The morning car ride out of Boston was effortless as one can imagine cars were flowing into the city and not out. My continued travels took me through Hartford then on to the Sleepy Hollow/Hudson River area. It was to Kykuit first the once home of the Rockefeller family country estate. The journey was well worth the travel as the gardens that surround the home were filled with symbolic communication, complete with a Pagan/Masonic Temple/Lodge room, buried beneath the temple of Venus. After my 2 hour tour I was off to Lyndhurst just a few miles downriver, another fine if not the countries best example of a Gothic Revival styled Mansion.
Tours behind me the long trail to Philadelphia lay ahead, first across the George Washington Bridge with the skyline of Manhattan in plan site, then into New Jersey via the Turn Pike. Tip toeing across Delaware I crossed into Philadelphia around 4:45 in the afternoon. It did not take me long to check in with the concierge as I quickly learned what and where bike was friendly. He pointed the way around the city center, past the Masonic Temple, then right on to The Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The parkway as it is referred heads Northwest at the perfect degree.
Numerous large Fountains were flowing heavy, symbolic and loud. It reminded me of Paris with the fountains and the ‘Ley’ Alignments of Avenues and Roads. Hmmm maybe Benjamin brought back more from Paris than has ever been revealed? Out past Eakins Circle, sliding right of the Museum of Art I made may way into Fairmont park, just past the rowing Boathouses I was on the trial flowing the river North.
Under Hwy 1 I followed the trail NW past the Philadelphia University continuing along on the river side bike trial. I passed many an ancient house/farm, numerous of which dated from the 1700’s and had become a permanent fixtures in this expansive Park. The trail climbed up and down, sliding all around passing by a large tree and rope hanging near the stream. Three college guys were shirtless and swinging like Tarzan, letting out a yell as they all released as high up as they could. Splash, boom what summertime fun. The asphalt trail gave way to another 5 miles of gravel mountain bike trial. My odometer said 17 so I decided to turn around and find another way back.
I turned right and headed Southwest over the Schuylkill river upon a bridge that was built in the 1890’s. It was an Historic crossing indeed. Now I was on the other side of the river enjoying the opposing trail. Numerous old city buildings dot the route with a few historic photos and words which brought good light to bear on the history of the place. I crossed back over the river near the 676-76 interchange and made my way back onto the river trail. I continued and headed south on down to South St and it was there that I decided to head on back.
Heading east till 5th street I turned into the old part of the city. I made my way past the Liberty Bell and dismounted and walked along the old river bed/cobble stone streets. I found my way into The City Tavern, which opened its doors back in 1773. All of the servers were wearing colonial outfits as the place felt and smelled like it was and still is from another time. From there I made my way through the independence National Historic Park and on through Washington Square. Three hours later I mounted back up and made my way through the city blocks back to the Hard Rock Café across the street from my hotel, for just a single solitary beer. I toasted my friends and family back home, wishing that everyone I loved could have been on today’s ride.
Bike Philadelphia! J. Meyers bike explorer