For years I have read stories about the thousands of Red Knots that feed on the Horseshoe Crab eggs along the beaches at Cape May. The crabs lay their eggs at the same time as the Red Knots migrate through the area. Recently there has been a lot of alarm expressed over the fate of both the Red Knot and the Horseshoe Crab. The crabs are used in large numbers as bate by crabbers and fisherman. Over the years this has reduced the number of crabs. The Red Knots depend upon crab eggs for food they need to make it to their breeding areas in the artic. New Jersey has declared a moratorium on catching these crabs.
We were able to witness a little of this activity in Cape May. We saw a couple of hundred Red Knots not thousands. There weren’t thousands of crabs either. There were lots of laughing Gulls feeding on crabs and crab eggs. It was sort of gruesome.
Yesterday we drove from Cape May to West Point, New York. This was not a fun drive. The back roads of New Jersey follow trails made by cows or drunks. They are fairly well maintained but narrow. Their names and highway numbers change at about every intersection. You think you are still on CR 555 after passing through an intersection but soon find that the road is now SR 471 and instead of going north you are heading west.!
After finding ourselves driving through downtown Princeton where the streets are narrow and the drivers drive like New Yorkers we decided to get on the interstates. Navigation improved a lot but everything else deteriorated. They have potholes here that could swallow small cars. The trucks are allowed to occupy any lane and they do. And there are a lot of trucks. Very tense driving.
As we crossed into New York we found ourselves on a toll road.
We weren’t well prepared for this. In the backward southern states you can pay tolls with a credit card. In some southern states they even photograph your license number, get your address from the shared database and mail you a bill. All the tellers we met in the south wore smiles and were super friendly. So we weren’t prepared at all for the New York version. I handed my credit card to this lady who looked like she had sucked lemons all day. She snarled out, “We can’t take credit cards.” All my money was in the back and Brenda only had $100 bills so we passed here one. You can probably imagine how happy this made the teller. She did have enough to break the hundred but my face is still thawing from the cold glare it received.
Right now I am listening to a lot of small arms fire. Not from the teller. We are staying at a campground in West Point that must be fairly near a firing range. This is a beautiful campground and we are by ourselves at one end of it. I had no idea West Point was as big as it is.
Today we drove to Bear Mountain State Park and hiked up to the site of the town of Doodletown. This is about the prettiest hike I have ever been on. We ambled around one mile up and back in just under four hours. Not bad for a couple of old farts, aye?
Tomorrow Boston, Massachusetts.