Bicycling the Delaware River
This travelogue follows a journey from Empire Haven in Moravia, New York to South Brunswick, New Jersey, then Princeton, then following the Delaware River to the headwaters of its west branch, and from there to home in Rochester, NY.
- 1. Empire Haven, Moravia, NY
- 2. Cortland, NY
- 3. Chenango State Park, Chenango Forks, NY
- 4. Keen Lake, Waymart, PA
- 5. Riverside Camp Site, Milford, NY
- 6. Panther Lake, Whitehall, NJ
- 7. Paul's house, Dayton, NJ
- 8. Ringing Rocks, Upper Black Eddy, PA
- 9. Driftstone Campground, Bethel, PA
- 10. After-dinner update
- 11. Delaware Water Gap, Water Gap, PA
- 12. Riverside Camp Site, Milford, PA
- 13. Narrowsburg, NY
- 14. Upper Delaware Inn, Hancock, NY
- 15. Buena Vista, Delhi, NY
- 16. Little Lake Campground, Jefferson, NY
- 17. Cooperstown Family Campground, Cooperstown, NY
- 18. Hubbardsville, NY
- 19. Green Lakes State Park, Fayetteville, NY
- 20. Oak Orchard Marina, Savannah, NY
- 21. Home, Rochester, NY
David and I spent the day at Empire Haven campground swimming and sunning. He left now, so I guess my adventure is starting.
Just eating second breakfast and borrowing the wifi at a Dunkin' Donuts outside Cortland. A third of the way for today.
Made it here safely. Bike running well. It was sunny this morning, got overcast as I went south. A few light sprinkles around Chenango Forks and a light rain on arrival but overall a good day, could have been worse.
Today was brutal, but I made it to Keen Lake safely (if exhausted).
I planned a route through Susquehanna, PA but somehow the cue sheets didn't get made that way. I ended up unnecessarily going through an extra river valley (and having all the climb that goes with that).
I got bonus miles because of a poorly signed detour, and Camp Tioga turned out not to be a campground but a kids' summer camp, obligating me to press on to here.
Two of the roads climbing out of river valleys were dirt. Awesome! (not)
On the positive side, 70 brutal miles today means a rolling thirty tomorrow, a forty on Thursday, and a 52 on Friday. I can do this.
Pennsylvania is a hilly state. Today's were at least paved and mostly less steep.
At lunch I checked on the campground and it is now a private rv association. I located an alternate one on the Delaware on the outskirts of Milford, so the day was 45 miles instead of 30, but it wasn't as bad as yesterday and I arrived safely.
I passed a bike shop in Milford where I borrowed a pump to top up my tires.
Arrived at Panther Lake Camping Resort. A little expensive for a campground ($51) but they have a hot tub.
There were hills coming into New Jersey, but it's leveled off now, just rolling hills. The rail trail was unpaved and sometimes muddy, but was also flat and shaded.
I made it to Paul's, where he had an eat-in chicken ready for me to eat, with potato chips on the side. Mmmm, salt!
I wish I could have gotten a photo of the light shining on my tent last night. The bike crank stuck out in just the right place to project its silhouette on the door's mosquito netting, like a kind of "bat signal".
I'm working my way toward home now. Today was a little over 50 miles to Ringing Rocks campground--Dogwood Haven was right next to the trail but no one was around. It was fairly spooky, it just needed a storm door with a bad latch and in need of oiling, slamming in the breeze to complete a Cabin in the Woods slasher/horror film motif. There are people around at the Ringing Rocks so it is less weird, although their definition of a tent site is pretty much "camper site with some wood chips put down instead of gravel."
Belvidere NJ is an incredibly sad place to see, a town in decay. Don't go there unless you want to be depressed. Some of the other towns have been gentrified and become cute little tourist places, Easton seems to be struggling but trying. Belvidere feels like they gave up the fight.
Arrived safely at Driftstone Campground in Mt Bethel PA. Got a spacious site, grassy, for the biker rate of $9. Yay!
Rain last night, drizzly travel today but things are supposed to dry out soon.
Sun has some out so I'm going to go sun and dry by the pool.
I've passed through the Delaware Water Gap, where the river squeezes through the mountains. I'm stopped at a little greasy spoon on US-209 for second breakfasts.
I pressed on past Dingman's Campground because I had more in me and there was no comms there. So I'm back at Riverside with the soothing white noise of I-84. I went swimming in the river when I got in, which was nice.
Going north from here, I'll be off the beaten path and I'm not sure how mobile service will be.
Friday's weather is looking crappy, but Paul has a wedding in northeast Pennsylvania on Saturday, so we're talking about getting together and sharing a room in Hancock NY Friday night. It would be a perk at the end of a yucky day to have a nice, cozy room with a cuddly friend.
I made it as far as Narrowsburg, NY today. It's been kind of hilly but manageable. It's about 40 miles tomorrow to Hancock where Paul and I have a room reserved tomorrow night.
There were some pretty areas today that reminded me of the Blue Ridge. I liked the aqueduct too.
I made it to the inn/motel safely. After mowing down an order of General Tso's chicken yesterday evening, I went into a protein coma before the sun was even down. I got up and on the road early... It had been raining overnight, I'm not sure how hard, but had stopped while packing up. I hit a few drizzles but mostly it was just foreboding, until the last 15 or 20 minutes of riding. It's raining now too.
Paul sent me off with a filling breakfast at Circle E diner in Hancock. I made my last pass through Pennsylvania to get to Deposit, NY, where the west branch switches from northwest to northeast.
When I reached the Cannonsville Reservoir, built in the 50s and 60s to meet NYC's water needs, mom caught up with me and I offloaded gear to her car. The reservoir was probably 25km/15miles. We had ice cream in Walton, then went on to Delhi. We're in a nice little motel called the Buena Vista.
Today's distance today was 94km = 57 miles.
Reached the headwaters of the Delaware west branch today, and moved into... Well, I'm not sure what basin I'm in: Mohawk, Schuykill, Susquehanna or something else entirely.
Camping with mom at the Little Lake Campground in Jefferson, NY. Monday onto Cooperstown.
Arrived at the Cooperstown Family Campground hot & tired but healthy. Mom is still traveling with me, which is nice.
Camping with mom a few miles from Hamilton NY. There were some crazy and some erroneous routes today, but it was only 30 miles. Some nice, long downhills, although I paid for them afterwards.
Going into town for BBQ tonight. dreams of meat
Staying in Green Lakes State Park a little east of Syracuse.
Mom departs back to CT tomorrow so I'll be back to a full load, but just two days. I'm glad she came, it made some of the toughest sections less tough.
Today I had a headwind that got tiring but there were fewer hills. It was a good day, we got to swim in the lake here at the park. We're camping next to Jesus loonies who have continuous Christian country playing. Ugh. God, please save me from your followers.
I'm camping tonight at Oak Orchard Marina & Campgrounds, at the edge of the Montezuma swamp at the north end of a Cayuga lake. There's some mosquitos now, I'm betting more at dusk.
Today's weather was weird... Too hot to cycle with a shirt, but chilly in just a sports bra. At times it seemed like I was going to rain, but did little more than a few drops. Other times the sun was out.
A lot of today was on towpath of the Old Erie Canal. Tonight I'm camped between the modern barge canal and the original; the marina opens on the barge canal.
Tomorrow to Rochester and completion! My own bed, Sticky Lips, and snuggling with David! And my washing machine, because some of my clothes are really starting to need it.
I made it home! I hope you enjoyed the pictures and adventure of the last few weeks.
Overall, it was a good adventure--but, I've resolved that I will no longer tolerate problem dogs. After today's encounter, I stopped and called 911, then waited and filed a police report. I'm going to track down the dog warden for the county I had the problem in the other day, and write a letter. And I'm going to acquire some dog spray and a mount so I've got easy access on the bike. I am not going to let shitty dog owners and poorly trained animals fuck up my experience anymore. Enough is enough.