|From Steve Greer Photography|
I came across this image that reminded me of a ride I used to take at this time of year when I was in college.
Turns out, the cyclist in the photo is taking the same ride.
He's pedaling the Delaware and Raritan Canal towpath, which winds for seventy miles through Central New Jersey, from the Raritan River in New Brunswick to the Delaware River in Bordentown.
Paths were built along it, as they were along other canals, to allow mules to tow the barges. Those paths fell into disuse as steam engines were used to propel the boats and, eventually, the canals themselves fell into disuse as railroads and, later, highways cut through the land.
The D&R Canal provided some of the best foliage rides in New Jersey--and, I daresay, the region. One problem with it, though, is that it's in a flood-prone area. Now, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, I wonder whether the canal or the nearby rivers have spilled over onto the paths, and the land around it. I also wonder how many of those trees are still standing.
Although I haven't ridden the D&R in a long time, I hope that a favorite ride of my past doesn't become merely a memory. For that matter, I hope the same fate doesn't befall the Rockaways, Point Lookout or Coney Island.