Now I have heard a lot about what different states were going to be like on this trip. Received dire warnings about how I was going to be treated and how help would not be available and each time I just smiled and knew everything would be fine, then I arrived in New Jersey and I began to wonder if some of those warnings might be right. I entered New Jersey over the toll bridge coming out of Portland Pennsylvania and was told by the people at the diner I stopped at for lunch that they would not let me cross the toll bridge. As I rode up the to bridge, one of the toll keepers came out and motioned for me to wait where I was so he could drive around to talk to me. My heart sank a little, I figured I was going to have to retrace my steps and cross on the narrow people bridge. He pulled along side of me and rolled down his window to tell me he just wanted to make sure I crossed without incident and he would follow me. He then asked what I was doing and upon hearing it grinned from ear to ear and said it was amazing. So across the bridge I went entering New jersey smoothly. I rode along side the highway, people driving by me, passing with care, disproving the "crazy driver" notion I had be given about Jersey drivers. Eventually a man stopped on the side of the road to talk to me, and upon finding out I was crossing the country, announced he was right and his wife was wrong and brought me up to the window of his car to have me tell his wife that. He then started driving up the road searching for a place for me to stay. I met up with him at a bar called Gunners Landing and for the first time I was turned down for a place to stay. They had a park area behind the bar, near the river and off the road and were not interested in my staying there, I was surprised but then laughed when I remembered how surprised I always was when people told me yes. I continued down the road, Super Frank driving ahead stopping at every farm he passed trying to find me a safe place for the night. The Mackey's stepped up and let me camp at their farm, in their backyard, they were somewhat speechless when I talked to them, but very kind and welcoming. The next day I was off heading for Hackettown and rode there without incident. I rode through town and decided to stop at Mcdonald's before riding up the hill at Schooley's Mountain. I met several people there, all excited about my trip, amazed that I had made it this far and soon they were arguing over where I should stay and what road would be best for me to take out of town the next day. Mike Mulina, sorry about messing up your last name Mike, found me a wonderful place to stay, with his friend Bob, a judge, and his wife, a retired judge. They welcomed me to there farm and into their home for the night and the next morning I was up early to head off to Morristown. Or So I thought.
I walked the horses down to highway 46, and started east, when I spotted a county police car and waved them down to ask if there was a cafe in the direction I was heading. Big Mistake! The officer driving asked if I was planning on taking the horses up the highway and when I said yes told me I couldn't do that. Surprised I asked if it was restricted, he said no but I couldn't take horses up that road, I asked if it was against the law for me to ride on the roads there, he didn't answer my question but instead told me if I choose to there would be consequences. Getting frustrated, I was trying to remain calm and not get angry and to find out why they were not wanting me to ride down the rode and how they wanted me to get out of town. I suggested going out Schooley's Mountain road and was met with the same statement, that I couldn't ride in that road, I asked them what I was supposed to do and was told that I needed to go and get my trailer and haul them where I was going, I explained several times before it finally sank in that I was riding across the U.S. and had no trailer or truck, but still I was threatened with consequences if I chose to ride either road. So I called Ann, the woman I met the previous day and asked her for help, she called the precinct and discovered that there were planning on impounding the horses if I road up either road, which I found odd since what I was doing was not against the law. Finally the passenger officer and I talked enough for me to find out that they were concerned for the safety of the horses. They insisted on running my license, and to know where I stayed the previous night. I find the running of my license kind of insulting, even though I know that they are just doing their jobs and trying to do what they think is best for the horses. My patience almost at an end, I agreed to return to where I was staying the previous night, calling Ann to see if she could find me a trailer ride away from these police. She started searching for a ride as I walked back to the farm. I was stopped by another officer, who had shown up at the bank I was talking to the cranky officers at and he told me not to worry about things he would try to help. I got back to the farm tied the girls up, Ann called back to tell me she had found a trailer ride that would be there around 11 ish and the Officer Bryan drove into the driveway to tell me that he had contacted the Morris County Mounted Patrol and they were sending a trailer to rescue me from Washington county. I thanked him and went back into the house for breakfast and then met with a reported from the local radio station that Judge Bob contacted to interview me about this incident and my trip. Officer Bob returned with Mounted Patrolman Gabriel and the girls were loaded up in the trailer and I was whisked out of Washington Township Police jurisdiction. I met with the Sargent and he and Gabe helped me find a good path to follow and I was off again. As evening started to fall, a woman stopped to talk to me and hearing that I was looking for a place for the night, jumped on her phone and called Mare and Richard for me to stay with. They came and got us in their trailer and brought us to their farm.
So after the last few days I have to say this about New Jersey: the people are kind, considerate and helpful. Well most of them are, some are opinionated and pushy, but in all honesty, this wouldn't be New Jersey without a little of that and I would feel kind of ripped off if I didn't encounter a few Stereotypical Jerseyians.