From 2011/12/11 to 2011/12/18

-- From Jersey City to New Castle, DE




The road tracklog 
from Jersey City to New Castle
from 2011/12/11 to 2011/12/18


After a night particularly cold I left Jersey City and New York City by remaining in New Jersey to visit Trenton the state capital quickly where of course all was closed in spite of a warm sun. The dome of State House shone of all its golds and the Barack having lodged the soldiers of the British crown remained quiet. On the way I made a recognition of Woodcrest Station –Park & Ride– of the train to Philadelphia located at about 26 km away from Timberlane Campground in Clarksboro, only open campground to visit Philadelphia.

State House

Old Barracks


William PEN, a Quaker, founded his colony in 1681 with Philadelphia as its capital which became the most important city of the British empire after London. His religious tolerance attracted other communities, Mennonite and Amish. The state knew a fast economic expansion thanks to coal and iron ore.


Philadelphia is the most representative of the cities of the East coast in the the time of the British colonies. It became the center of the opposition to England and the place of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

In Boston I had put my steps on Freedom Trail, here in Philadelphia I put them in those of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. There still I traversed a page of the History of the incipient nation told in the Independence National Historic Park. Philadelphia is the cradle of a nation. The emblematic symbol  is a bell which was hung in the State House in 1753. It was called Liberty Bell in 1830 by an anti-slavery group. Then it cracked in 1846. The whole of buildings which played a part during and after the birth of the nation is distributed in a park in the "L" shape. They were either renovated or rebuilt. I visited them all since they were accessible. Of course a quotation by Alexis de Tocqueville appears forward in the room of the Supreme Court. The focal point of the park is the National Constitution Center which tells the story of the Constitution, its Amendments, its role, its immutability, and its interpretation by the Presidents. Alas an administrative technocrat prohibited to take photo, only the bronze statues of the signatories can be it.

Liberty Bell

Independence Hall in Old Pennsylvania State House

Assembly Room

Supreme Court Chamber in Old City Hall

Alexis de Tocqueville

The Signer

Christ Church

U.S. Constitution

National Constitution Center

Then I walked the Water Front, the Benjamin Franklin Bridge and the Old City for smelling the air of the 18th century.

Benjamin Franklin Bridge

Beirut Lebanon Terrorist Bombing Memorial

Korean War Memorial

Head House Square

The day was still beautiful and cold. I had left my truck at Woodcrest Station (53km return away from Timberlane Campground) by making safe it against the vandals and I had taken Pacto -Port Authority Transfer Corp- for Philadelphia (22mi return). I should make personal comments. The first is a lesson of marketing of the History intended as well for Americans as for foreign visitors. The European politicians, in this time of crisis, would have been quite disposed if they had made since 1957, Treaty of the Communities signed in Rome, a sale policy of future Europe as throughout the evolution of the treaties. The second concerns the Founding Fathers, were very believer, they were going to pray in Christ Church, were not aware of the evolution given by time and technologies. The Constitution, put at the level of a religion, is currently put at evil by the opposition between the President and the Congress to read the articles of American Prospect, the authors, Chris Philips, Larry Sabato and others.

The following day I went for a long walk in Philadelphia from east to west to reach Philadelphia Museum of Art dominating The Benjamin Franklin Parkway creates after the Champs Elysées in Paris. The museum features collections of Asian art, works of the Renaissance and paintings from Europe and America. It would take several days to admire the whole of the exhibits items. Along Parkway other museums and institutes are present of which a Rodin museum closed for season. The day was still sunny and cold.


Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Mont Sainte-Victoire by Cézanne

At the Moulin Rouge by Toulouse-Lautrec

Open Road by Willem de Kooning

Gyrations on Four planes by Mark Rotho

The Six Elements by Magritte

Man, Woman, and Child by Joan Miro

Portrait of Marcel Lefrançois by Marcel Duchamp

Nude descending a Staircase (N°2) by Marcel Duchamp

Overlooking of the Delaware by Edward Redfield

The Orchard Window by Daniel Garber

The Old-Fashioned Dress (detail) by Thomas Eakins

The Life Line by Winslow Homer

A boat passing a Lock by Constable

The Burning of the Houses of Parliament by Turner

Panels from an Altarpiece by Masaccio completed by Masolino


Delaware is the second smallest state in the USA, its capital is Dover. William Penn bought land in 1682. It declared itself Free from British Rule in 1776 and separated from Pennsylvania. It was the first to ratify the constitution in 1787, "It's Good Being First" Although supporting slavery, it remained in the Union. Eleuthère Irenée du Pont, a French immigrant, created in 1802 a gunpowder factory which became a powerful chemical group.

New Castle

New Castle is a small city which kept the charm of the 17th century, my truck entered in repair by the Volvo dealer.

I give a short report of the intervention of Volvo on my truck. Initially the parts arrived well on Monday. Wednesday as of 8 a.m. a workman who within sight of his work was very qualified, dealt with my truck. The repair of the heating lasted all the morning to deposit the central part of the dashboard and the disconnection of all electric wires. The breakdown was the resistance of variation of the speed of the blower. On advice of the workman we changed the blower. The reassembly and the functional check of all connections were finished about midday. The change of the window posed some difficulties that concern the shoe which did not hold places at the window. The change of the filter of the washer tank of windscreen and the others were quickly dispatched. For a few days the park brake had emitted an odd noise during its use. I do not have the documentation of the device located at the back of my truck. By looking for the workman discovered an abrasion on the air pipe of the park brake, alas the USA are not in metric system, impossibility of changing the pipe which was cut and connected with a brass part. The noise of the park brake remains. The workman did not think of a serious breakdown for the use of it, without being affirmative. The interventions were completed around 5 p.m. I bivouacked on the carpark of Walmart.

The following day I was offered a fatty morning getting up at 8 a.m. Then I headed to Historic New Castle. I strolled in the streets of which some were cobblestone by considering regrettable that cars of the 21st century pollute the four centuries old city. It looks like the Old England with its red brick houses. I lunched at the corner of fire at Jessop's Tavern of a four centuries old dish! I stationed for the night in The Strand.

William Penn

Delaware Street

Court House

Dutch House

Presbyterian Church

Jessop's Tarvern


The day could have been beautiful, but weather was degraded very quickly and hardly I had left that the USB connection between the GPS Garmin 276C and the laptop broke and broke down it, the computer did not start again. I spent the morning to look for a repairer whom I found but it was overloaded. I was to wait Monday to know the diagnosis. In waiting I decided to visit the capital of Delaware, Dover, where I arrived in the afternoon at a Visitor Center. The hostess was very happy to have a visitor from France, she explained me the attractions of her city. The center exhibits documents of which a facsimile of the first page of the Constitution in English of that time and the engagement of African Americans during the Civil War. The night arrived quickly I do not have an other choice that to go to Walmart for the night.

In the early morning I discovered carriages under a lean-to building, information taken the harnessed cars belonged to a Amish community of the surroundings.


After shopping in Walmart and filling diesel tanks of my truck I walked the historic Dover. The administrative red brick buildings are distributed in front of Legislative Mall and around The Green according to William Penn's orders. I visited those which were open in this season and whose access is free, Old State House and John Bell House with an actor reciting his partition. Two museums were open.

Legislative Hall, 1932

The Old State House, 1792, & Delaware Supreme Court, 1874

John Bell House

The Golden Fleece Tavern

Biggs Museum of American Art features two centuries of American art, painting, sculpture, silver and furniture. It is not the odds and ends of the regional museums in Canada, it is very well arranged and is worth a detour for an overview of the American life at the beginning of settlement.

Map of the World (View of Leipsic) by Mary Putman

Pirate with Skull & Crossbones by Schoonover

Johnson Victrola Museum pays tribute to a child of the country, Eldridge R. Johnson who created the Victor Talking Machine Company known later on as RCA Victor His Master's Voice.

His Master's voice

At the beginning of afternoon I sacrificed to a visit of the Air Mobility Command Museum which exhibits indoor and outdoor aircraft having marked the recent history of the United States Air Force. In the hall a group of veterans played with an electric train at the foot of a Christmas tree. I found a bivouac on the port of Bowers Beach.

Veterans played electric train models

Still a lie-in morning on the port with a covered sky and a biting cold. I prepared the publication of my site before leaving this peaceful spot for Dover where I consulted my mailbox with the hope of a good news from the repairer of my Laptop Panasonic CF-19. Alas information was not reassuring.

Bowers Beach

I returned immediately to New Castle where I met the expert who says to me that on the one hand the breakdown was serious following the short-circuit caused by the rupture of USB cable of connection with the GPS and on the other hand he did not have spare parts… After discussion and reflection I took again my laptop with the repairer's promise he will send to me an email with an address of a Panasonic specialist in Washington DC, to follow. I drove again to bivouac on The Strand.

Bivouac in The Strand

For nomad on the roads in the world any problem assumes a dimension other than for sedentary in his homeland with services close by.

New Castle, le 2011/12/18

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