This morning we said goodbye to Susan and Peter, again. We rode our bikes away from their house, again. The difference this time is that we were in the Pocono Mountains instead of New Hope and also, we had no bags on our bikes! Not to worry, it was only a temporary respite. Since we had a steep uphill at the start to get back to the highway, Susan very generously offered to drive our bags in her car up to the local grocery store. We needed to stop for a few food items anyway, so it was a welcome opportunity to ride our bikes without heavy gear, for a few miles at least.
After thanking her and saying goodbye again, we hit the road with all our gear. Our ride for today was mostly downhill since we were descending from the Pocono Plateau, which is at about 1900 feet elevation, down toward the Delaware River at about 300 feet above sea level. The bad part of today’s ride is that it was the Sunday at the end of a holiday weekend. Traffic got progressively worse as the day went on and as we got closer to Interstate 80. But we took our time and tried not to let the impatient drivers get on our nerves too much.
Eventually we rejoined the ACA Atlantic Coast Route and arrived at the campground in the Worthington State Forest in New Jersey. This will be our first time sleeping in New Jersey on this trip. The campground was nearly empty when we arrived in the late afternoon. Most other campers were packing up to head home. However, some people across the campground kept blowing a horn and banging some pots and pans together. How annoying, right? But then we figured out WHY they were making that noise. There was a black bear in the woods near their campsite! We eventually got a brief, distant look at the bear as he wandered off into the woods in the distance.
The last remaining campers hit the road before dark and there was nobody left except one family and us. We put all our food and toiletries in the provided metal food storage box to help ensure no late night visits from Mr. Bear and we called it a night.