To the Stars and Stripes

At long last, a long weekend. Though July 3rd isn’t a holiday I took a day off. Work had been hectic and couldn’t wait for this break. You can’t let a long weekend go by just like that by sitting at home and watching TV. Planned a hike to the Baldpate mountain near Lambertville, PA. Less than an hour drive away, we found the overflow parking had sufficient places left. The Ted Stiles preserve of which the mountain is part of, We found the blue trail and it was a good ascent over stones and rocks. About 1/4 mile from start, the rocks got bigger. It was a bit wet due to the rains the previous night. The trail was fully covered by the wood’s canopy of trees and that kept the sun from burning us down. The ten of us made it to the summit in about and hour where you can get a view of the Delaware river though it is partly hidden. At the end of the Blue trail, we found the white trail behind the preserve. The markings can be a bit confusing and even given the directions, I couldn’t keep on the white trail. We ended up getting past the buildings on the left and ended on a paved road. I still was hoping we will find the white trail. The road was descending and one of us thought we were heading back to the parking lot and so it was. From the lot again, we headed south crossing Fiddler’s Creek road and were back on the blue trail. This got us to open land and the view of the tree top covered mountains was spectacular. Only if it were fall, the colors would have made the view resplendent. With the sun bearing down and the humidity, we didn’t really stop to soak it in. The group was eager to find shade and we followed the Red trail to the woods where the path took us to Fiddler’s creek. It was totally different land

The brilliantly lit leaves caught my attention

reminding us of how it was several hundred years ago when George Washington surveyed the land at nearby Washington Crossing. Another half hour and we were back to the parking lot for a total of nearly four miles and just over 2 hours of hiking. While we didn’t tack on the eight miles we had originally planned, it was a good workout. We drove to the Goat Hill Overlook, about 5 miles away. From here we were supposed to get a great view of the Delaware valley, but the entry was closed. That was disappointing to say the least.

Heading back home, we decided to walk across the bridge at Lambertville. The beautiful town attracts a    lot of vacationers and given it was a holiday weekend, the bridge was a parking lot. Finding parking at the other end was tough. After walking the bridge which separates Pennsylvania from New Jersey, we hunted for a good coffee shop. We passed the Lambertville Inn after looking at it’s mainly sea food and meat based menu. Meharba, a middle eastern restaurant caught my eye. Lentil soup was excellent and so was the bread. Falafel sandwich and a vegetarian Ouzu was pretty good. When it came time for payment, I pulled out my credit card only to be told it was a cash only place. We didn’t have enough cash – who carries cash and that too when on a hike? The hostess was very nice. I gave her my driver’s license and said we will mail the check. This had happened to me when I was in Sweden. The restaurant host had been more untrusting and he had sent one of his employees with me to withdraw cash. Luckily I had my Amex with me. Today however we didn’t even have a bank card. I didn’t want to use my credit card to withdraw cash knowing I will be charged insane amount of interest on my balance as well. But it turned out okay here. Heading back to the car, we saw the vegetarian restaurant – Spring Vine. It had a good menu and I made it a point to come back for food sometime in the future.

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