Day 3 – Busting the New Jersey Bias

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. — Maya Angelou

The night was cold.  We had little icicles on our tent in the morning.  We ate some of our Wize Harvest granola for breakfast, and then we were off.

Today was definitely going to be a short walking day.  We didn’t want to go more than twelve miles.  It was a quiet and peaceful walk through the New Jersey hills.

Walking up hills like this while pushing carts full of equipment is no easy task. It hurts.

Your history lesson for the day.

A school that teaches manners? We know some adults that need to go here. Wait, isn’t rambling on about something considered bad manners? Those ill-mannered pines.

A babbling brook. Let’s keep it away from the rambling pines. That could be a frustrating conversation.

New Jersey Hills

I think this U-Haul truck is trying to tell us something

It’s tough to tell from the picture, but this house, which is for sale, has a sickle, a stuffed chicken, and horse that is painted on it from the neck down, but has a three dimensional head. Sorry, but we didn’t get the price.

After just over 11 miles, we arrived in a small town on the Pennsylvania border called Lambertville.  We stopped at the local library and met Andrea, who already knew about us. She, and her boss, Betsy, worked very hard thinking of places we could stay.  The weather was supposed to be bad overnight (snow, sleet, rain, wind), so we decided to stay indoors.  Betsy recommended that we check out The Inn of the Hawke.  It’s a restaurant and bar, but they also have six rooms upstairs that you can rent for the night.

The Inn at the Hawke

While checking in, a man named Chris overheard us talking to the staff about our walk.  We chatted for a short while, then he had to leave for a business meeting, but before we parted ways he said he would love for his sons to meet us.  We told him to bring them by later and we could all get together for dinner.

Dinner with Chris, Christopher, and Conor was a blast!  All three of them are adventurous, enthusiastic, love to travel, and are great storytellers.  Christopher and Conor are young gentlemen that are polite, engaging, and seemed genuinely excited about our walk.  They were eager to tell their teachers and classmates that they met people who were going to walk across the country.  The food was great too (especially the cinnamon ice cream), and Chris surprised us by generously paying for our meals.

From left to right, Christopher, JM, T, Chris, and Conor

This was our last night in New Jersey.  For whatever reason, New Jersey gets picked on by New Yorkers, movies, television shows, and seemingly most of the country.  It has a bad reputation, but it’s completely unfounded.  We walked through many different towns, cities, neighborhoods, and communities on our way through New Jersey.  We encountered nothing but kindness, helpfulness, generosity, and hospitality.  The people we met have impacted our lives in such a positive way, despite our encounters being for only a short amount of time. They made us feel special and welcome, and for that we are forever grateful.  Our only regret is that it is such a small state, so we didn’t get to spend more time in it.  New Jersey has set the bar high for the rest of the states.