Monday, September 15, 2014

Ton Tour - Flat Lands to Mountain Tops Day 2

Spent the night tossing and turning at my sister because I failed to drink enough water during yesterday's run. Had cramps in both calves, inner upper thighs and the outsides hurt too. The cramps never kicked into that wrenching twisted pretzels for muscles, but there was a distinct trembling for each section just waiting to become wretched. Move the leg one way, there was a reaction in another part of the leg, even the opposite one. Today's lessons is I will drink more fluids.


Suppose to leave at 7am or so, but found myself talking with sister for a couple hours. It has been awhile since I have seen her. Finally got my act together and headed out for todays targets right around 930am.


First up in Cookstown NJ. One word sums up riding in southern Joisey. BORING (even Iowa is more interesting). Straight roads (they had nothing to go around), scrub pines, and flat. However there is a fair amount of sand around to make is slidy.

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This was outside a haunted house attraction for Halloween. Don't think it is an official Muffler Man, looks more like something stolen from an amusement park.

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In Roosevelt had to find 2 different locations. Team Strange only takes post offices and GLMC does not take post offices. With a name like Roosevelt you would think the town had some money. Not this place by the looks of it, however the town has an awful lot of famous writers, painters and scupltors. Maybe they are keeping the place under the radar. It was awarded the 12th best place in Jersey to live.

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I was suppose to pick up a factory in Helmetta, however the fire department wording was so good who could pass it up.

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Turns out the buidling I passed up was on the Register of Historic Places and was an old snuff factory built in the 1880's. At one time it employed 400 folks. The snuff operattions, well the tobacco kind of snuff operation was moved to West Virginia. New Jersey continues with the other snuff operations ala Soprano style.

Spotswood was named from a place in Scotland and was established around 1685. The fire department was built after that time.

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Pulled up on the sidewalk right outside this place. The owner (an assumption) was checking his mail and didn't even bat an eye. Upton Sinclair, the writer, died in Bound Brook. His most famous writing was the Jungle (1906), which exposed conditions in the meat packing industry. In 1906 the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act was passed.

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I made my way into the central western part of Jersey at this point and the scenery and roads have become a little more interesting. It has become a bit more trafficy too. Couple of places I don't feel like writing about.

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Green Village principally consists of three streets, namely Green Village Road, Meyersville Road and Britten Road. Subject to an ongoing surveying controversy it may include a portion of Woodland Road. Isn't that interesting.

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Madison is known as the Rose City. You guessed it they use to grow roses here. With the RR connections to NYC, they provided the roses. NYC millionaires came to Madison for hunting and just getting out in the country. Robert Chapman of Thesaurus editing fame lived here.

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Officially back in north Jersey is marked by Whippany. Dan Frishman, nerd and geeks was born in Whippany. I had to pull up on the sidewalk to get this picture. Once I was up there I had to turn around to get out. The sidewalk was blocked by a pole going forward, which of course I didn't see when pulling up here. The guys in the diner next door came out and asked me what I was doing. In a huffing and puffing voice (hard to mover a 600# bike around in close quarters, told them I needed that sign. They shrugged and said OK. Really ??

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Hit the Morris's 1-2-3, Great historice area with Washington's headquarters located here. (A National Historic Park).
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A couple more stops

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A mistake in processing trying to make an artistic statement of something. (gotta figure out what I was saying)(maybe an ad for eye glasses ??)(flashback to the 60's)

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This was not a planned stop. I passed this place and turned around to go back to it. The Double Down tour is about repeating letters. Well HO- HO- is a repeating pattern of letters. We shall see. New Jersey Magazine named HO-HO-KUS the #1 one place to live in Jersey. Ho-Ho-Kus is the eighth wealthiest community in New Jersey.

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Getting very north into Jersey, almost New York with Saddle River. The borough ranked 28th as of the 2000 Census among the 100 highest-income places in the United States. Lots of green here. On the trees and in the pockets.

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Last couple of towns in Jersey.

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Crossed the border and the Hudson River into Sleepy Hollow NY. I kept my head about it.

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Some more towns

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As I headed into Peekskill, it was early evening, something like 6:30. As I rounded RT 9 the cliffs of Peekskill appeared and with the going down sun it was a wonderus sight. It was like a painting. Why I didn't stop to take a picture I just don't know. No doubt I would not have captured in the camera what my eyes saw. Instead I got this place.

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Losing the sunlight I got Jefferson Valley. Nice coloring in the sky. Unfortunately it also means the sun will be gone soon as well.

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Snaked my way up thru New York in Harriman State Park area, just in time for the sun to say goodnight. At about 8pm in Garrison, NY I said to myself time to let the deer have its way with the area and time for this old guy to find a place to sleep for the night. Pulled into a Dunkin Donuts in Central Valley after crossing the Bear Mountain Bridge to search for a motel. The folks at DD suggested one place called the Hampton Inn. Cough cough do you know of a place that is more reasonable. Ahh the America Best Value Inn was recently redone. A call to them and got a rate for $75 which was cheap for the area. I'll take it and only 1 mile away. I settled in at DD for dinner having a poppy seed begal with cream cheese. Decided I was not going any place else for a nice dinner and ordered a ham and cheese on a hard roll. Sorry we are out of them. No croissants, only bagels. Any English muffins, an affirmative came back and ordered spicy smoked sausage breakfast sandwich for dinner.

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Todays trip was just over 250 miles. Captured 33 Double Down towns for 35 points and 4 president towns. Pretty good day.

T 2014 09 15





Sunday, September 14, 2014

Ton Tour - Affluent Village to Arm Pit Towns

Ton is 100 and that's what I captured in the last 3 days. Most of the towns were for the Double Down Grand Tour, probably 80+ but I did capture Teaneck, NJ for the Team Strange Airheads 30 GT, where you have to spell out that in the most economical method, hence TEAneck for TEAm. Did grab a bunch of president towns for the Team Strange President Grand Tour also. I travelled some 1000+ miles in 3 days for all of this. Why, I really can't tell you why, I just did it. Grabbing 35+ towns in a day is grueling.

The first day I was staying in Toms River, NJ at my sister Joan's house. Most of the day was spent in the congested armpit of the US, called Northeast Jersey and that armpit has no deodorant to boot. Born and brought up in Joisey, I still have a fondness for the state like the Jersey shore, Bordens Farm with their train, watching folks horseback riding (I don't do in the flesh horses), swim clubs, White Castle hamburgers, drive-in restaurants, but all of that has changed. How and why anyone lives in this part of the US is beyond me. Traffic, drivers that have no peripheral vision (or is it they don't care), high property taxes, 800 sq ft homes selling for 400,000+, make $250,000 a year and can't get buy. Maybe it is the subs (nothing better than a sub from Jersey), or Governor Christie, or a pastrami on rye (and NY thinks they have great Jewish Delis, no way) and the Jersey shore still is pretty much the same, just a little charred around the edges.

Headed out on a crisp Sunday morning about 7:30. Blue skies, almost to clear, clouds are more conducive to long traveling due to the limited glare. Hopped on the Mass Pike I-90 to get out of town thru Hartford heading south on I-84. Planned miles for the day is right around 400 which is no big deal, but throw in 40+ stops along the way and it makes for a long day.

First stop is home or was home to Marlo Thomas, Phil Donahue, Don Imus and Martha Stewart, Greens Farm. Look at the train depot sign and notice the name is spelled Green's Farm. This was a mistake by the New York, New Haven and Hartford RR, which they never bother fixing.

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Just to prove I rode the FJR here.
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Riding thru Fairfield county in Connecticut you can just feel the dollar bills falling from the trees. Lots of money in this area.

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Electrolux vacuum cleaners were made in Old Greenwich back in the 1950/60's. I can remember riding around on my mothers because it looked like a cool train or space rocket. Old Greenwich dental not so interesting but works for the Double Down Tour.

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Right down the road is Greenwich, CT, which is home to many hedge funds and financial services companies. They manufacturer electronic transactions called stock market trades. Medium income is $167,000, so you better make big bucks to live here.

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On Platinum Mile in Harrison, NY is the headquarters for MasterCard and PepsiCo. The pharmacy is more in keeping with my income level. Oh look it is vacant

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Also picked up the Post Office for the Team Strange Presidential Grand Tour

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Sex in the City, Sarah Jessica Parker, who can look fantastic and really bad at times lives in Dobbs Ferry. Ranked #7 in the Top 10 places to live in New York, more affordable at a medium income of 97K versus Greenwich at $167K

A lot of my targets are fire houses which requires me to pull into the main entrance and dismount to take the picture, with signs posted every where NO PARKING. I always rush, expecting the doors to fly open and the engines running over me. That would be much worse than a deer strike.

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A more readable sign. This one required me to pull up on the sidewalk for the pic. One of these days I know I am going to be stopped by a LEO and have to explain my way out of a moving violation while standing still.

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George Washington used the DeWint House in Tappan 4 times during the Revolution. Here is not buried here, but according to the sign it is a A Place of Beauty Forever.

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I really like these old auto garages.

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Fast forwarding thru a couple of towns and crossing the border into New Jersey, the stops start becoming brutal. No more idyllic tree lined streets, it is a concrete jungle out there. Like an armpit without deodorant.

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Did stop for a moment to think of those fallen citizens from 9/11.

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Back to the armpit.

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Teaneck was one of the PRIMARY stops for this trip. This spells the TEA in Team Strange Airhead 30 Grand Tour and almost completes this tour for me.

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Maywood is know Coca-Cola using as an ingredient a coca leaf extract prepared by a Stepan Company plant. The facility, which had been known as the Maywood Chemical Works (and is also a known Superfund site, was purchased by Stepan in 1959. The plant is the only commercial entity in the country authorized by the Drug Enforcement Administration to import coca leaves, which come primarily from Peru. The non-narcotic extract is sold to Coke, while the active ingredient is sold to a pharmaceutical firm for medicinal purposes.

I was feeling abit woozy here.

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And these guys have a touch of surrealism to them. No doubt they are reading Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

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Out of the armpit and more idyllic settings

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In Little Falls, the delicatessen was used in a scene in the Sopranos second season. Jackie Gleason also use to perform stand up comedy in the 1930's in town.

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Looking at the map now I should not have grabbed this place but I did. There is nothing interesting about the place either.

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Willis Carrier was making people cool (Carrier Corp) and Connie Francis was singing up a storm in Essex Fells.

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In 1942, the Westinghouse Lamp Plant in Bloomfield produced the majority of uranium metal used in the Chicago Pile-1, the world's first self-sustaining chain reaction which was the early phase of the Manhattan Project to create the first atomic bomb. This is not the same place, but got good bagels. This is the town where the final scene for the Soparanos was filmed.

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Some more armpit. Joe Piscope was born here, so was Larry Storch of F Troop.

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Home to the fifth husband to Judy Garland.

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The segway town from armpit without deodorant to less smelly places but just as congested.

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New Jersey has always been known for their diners, even thou New England invented them.

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Maplewood is the birthplace of the wooden golf tee, invented by William Lowell at the Maplewood Golf Club in 1921. George Costanza was born here too.

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Jim Kramer of Mad Money fame was born here. Ice-T's family moved here when he was a young boy before moving to LA.

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This place is known for holding Stockholder Meetings.

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Adding to my diner collection

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Nothing of great interest in Garwood, NJ other than the double "OO".

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The Township of Woodbridge is the oldest original township in New Jersey.

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Woodbridge and Cliffwood are in the physical armpit of New Jersey. This is where I start losing my sunlight.

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Little Silver in right on the border where the Joisey Showa begins. Jessica Steinhauser, aka Asia Carrera was born here. WOOHOO !! She performed at Carnegie Hall twice before she was 15 (on the piano)(make that playing the piano), and then moved into a more lucrative career in her 400+ films. She also has an IQ of 156. Unfortunately she was not at fire station tonight.

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Some how Kumar Patel is associated with this town, which makes me think of White Castle and started looking for one. Most of them were back in the armpit.

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I felt like I was traveling up and down I-195 and had entered the twilight zone. The light was right. A fact about Allenwood. There were 309 households, of which 36.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them. WOW !

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A president grab. Six Flags Great Adventure Park is here, but it was closed when I got there, so no rides on Kingda Ka (worlds tallest roller coaster)

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Last stop of the night (officially that is). The saga is almost over.

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So with Lakewood done I headed for my sister Joan's house in Toms River. Having not eaten at all today, I searched for White Castle and said take me there. Garmin was wrong and I was so disappointed. 5 sliders and a chocolate shake would have been perfect. I settle on McDonalds (not even a close second)where I stood at the counter for 5 minutes. Yes it was around 9:30pm but the doors were open. I finally asked "Are you guys open?" "OH would you like to order something. REALLY !!! NO WAY !! OH COME ON NOW !! I got my Big Mac (freshly made) and called MeAsWe and told her that I had survived Joisey so far.

While I was in the armpit, I have to say the aroma coming from the city streets was pure Italian cooking. Nothing smells better than the baking of garlic toast with oregano on it, while next to the oven is a big pot of marinara sauce (not gravy, sauce) simmering away and the thought of a plate of manicotti coming out of the oven is just pure heaven. So the armpit is not all bad, it does have its good points as well.

Todays meanderings. Some 435 miles of so. Picked up 32 Double Down towns (yielded 36 points, some towns have multiple sets of double letters), 3 President towns and 1 town for the Team Strange Anniversary tour. Figure 8 minutes a stop for just the towns and that is nearly 5 hours taking pictures. Makes for a long day.

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Tomorrow is another day and even more towns than today.