May 13, 2021—For our second official bike ride, our MLUC team of three was joined by sponsor and MLUC Environmental Justice Team member Jann Neilson (second from left). With picture perfect weather in the forecast, we headed for a favorite trail of mine (Pam Kosty) and my husband's (Anders Back)—the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park in—drum roll please—New Jersey!
Our fearless foursome met in the parking lot of Washington Crossing Historic Park, right where George and his band of American upstarts made that fateful Delaware River crossing, from Pennsylvania to New Jersey and onward to a first real success in Trenton on December 25, 1776. The war was going badly to that point; patriots were leaving the fledgling army in droves, and if the crossing and subsequent attack had proven a failure? History may well have taken a different turn.
All of which is to say, it was a good place for our band of Climate Crisis warriors to begin, and a reminder that the big barriers we imagine, between states, between countries, are often only a river's width apart. All is interconnected.
The Delaware and Raritan State Park is a linear towpath park, 70 miles long, running along the historic canal (opened in 1834, finally closed in 1932) and the Delaware River, with frequent opportunities to cross over to the Pennsylvania side. There were wildflowers in profusion along the perfectly flat gravel bed trail, and the sounds of birds throughout. I got within 6 feet of a proud blue heron--and then watched as it hunted for lunch on the far side of the canal. Following the trail as it hugged the canal, we rode through the picture perfect little backyards of Lambertville, past a lumberyard, farms, a vineyard, and a sign for a brewery we missed, through the little town of Stockton and on to the edge of Bull's Island Recreation Area for picnic lunch (where Dilip set up the photo, above).
After lunch, we turned back, taking a side trip over the Lamberville/New Hope bridge to another one of my favorite spots--the French Bakery in New Hope, run by a French baker and featuring pastries that tasted especially delectable outdoors on their little patio adjacent to the river. When we got back to the parking lot, I announced our Strava results: 28.15 miles, burning 549 calories--almost as many calories as we ate at the French Bakery!