What a difference a day makes. After a good night sleep, I felt really good this morning. The wind changed directions overnight and pushed me south through New Jersey. The day started off with a bit of excitement. Several miles from camp, on a country road that runs along Highpoint Park, I saw a large animal crossing a few hundred yards ahead of me and realized it was a bear. My first real bear sighting. The adult bear sauntered across the road and two cubs ran after it. Realizing it was a mama and cubs, I stopped my bicycle for a few minutes and rang my bike bell. I have heard bears are generally scared of humans unless you startle them or get between a mama and her cubs. I wanted to make sure they knew I was there and to try to get them to move on. After a few minutes, a car passed, so I figured it was probably safe. I rang my bell pretty constantly as I passed the area where they were and continued to ring it periodically for the rest of that particular road. Unfortunately, I did not get any photos of the bears. By the time I thought of it, they were gone.
Navigating through New Jersey has been pretty easy so far. I have stuck to Highway 206 for the most part. It is a busy highway, but has a nice shoulder. There is a bike trail that follows 206 in places, but it is mostly a single track of gravel. With the loaded bicycle, I don’t think I can ride something like that. Even without the load, I’m not sure how my bicycle would handle it. So, I stayed on the shoulder.
With the nice weather, relatively easy terrain, and feeling rested, I really pushed myself and was able to get most of the way through New Jersey. It was the furthest I have traveled since the first day. I feel much better than I did after that first ride, though I am still pretty exhausted. I am now only about 30 miles from Pennsylvania.