Sunday, July 2, 2017

(39) We made it!

Well, it didn't quite look like this.
We Did it

Heading for New York City

We awoke on July 1 at about 5:15 AM. We were eagerly anticipating our day and we were anxious to get underway, ahead of the crowds. We were happy that we had not been asked to leave the park at midnight and we assumed that the Governor and the Legislature had worked out a compromise that allowed the government to continue in New Jersey and us to get a nights sleep.
As it turned out, a compromise had not been worked out but the state of New Jersey decided to let campers remain at their campsites until 10:00 AM. No problem for us, we would be long gone by then.

 One more test

Not so Fast!

A padlock glued shut

We broke camp, took the top down on the car, and made our way for the night gate, making sure that we had the combination to the lock so that we could let ourselves out. When we got to the night gate saw another early riser, a motorcycle camper, from Ontario, Canada fumbling with the padlock. Linda got out with her piece of paper with the combination on it to see if she could help. As it turned out the problem was more  serious than a poor memory. Someone, it seems, had poured glue into the padlock mechanism. The motorcycle camper speculated that it was work of a disgruntled employee who was upset over being furloughed. I don't know if he was correct, but it was reasonable speculation.

We used the emergency telephone number and called for assistance. While I was on the phone with the dispatcher, help arrived. New Jersey Parks employee, probably a supervisor, told us to go around to the main gate. This was easier said than done. Our car and trailer was on a steep hillside and a tight corner. After a couple of tries I was able to turn the Mustang and trailer around and drive to the main gate.
Scott wit the "Master Key"

The parks employee, Scott, met us at the main gate and discovered that whoever had sabotaged the first lock had done a thorough job as a padlock on the main gate was glued shut as well.
At this stage, Johnny's words came back to me: "You skwewed!"

Scott ran to the maintenance shop and came back with a large pair of bolt cutters. The lock was cut off and we were on our way after only a short delay.

Off to New York City

The night before we had programmed 42nd and Broadway into the GPS. We were guided over a spaghetti maze of freeway to the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel. After passing through the Lincoln Tunnel we emerged in New York City.


Times Square! The end of a very long trip. 

"If we can make it there, we'll make it anywhere!"

We made our way to Times Square. I was glad we had taken the top down as it facilitated Linda being able to take pictures of downtown Manhattan. While the freeways which took us to New York were a little hairy, I have to say that driving in New York City at 7:00 am on a Saturday morning was no problem at all. The streets were not empty, but they were not what I would call crowded either.

A wonderful drive!
"Hey, Where's the Lincoln Highway sign?"
"It's on the other lamppost, Bill."

After driving around and seeing some sites it was time to leave the city. We went back out through the Lincoln Tunnel and emerged in New Jersey.

This effectively ended our trip. We made it!

Stickley Farms

Stickley Farms National Historic Monument

But there was a little more sightseeing to do. We drove to Morris Plains, New Jersey to visit the Stickley Farm and Museum. We got there too early for a tour, but Linda and I were able to walk the grounds and peeked through the windows. (The first tour was not until 12:15.)

The back screen porch looking out to the farm
In 1911Gustav Stickley wanted to be remembered as more than just a furniture designer and home designer. He wanted to be the head of the movement that would change the way Americans lived. Basically, the movement was one to simplify people's lives. It was kind of a forerunner of the back to nature movements of the 1970's. Stickley's furniture and his home designs were first-rate. He used quality materials. He didn't count on others following his lead with cheap knockoffs. He also didn't count on the changing fashion. Stickley Farms was sold at a bankruptcy auction within ten years.
After leaving Stickley Farms we made our way to Taunton Massachusetts to stay with our son-in law's aunt and uncle, Wally and Georgia. Wally and Georgia are the exceptional New Englanders; that is they like to travel. I have a distant relative from Maine who told me that even though he was over 90 years old he had never been west of the Mississippi. I know other Mainers who seldom travel south or west of Boston. I could never understand this. After driving to Taunton,  I now get it. I have never been on such crowded highways in such poor condition as I experienced in the Northeast. If I lived in New York, New Jersey or Massachusetts I might give up auto travel as well!

A pleasant respite with Wally and Georgia

Linda and I will be taking a few days off and performing some much needed maintenance to the car and trailer, laundry, and re-arranging of the car (Linda's Fiesta Ware finds), before we start heading west on the Yellowstone Trail. It has been a great adventure, one that I would not trade for the world.


  1. You two are awesome!! What an amazing adventure! Congrats to you for accomplishing your goal! Thank you, Bill, for journaling everyday and sharing your experiences with all of your friends and family "back home." i have thoroughly enjoyed your trip thus far. (i admit still being a little 'starstruck' that you were bold enough to drive into the city while pulling a trailer!!) May God continue to bless you abundantly as you wind your way back west!! Look forward to seeing you in person!

  2. Can tell is old postcard at top of page, comrade. Is being available parking.

  3. Great news! After you are done with your well-deserved R&R, remember that the Yellowstone Trail has been "The Good Road from Plymouth Rock to Puget Sound" since 1912.
    We await your continued it now going to be the "Ford on the YT"?

    Great news! After you finish your well-deserved R&R, remember that the Yellowstone Trail has been "A Good Road From Plymouth Rock to Puget Sound" since 1912, and it is waiting for your "Ford on the YT" blogs.

  4. Sorry, the dog-gone blog page was being weird, and I somehow had to enter twice???

  5. Congrats on the trip.
    Good luck on the trip.

  6. Hope you are enjoying your east coast visit. Will we see more on your blog about your trip west? Let me know if you want any ancestry sites to visit