Boardwalks Trip - August, 2012

A scene from the midst of iconic Central Park.

Statistics:

Dates: Aug. 14 to Aug. 23, 2012

 

Areas Explored: Niagara and the Mid-Atlantic Region: Chesapeake, Jersey Shore, NYC, Hudson and Mohawk Valleys, OBX, and the Shenandoah

Transportation: 2009 Grand Caravan

New Frontiers: Best use of ferries and first time to OBX

Note: About a month after this trip most of the sites we saw were damaged by Superstorm Sandy 

Related Trips: East Coast 2013 (website coming) 

Cast: Scott, Jessica, Andrew (and baby in utero)

 

Read: A detailed journal written on the road whenever time allowed.

 

Trip Notes: Day 1: Chicago to Thorold, ON. Day 2: Thru Niagara Falls to East Syracuse, NY. Day 3: Along the Hudson to Staten Island, NYC, NY. Day 4: Around NYC to Bordentown, NJ. Day 5: Philly to Marmora, NJ. Day 6: Across the Delaware to Assateague NS, MD. Day 7: Across the Chesapeake to Kill Devil Hills, NC. Day 8: From the Outer Banks to Petersburg, VA. Day 9: Over the Appalachians to Chicago. Click on a leg of the journey to see on-the-road diary.

 
A map showing our route. (Red indicates ferry travel.) Andrew flying a kite in the Cape Hatteras winds (right). 


The American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls as seen from the Canadian Side. (below)

Part 1: Days 1-3 From Niagara down to the Erie Canal

"It is amazing to me how gaudy and tacky the environment if Niagara is. A few blocks from the Falls, you can buy bongs, cheap tees, and drop $25 to see wax statues of Canada's own Johnny Depp. But even more amazing is how quick you forget about the circus and focus on the glory of nature when you get to the Falls themselves. Nothing can detract from the power of the Falls." read more here

mal054_tocanadaLeaving the U.S.A. in Detroit. Detroit, U.S.A., in all her glory from the Canada side of the river.Detroit, U.S.A., in all her glory from the Canada side of the river. It's easy to spend the Monopoly money they use in Canada.It's easy to spend the Monopoly money they use in Canada. I wonder if I should sue A&W for copying my likeness.I wonder if I should sue A&W for copying my likeness. Rocky Racoon wuz here.Rocky Raccoon wuz here. The awe-inspiring and mighty Horseshoe Falls of Niagara.The awe-inspiring and mighty Horseshoe Falls of Niagara. The churning waters and mists and rainbows that cannot be described by words or photos.The churning waters and mists and rainbows that cannot be described by words or photos. The brink of the Horseshoe Falls makes the imagination run wild. The brink of the Horseshoe Falls makes the imagination run wild. Daddy and Andrew at the Horseshoe Falls. (Note the Maid of the Mist boat in the water.)Daddy and Andrew at the Horseshoe Falls. (Note the Maid of the Mist boat in the water.) "Let's go on that boat." Andrew is done with the intensity of the Maid of the Mist tour.Andrew is done with the intensity of the Maid of the Mist tour. A view of the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls.A view of the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls. Three flags of Niagara: Ontario, Canada, and U.S.A.Three flags of Niagara: Ontario, Canada, and U.S.A. The mists pool on the busy sidewalks around the Falls.The mists pool on the busy sidewalks around the Falls. Never forget that Canada is the British Empire. They certainly haven't.Never forget that Canada is the British Empire. They certainly haven't. The circus of Clifton Hill in Niagara Falls, Ontario, does not take anything away from the Falls.The circus of Clifton Hill in Niagara Falls, Ontario, does not take anything away from the Falls. Some velociraptors discussing world politics on Clifton Hill.Some velociraptors discussing world politics on Clifton Hill. Andrew along the railing at Niagara Falls.Andrew along the railing at Niagara Falls. The view of the American Falls from the base of Clifton Hill.The view of the American Falls from the base of Clifton Hill. Looking north, down the Niagara River from atop the escarpment.Looking north, down the Niagara River from atop the escarpment. Andrew and Dad examine the memorial to the Shawnee warrior Tecumseh at the side of the Brock Monument.Andrew and Dad examine the memorial to the Shawnee warrior Tecumseh at the side of the Brock Monument. Part of the Brock Monument, which defiantly faces down the U.S.A. from Queenston Heights, ON.Part of the Brock Monument, which defiantly faces down the U.S.A. from Queenston Heights, ON. The view from Niagara Falls, NY, of the American and Horseshoe Falls.The view from Niagara Falls, NY, of the American and Horseshoe Falls. Here we go Here we go "under" the American Falls. Andrew thought it was a bit too intense to be this close to the Falls.Andrew thought it was a bit too intense to be this close to the Falls. Selfie from under Niagara.Selfie from under Niagara. "Low bridge! Everybody down!" The Gasport Bridge on the Erie Canal. Another raising bridge along the Erie Canal. We hugged the canal as we rode east.Another raising bridge along the Erie Canal. We hugged the canal as we rode east. The Erie Canal at sunset. There were a few people fishing for bluegills here.The Erie Canal at sunset. There were a few people fishing for bluegills here. Sunset on the Mohawk River in upstate New York.Sunset on the Mohawk River in upstate New York.



This trip was accomplished by taking more than a few bridges and ferries, like the Cape Lewes Ferry. (below)

Part 2: Days 4-6 Through the Megaopolis of the Mid-Atlantic

"I saw three dolphins lunging out of the water toward the boat. They seemed to be racing back and forth under the hull in a sort of game. My heart raced to see such beautiful, happy, wild creatures after so much urban-ness in Jersey and NYC. I made up my mind to camp at night, no matter the glum weather forecast. I needed to reconnect with the crickets and moon." read more here 

Andrew ponders colonial history at Fort Stanwix on the Mohawk River in New York.Andrew ponders colonial history at Fort Stanwix on the Mohawk River in New York. A small camp in the moat around the walls of historic Fort Stanwix.A small camp in the moat around the walls of historic Fort Stanwix. Andrew's model of Fort Stanwix.Andrew's model of Fort Stanwix. The beautiful southern shore of Otsego Lake in Cooperstown, NY, after a rain storm.The beautiful southern shore of Otsego Lake in Cooperstown, NY, after a rain storm. The front door of the Cornelius Vanderbilt mansion, located along the banks of the Hudson River.The front door of the Cornelius Vanderbilt mansion, located along the banks of the Hudson River. The richest man in Gilded Age America owned the richest flower points in Gilded Age America.The richest man in Gilded Age America owned the richest flower points in Gilded Age America. Further down the road is the many-windowed home of another Dutch millionaire: Franklin D. Roosevelt.Further down the road is the many-windowed home of another Dutch millionaire: Franklin D. Roosevelt. The grave of one of our greatest presidents is located where many presidents are buried: in the backyard.The grave of one of our greatest presidents is located where many presidents are buried: in the backyard. The flower garden surrounding the FDR gravesite was super fragrant.The flower garden surrounding the FDR gravesite was super fragrant. FDR's coach house and gardens in Hyde Park, NY.FDR's coach house and gardens in Hyde Park, NY. During the 1940's you might have seen Churchill or DeGaulle pulling up in FDR's driveway for a visit. During the 1940's you might have seen Churchill or DeGaulle pulling up in FDR's driveway for a visit. Lifejackets from the ferry connecting Staten Island to Manhattan in NYC.Lifejackets from the ferry connecting Staten Island to Manhattan in NYC. The view of Manhattan as we approached via the Staten Island Ferry.The view of Manhattan as we approached via the Staten Island Ferry. NYC has much better playgrounds than those in Chicago.NYC has much better playgrounds than those in Chicago. One World Trade Center, planned to be the tallest building in America, was under construction.One World Trade Center, planned to be the tallest building in America, was under construction. At the foot of Wall Street was the resting place of  Hamilton, that Wall St. patron would knew no rest in life.At the foot of Wall Street was the resting place of Hamilton, that Wall St. patron would knew no rest in life. An old Manhattan grave in St. Paul's Graveyard in the middle of the Financial District.An old Manhattan grave in St. Paul's Graveyard in the middle of the Financial District. We took the A train (the one from the song) uptown to Times Square.We took the A train (the one from the song) uptown to Times Square. Our first foray into Times Square on a beautiful and not-so crowded day.Our first foray into Times Square on a beautiful and not-so crowded day. Of course, crowds at Times Square are relative.Of course, crowds at Times Square are relative. The best part of Manhattan was the street fair on the Avenue of the Americas.The best part of Manhattan was the street fair on the Avenue of the Americas. Andrew needed to cool down with his watermelon in a cup, purchased (and eaten) on the Avenue of the Americas.Andrew needed to cool down with his watermelon in a cup, purchased (and eaten) on the Avenue of the Americas. A Depression-Era fresco extolling the virtues according to Rockefeller.A Depression-Era fresco extolling the virtues according to Rockefeller. Our first view of the famous Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan.Our first view of the famous Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan. Rockefeller's god looms warily over the entrance to 30 Rock.Rockefeller's god looms warily over the entrance to 30 Rock. The Lego version of Rockefeller Center was almost as amazing as the real thing.The Lego version of Rockefeller Center was almost as amazing as the real thing. A scene along swanky 5th Avenue, where the ultra-rich rubbed elbows with the ultra middle class.A scene along swanky 5th Avenue, where the ultra-rich rubbed elbows with the ultra middle class. You can design and buy your own Muppet in FAO Schwartz on 5th Avenue. You can design and buy your own Muppet in FAO Schwartz on 5th Avenue. Andrew and Dad have surmounted Mount Glassmore in Central Park.Andrew and Dad have surmounted Mount Glassmore in Central Park. The view from atop The view from atop "Mount Broken Glass" in Central Park. Another pagan god for New Yorkers to worship before they are smote!Another pagan god for New Yorkers to worship before they are smote! We are on our way across New York Harbor, back to our aprking spot in Staten Island.We are on our way across New York Harbor, back to our aprking spot in Staten Island. The Staten Island Ferry is the easiest, cheapest, and msot scenic ways to get to Manhattan.The Staten Island Ferry is the easiest, cheapest, and msot scenic ways to get to Manhattan. The 9/11 Monument in Staten Island, with the new World Trade Center in the background.The 9/11 Monument in Staten Island, with the new World Trade Center in the background. Andrew meets the Phillie Fanatic in downtown Philadelphia.Andrew meets the Phillie Fanatic in downtown Philadelphia. The postcard shot of America's birthplace: Independence Hall.The postcard shot of America's birthplace: Independence Hall. You do not go far in Philadelphia without being reminded of their favorite resident.You do not go far in Philadelphia without being reminded of their favorite resident. Ben rests here!Ben rests here! Yet he still walks the streets somehow?Yet he still walks the streets somehow? Since 9/11 the Liberty Bell is under lock and key and guarded by armed security 24/7.Since 9/11 the Liberty Bell is under lock and key and guarded by armed security 24/7. Philadelphia's massive City Hall used to be the tallest building in the city by law.Philadelphia's massive City Hall used to be the tallest building in the city by law. Philadelphia's Chinatown gate.Philadelphia's Chinatown gate. Harry's Occult and Spritual Supplies Shop in South Philly.Harry's Occult and Spritual Supplies Shop in South Philly. We stopped in hardscrabble South Philly for a real cheesesteak from the We stopped in hardscrabble South Philly for a real cheesesteak from the "king." It's simple: It's simple: "Two whiz wit, one whiz witout." Keep the line moving. The Atlantic City Beach Patrol house as it appeared a few weeks before Superstorm Sandy hit.The Atlantic City Beach Patrol house as it appeared a few weeks before Superstorm Sandy hit. Coast to coast this summer. Scott sports his Oregon beach shirt in New Jersey.Coast to coast this summer. Scott sports his Oregon beach shirt in New Jersey. Taking a dip in the sea at Atlantic City.Taking a dip in the sea at Atlantic City. After a swim in Atlantic City we strolled the famous Boardwalk.After a swim in Atlantic City we strolled the famous Boardwalk. This is what Atlantic City is all about, isn't it?This is what Atlantic City is all about, isn't it? Irene's along the Boardwalk in Atlantic City.Irene's along the Boardwalk in Atlantic City. The beautiful Lucy in Margate, NJ. You can tour the inside if you cannot imagine the inside of an elephant.The beautiful Lucy in Margate, NJ. You can tour the inside if you cannot imagine the inside of an elephant. The ferry passes by this ship in Cape Lewes reminding visitors that Delaware began as a Swedish colony.The ferry passes by this ship in Cape Lewes reminding visitors that Delaware began as a Swedish colony.


A scene from across our campsite in Kill Devil Hills in the OBX. (below)
Part 3: Days 7-9 From Delmarva to the OBX & Shenandoah

"As we finished setting up camp, a gang of wild ponies arrived at camp. I quickly dashed to the van and shut the doors so they wouldn't go through our food and mess everything up. As they came closer I reminded them that I was nearby by calmly telling them, 'I'm right here. You can't have our food.' " read more here 
 

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware's greatest landmark on the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk. Delaware's great landmark on the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk. Andrew boarding in the Rehoboth Beach surf.Andrew boarding in the Rehoboth Beach surf. Time for lunch on Rehoboth Beach.Time for lunch on Rehoboth Beach. A unique Delaware beachgoer.A unique Delaware beachgoer. The least graceful use of a boogie board ever.The least graceful use of a boogie board ever. Splashy splashy in Delaware.Splashy splashy in Delaware. The swamps and lagoons of Assateague Island, Maryland.The swamps and lagoons of Assateague Island, Maryland. The swamps are patrolled by wild ponies who WILL open your tent in search of food.The swamps are patrolled by wild ponies who WILL open your tent in search of food. A crab hard at work in the sand of a tidal lagoon near Chincoteague, Virginia.A crab hard at work in the sand of a tidal lagoon near Chincoteague, Virginia. More wild ponies in Chincoteague tidal swamps.More wild ponies in Chincoteague tidal swamps. Egrets and horses chilling in the shade.Egrets and horses chilling in the shade. A little Chincoteague pony looking for his mother.A little Chincoteague pony looking for his mother. Crab pots surrounded our campsite in the lagoons of Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina.Crab pots surrounded our campsite in the lagoons of Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. They remember Hurricane Irene in this OBX campground bathhouse.They remember Hurricane Irene in this OBX campground bathhouse. The monument at Kittyhawk where man first took flight.The monument at Kittyhawk where man first took flight. Andrew imagines the original Wright Brothers flight on the windy OBX.Andrew imagines the original Wright Brothers flight on the windy OBX. An Outer Banks dragonfly photographed because he was at Kittyhawk.An Outer Banks dragonfly photographed because he was at Kittyhawk. We stopped in Rodanthe for some OBX shrimp.We stopped in Rodanthe for some OBX shrimp. The famous and impressive lighthouse at Cape Hatteras, NC.The famous and impressive lighthouse at Cape Hatteras, NC. The beach at Hatteras was angry since a storm was moving in.The beach at Hatteras was angry since a storm was moving in. A Hatteras shorebird makes the best of the low tide.A Hatteras shorebird makes the best of the low tide. Relaxing on the sand at Cape Hatteras in the OBX.Relaxing on the sand at Cape Hatteras in the OBX. Saying goodbye to the Hatteras light.Saying goodbye to the Hatteras light. Birds in the sea grass at Pea Island NWR in Rodanthe, NC.Birds in the sea grass at Pea Island NWR in Rodanthe, NC. Piney woods across the Croatan Sound in mainland North Carolina.Piney woods across the Croatan Sound in mainland North Carolina. We didn't see any bears in Alligator River NWR, but we did see this beautiful scene.We didn't see any bears in Alligator River NWR, but we did see this beautiful scene. The blue hills that inspired Jefferson in Charlottesville, Virgina.The blue hills that inspired Jefferson in Charlottesville, Virgina. The Blue Ridge Mountains, as seen from Shenandoah NP in Virginia.The Blue Ridge Mountains, as seen from Shenandoah NP in Virginia. The Appalachian peaks of West Virginia on our way home.The Appalachian peaks of West Virginia on our way home.
 
Photos copyright 2012 by S. Plencner & J. Bezold All other content copyright 2014 by S. Plencner