“Thank you for taking a break from the ordinary.”

After a great stay in Avalon with my hosts,

I woke up early for the first ferry of the day:

Note the lack of tire pressure on the front wheel, which I did not notice until I actually hopped on the bike. The valve looked funny so I swapped the tube, went back to sleep, and set off for the second ferry of the day:

This time, I managed to make it the whole way to the ferry. The amusements and boardwalk shops were closed, unlike the drawbridge.
The bridge operator waved me ahead before the gates opened so I had a nice headstart back onto the mainland.

I then took my place among the other vehicles on the ferry and (figuratively, as they’re bolted down) pulled up a chair.

Soon, though, we arrived in Delaware and, after all the cars exited the ferry, I took advantage of a tailwind and made it through Delaware without taking a photo until the Maryland border made me realize I should probably have at least the one, so here’s the Fenwick Island lighthouse:
I made my way to Ocean City and then took a nice winding road inland before making my way to camp just before the sun began to set. I continue down the Delmarva peninsula tomorrow (always an exciting sentence to conclude with).

Le jour se lève

Letting people know you’ll be starting a bike trip in February is a good way to have lots of people remind you that it is cold in February (and compare you to Forrest Gump). Today finally arrived, though, and it was uncharacteristically far from cold (not that I mind). I said my goodbyes by the dunes and set off, though it is still sinking in that the trip is underway. I went west across the new bridge from Long Beach Island for the first time on a bicycle and stopped at Bass River State Park, which I’ve visited twice before: once because it is an endpoint of the Batona Trail through the Pines, and another time when we stayed in a lean-to at the campground. I then made my way to Avalon on bicycle-friendly roads and paths through the woods, bays, and drawbridges. My hosts’ neighbor snapped the last photo when I arrived at the end of day 1. (Sincere apologies for not stopping to take a photo of the alpaca farm I passed today: hopefully there will be others.)

Eastbound

In order to ride from coast to coast, I am told you need to start at one and end at the other. Accordingly, today I took a ride from my hometown in South Jersey to a barrier island on the Atlantic I have visited each year of my life thus far. Since I’m heading down the east coast I would have had a fair amount of other chances to get to the ocean, but for sentimental reasons the trip starts here. I start heading south on Sunday.

Below: Throwback photo from my first day of 3rd grade; I thought the sign for New Freedom Road, also on my route today, was too on the nose to photograph…this one is, too, in its own way, but I took the picture anyway; meandering through the Pine Barrens.

Preparations

First ride after taking delivery; test ride with loaded panniers; impeccably organized garage workshop.

More info about what’s ahead here.