After a couple of days of chores and rest we were ready for a new adventure. We decided to explore the New Jersey coast southward. New Jersey is a state with unusual boundaries. It is connected to New York by land on the north end of the state. The rest of the long narrow state is peninsular, bordered by the Delaware River on the west and the Atlantic Ocean on the east. The east coast consists of a series of sounds and harbors connecting the mainland and the beaches. Ocean Drive connects the cities, towns and villages along the waters' edge, and connects to the mainland by a series of low gracefully arched bridges like the one below. This is the only one that had a pedestrian walkway/bike way alongside. This one was busy this Sunday morning.
This is a typical street in the many resort town lining the beach fronts. The houses in the residential areas are narrow three-story structures set close together. This street doesn't show it, but people were out and about everywhere--out for a family bike ride, headed to the beach or breakfast, or both.
I included this sign for two reasons: 1. it is unusually tall, 2. it had a big nest on top--no activity, but a big bird built it!
We wandered through Ocean city, Sea Isle City, Avalon, and Stone Harbor, winding back and forth between the residential areas strung along the beach areas and the tourist family activities a couple of streets to the west, and avoiding the downtown business areas (farthest inland). We stopped for a rest and a drink in North Wildwood, then breezed through Wildwood and Wildwood Crest before stopping for lunch in Cape May City.
We enjoyed our sandwiches and fries and sodas (believe it or not we had no room for ice cream!). We rode a little further to Cape May Point at the southernmost point of the state. Side note: Since we entered New England we have encountered many towns that have repeat names like the Wildwoods, and the Cape Mays, such as Upper Dover, Lower Dover, Dover Center, East Dover, West Dover, Dover on the Hill, etc. so that Cape May City, Cape May Point, and West Cape May didn't seem too unusual.
The beaches along the coast were mostly accessible to everyone with plenty of parking. I looked at this line of cars and bikes and thought "the beaches are busy this morning". Duane said," Look at all the shark bait!"
Cape May Point consisted of a parking lot, a nice long beach
a couple of little gift shops (I liked this fountain), a nice restroom,
and more beach.
The area also was home to a few historic structures. This is a fire/watch tower, the only one left of 11 that were built to support a fort built across the Delaware Bay in Delaware. The Delaware river forts were built to defend the river entrance to Philadelphia, from the Civil War through WW ll. These towers were used to watch for enemy activity, and to use a method of triangulation to tell the big guns where to fire into the bays--hence the name Fire Tower.
We stopped to visit Cape May Lighthouse State Park. This is a nice little park with a little museum, a gift shop with displays of the animals that live in the area, a restroom, green space to rest and relax, and an historic lighthouse that is open to paying tower climbers. I stopped to examine this unusual rock art and found that is is actually whalebone.
Visitors visible at the top of the lighthouse
On our way back home we took SR9 inland. As we crossed this bridge we noticed this unusual swinging bridge in the water below. It turns a quarter turn to allow boats to go through.
We enjoyed our riding tour of the Jersey Coast. The sun was warm, the breeze was cool, the clouds gave us shade. We weren't done yet, though. Sunday is ice cream day We found a little locally-made hard ice cream place for a treat before we headed home.
Next trip we brave the Big City, so stayed tuned!
Louise and Duane