Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wharton State Forest

I guess I spoke too soon, the "bang" was more like a whisper and the cold weather returned last weekend.  Hopefully last weekend's good weather was only the first salvo of beautiful weekends to come and a good indication of what lays ahead for the rest of the year.  Nevertheless, a little cold weather is not going to stop me from going out, specially now that I have fitted heated grips to my Goldie.  I never expected I would need them, I have always been one to tough it out in the cold but on Sunday I switched them on and never turned them off until I got home.
Our group with the two red Triumphs
My friend Wayne had invited me to take a ride to the Polar Bear rider's meeting place in South Jersey, I called my brother and the three of us were ready to go in no time.
We decided to meet on route 206 at the Vincentown Diner in Vincentown and over a cup of coffee decided to go around Wharton State Forest before meeting the Polar Bear group at the Pic-A-Lilli Bar & Restaurant.  Wharton State Forest is the largest single tract of land within the New Jersey State Park System. It encompasses approximately 115,000 acres (465 km²) of the Pinelands northwest of Hammonton, in Burlington, Camden, and Atlantic counties. The entire park is located within the New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve. The park is located in the forested watershed of the Mullica River, which drains the central Pinelands region into Great Bay.
The Pic-A-Lilli bar and restaurant on the edge of the Wharton State Forest
We were joined by another friend and the four of us departed south on 206 and then went east on Retreat road after passing through Vincentown.  We continued south until we met County road 563 where again we proceeded south approaching the edge of Wharton State Forest.  We entered the park and took a right on County road 542 on the south edge of the park near Green Bank.  The park has nice roads and winding curves through the forest.  One always has to be careful around the turns though as water runoff will bring sand and pebbles onto the curves.  The group consisted of two Triumphs, one BMW and my Kawasaki Concours, AKA Goldie. We quickly covered the 55 miles and after passing Hammonton Municipal Airport made a right onto Route 206 again, this time going North, arriving at the Pic-A-Lilli Bar & Restaurant in short order.
The Polar Bear riders group meet
I was surprised to see so many bikes out, with the weather turning worse and a few sprinkles starting to come down I expected even the Polar Bear riders would stay home but alas lots of bikers were already there.  It was time for lunch, after a few pictures outside, we went inside and had a good meal.
We came out of the restaurant and it had started raining.  We got on our bikes and went north again on route 206 until route 70 where we made a right and proceeded north east to Whiting where my parents live.  They always enjoy seeing their two sons together and a cup of coffee and cake was waiting for us.  We had just finished a huge sandwich but you can never refuse cake from mom, not when she has just finished baking it and it is still warm, the thought about not having cake hadn't even crossed our minds in any case ;-)

A pink Ridley, America's automatic motorcycle
A beautiful Indian Motorcycle

2 comments:

  1. A very interesting blog, George - nice pictures too. I liked the pic in the previous post of that winding road, we have some wonderful roads like that in the Cape but there are always too many cages so we can't really get to use them as we'd like to. It seems like bikers are the same the world over, a great bunch of real people! Keep up the good work bro.

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  2. Thanks Andrew. We have to deal with the same issues, too many cages on the road. Keep checking back, on July 3rd my brother and I will start our cross country trip. We will be visiting lots of National Parks and eventually hit San Francisco, then return through the north back to NJ. Lots of pictures will be taken ;-)

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