Hank – We got up early today hoping to get a jump on the expected heat and humidity. The temperature during the night wasn’t cold enough nor warm enough, but it wasn’t just right either. I was too warm inside my silk sleeping bag liner and too cold without it. My life is so hard.
We had a light breakfast and tea, packed up, and were on the road just after 8:00 am. The plan was to ride to Hammonton, about 17 miles away, and have a meal there. We elected to stay on US Hwy 30 for most of the way to Lindenwold where we could catch the train to Philadelphia. The side trip to Mary’s Cafe was worth it. The food was great. We worked our way back to Hwy 30 and traffic kept getting busier and busier the closer we got to Lindenwold. Most of the time we had little or no shoulder but the drivers gave us room. It was warm and muggy the entire day so we were sweating up a storm the entire way. We took a few water stops along the way.
At Lindenwold we navigated our way through the station, bought our tickets (Only $3.00 each!), and wrestled our bikes onto the train. Because of the way the train was jerking about any time it wasn’t in motion we found it best to squeeze the brakes while hanging onto the bikes. But what a great way to avoid all that city traffic. We were at the 8th and Market station in about 30 minutes. From there we had a short ride to our hotel.
Since it was Sunday afternoon and everything was pretty much closed or closing soon, we did happy hour at the hotel. The Eagles-Vikings game was on and our bartender, Uvby, is a die-hard Eagles fan. (Uvby rhymes with “groovy” but with the “b” lightly pronounced. She said it’s Nigerian for “last princess”.) Hanging out with Uvby was a lot of fun. She also gave us the lowdown on the best places to go to in Philly and how to get there as well as places to avoid. So we’re all set for Monday.
Kathy – Today’s ride was only 38 miles since we knocked off 12 with the train ride. The main reason we took the train was because we were warned by so many people to avoid the city of Camden, New Jersey. This city is just outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with the Delaware River separating the two. There was no way we could avoid riding through it so people suggested getting on the train just before Camden and getting off in downtown Philadelphia. That’s what we did.
I was really surprised at how many people were so concerned about us riding there. Apparently it is not even safe to go in to during the daytime hours. Even though we took the train I was wondering what all the hype was about so I did a little research The city of Camden, New Jersey has been ranked as one of the deadliest cities in the U.S. since the 1980’s. They recently changed their police chief and he is focusing efforts on community policing. This past year all crimes in this city have decreased, however it is still rated #1 for the highest crime rates for the entire state. So it looks like there is additional work that needs to be done there. I wish them the best. And I think we made a good choice to ride the train.
We are looking forward to exploring Philadelphia tomorrow. I was disappointed they did not have the Packers or the Seahawks football games on here, so we watched the Philadelphia Eagles game with the local folks at the hotel. It was enjoyable to hang out and Uvby was a lot of fun too. It was unfortunate that the Eagles lost.