|Plein air painters on the Delaware Canal towpath|
One of Kali's and my favorite bicycle rides followed the (Pennsylvania) Delaware Canal towpath northward for 12 miles, crossed a bridge over the Delaware River into New Jersey, and then followed the D&R Canal towpath southward to a point where we could cross back over to the Pennsylvania side and complete our ride. Unfortunately, the Delaware Canal towpath has been repeatedly damaged by river floods and, despite the investment of millions and millions of tax dollars to repair the damage, the towpath remains ravaged where it's closest to the river. In addition, the canal itself has been dewatered by breaches. So, we haven't ridden "our" route in several years.
Last Saturday (October 6), I convinced Kali that we should attempt the ride. It was a cool, overcast day. When we arrived at trailhead parking, I stopped a sweaty fellow on a mountain bike coming down the towpath and asked him about the condition of the trail. He assured me that, with the exception of a short washed-out section that could be walked, the trail was "ride-able" with few problems. So, off we went.
|Kali walking her hybrid bike through some of the worst of the washed-out trail|
|Looks like smooth sailing, but the surface under the grass is rough. If the trail were in tip-top shape, there would be a worn pathway in the grass because the trail would receive heavy use|
|Kali crossing the bridge over the Delaware into Frenchtown, New Jersey|
|Along the D&R Canal towpath trail in New Jersey|
|A rapid in the Delaware River, looking from New Jersey across to Pennsylvania|
|Lighter skies downriver from the rapids|
After a few minutes of collecting ourselves and assessing our injuries, though, we got back in the saddle and completed the ride. What choice did we have? We shortened the ride a bit by crossing back from New Jersey to Pennsylvania on a footbridge over the river that we had never used before, but this meant that we returned to the Pennsylvania side right in the middle of the worst of the washed-out trail - more walking and bitching.
|The footbridge over the river and Kali walking the towpath - again|