’s no detour sign, what else were we to do? – but we didn’t want to chance it for 2 miles at a time.)

imageToday the roads were nearly empty. Perhaps that’s because it’s not yet Shore season. Power crews were out, still repairing damage from Superstorm Sandy. (Jeffrey asked.) The roads we took have wide shoulders, sometimes rough and/or covered in sand or gravel, which can slow the trike but do not present the danger one faces when hitting a bad surface on a two-wheeler.

You may have heard of the legendary Jersey Mosquito. Mosquito control commissions are common in the state. Our new friend Karen works for this Cape May County entity, and snapped Jeffrey’s picture after she saw him admiring the sign.

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We were on the lookout for the foreign-born. For a moment we thought Karen was, but we learned that although she had come to Cape May County from Australia, she was born in the USA, was an exchange student in Australia, and ended up staying there for years. In Egg Harbor City, Jeffrey had a brief exchange with a friendly gentleman whose first language is Spanish; he might be the genuine article. Today we saw a church with all its signs in Spanish, but like yesterday, we did not see businesses catering to a non-English-speaking populace. We saw more such establishments last year in relatively homogeneous Tennessee!

Jeffrey focuses on this issue, in this locale, because of his service about 15 years ago on the New Jersey Council on Undocumented Aliens. Jeffrey was appointed by then-Governor Whitman. He attended the first Council meeting expecting to be alone in his views. Wrong! The odd one out was a man from Bridgeton, in the South Jersey agricultural area, who fiercely opposed letting hard-working immigrants be. The rest of the Council concluded, after years of study, that the solution to the “undocumented” problem is to issue documents! All these years later, Jeffrey decided to look for signs of whatever that Bridgeton man feared. He didn’t find any.

We came to overcast Sunset Heaven, in Villas, NJ, but no sunset was to be seen.

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We made it to the Cape May ferry terminal, and caught the day’s last ferry to Lewes, DE, where we are spending the night at a hotel arranged by our favorite ground controller, Nancy. The manager is a kindred spirit and, unasked, gave us a discount. Friends of human rights, and of Human Rights First, are everywhere.

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4 thoughts on “Through the Pinelands

  1. Jeff,
    You made some good progress today.. Let me be the first to welcome you to Delaware. Glad you made it out of your former home state of NJ and are now spending the night in “sales- tax free Delaware”. About 12 miles inland from the Delaware coast, the Georgetown area has a large population of immigrants/workers from Central America. I don’t think your trek will take you off your coastal route nor should it need to. It may be quite quiet at their employing poultry processing plants tomorrow, Good Friday.
    You should have good travel weather on Friday as you get into Maryland rather quickly.

    cousin Joel

  2. Interesting about the workers dwelling inland. We are told that a large fraction – likely the majority – of workers in some parts of the Garden State’s agriculture industry are not US-born. But our Ride did not reveal this, perhaps because we seem to have passed through tourist, prosperous residential (although not entirely prosperous – for example, the Cape May area has lots of small, run-down houses), and wilderness areas.

  3. Joey,

    Congratulations on making Delaware today. Did Jeffrey get on the ferry with you? Don’t lose him!!!! It’s good to have a travel agent as adroit as Nancy. Sounds like she did well in your reservations for Lewes. Keep up the good work. Art and Shelley

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