Black Friday in New Jersey

November 30, 2012

--- Went to New Jersey for Thanksgiving to spend time with my in-laws and their children. Got up early on Thanksgiving, watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, had a good dinner with Turkey, stuffing, corn, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and gravy, and asparagus. The next morning I went for a ride with my niece around Cliffwood Beach. Their house is at the top of a cliff (hence the town's name), and Hurricane Sandy only took the siding off the sides of their house, but other parts of Cliffwood Beach were hit pretty hard. Down by the beach, the sand was like snow; a plow had come down and moved much of it to the side, and mounds of it were built up with no chance of melting. Trash piles were gathered in front of bay-side houses, remnants of their interiors as a reminder of the force of the storm. After taking my niece back to her house, I rode out thru Union Beach, one of the towns in the area most devastated by the storm. The Ye Olde Cottage Inn in Keyport was an empty shell of a building, its interior nothing but 2x4s and drywall. Getting into Union Beach, I passed the volunteer fire department, where a tent city was put up in their yard. I had thought these were folks who were unable to live in their house, but my sister-in-law's husband said that they were instead places where volunteers were staying while helping clean up. Ron's auto shop was not a place he was working in, filled with debris and twisted metal. The whale house in Union Beach had its entire first floor removed except for the load bearing beams and some 2x4s. After a sobering ride thru Union Beach, I found the Henry Hudson Trail and headed off towards the shore. There was a bridge completely uprooted and destroyed, but other than that, the trail was in good repair. I made it as far as Leonardo, as my 1 hour timer went off. I snapped a picture of my bike in front of the Quick Stop (as featured in the movie Clerks and Clerks 2: , got an espresso at Jersey Shore Coffee Roasters, and headed back to the house. I stopped one more time in Union Beach, to snap a picture of this Christmas tree: .

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