Part 20 : Marshall, VA to Long Island, NY


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The Trip

After we were finished in Marshall, we broke camp and headed into Washington, DC to meet a cousins of Kathleen's in the Tyson's Corner area.  Big mistake.  We encountered heavy, heavy traffic and it took about 1/2 hour to find a place to park the mog.  We finally settled for parking near the meeting restaurant, but due to height restriction barriers, we ended up driving over a few curbs to gain access to parking.  When we completed our lunch meeting, we left WDC for points east.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

In addition to raising llamas, our friends in Marshall also raised Muscovy ducks.  The ducks are used on the farm for insect control, but normally they are used as source of meat.  Note the crest on the top of the bill.  From Marshall, we headed into Tyson's Corner to hook up with Kathleen's cousin for lunch.

We had to perform unnatural acts to find a parking place in the mall.  We found an acceptable site with sufficient overhead clearance.  Above Kathleen's cousin Frank checks out the mog.  Clearly, it was not what he expected.

We got hammered with traffic on the WDC beltway despite the fact that we were leaving town at 1430 in the afternoon.  In Washington, rush hour is an all-day affair.  Our objective was an island in the Chesapeake to the east of Annapolis and to get there, we had a huge bridge that we would have to pass.

Our destination is at the far end of these twin bridges.  When we arrived, we determined that our guide book was a tad old, and we could not stay in the park we intended.  We did a quick area search and determined that the location was fruitless, so we continued east as part of "plan B".

Our new objective was a state park at Cape Henlopen in Delaware.  The drive was long, but uneventful.  We arrived at the park late but since it was a Thursday, there were plenty of sites available.  The park was in a coastal pine grove with sandy soil.  Our plan was to stay one night in the park, then catch the ferry north to the Jersey shore.

Our ride, the MV Cape Henlopen, was the namesake of the area and took us across Delaware Bay.  Since it was not yet the weekend, we did not have trouble getting space.  The crossing was several hours, but the water was calm.  The wind, however, was not calm.  These folks were enjoying the sun on the lee side of the ship.

Delaware Bay is big and the crossing took several hours.  Once we landed in Jersey, we headed north to spend several days with a childhood friend of Kathleen's who lives in Jamesburg.  From there, we continued north to meet some ex-San Diego friends, Terry and Eileen for lunch. 

We met Terry and Eileen at a nice restaurant in Watchung and had an awesome lunch on the patio.  Terry and I worked together when we were at Musicmatch.  From Watchung, it was a short drive to Mountainside, NJ where  we hooked up with a fellow unimogger Scott and Debra.

Scott and Deb's place had beautiful landscaping.

Scott had recently completed a greenhouse addition to his shop/garage out-building.  The whole affair was expertly done and visually appealing.

Scott showed us his super-clean 406 soft top Unimog.  He restored this rig and gave it the "full treatment".  Note the rust-free body and the bright colored winch.

On the rear, Scott had mounted a hydraulic crane.  The crane assembly is detachable, and is connected via the implement pins.

Scott's shop was the best and most comprehensive I have seen.  He had everything: welders, lathes, CNC mills, saws, drills, shears, brakes, sand blasters, etc.  Above, you see the industrial quality TIG welder and air compressor.

One of the CNC lathes.

Another view of one of the CNC lathes.

A multi-axis CNC mill.

In addition to his 406, Scott is restoring a long wheelbase 411.  The 411 was "getting the treatment" when we were there, and consequently partially dissembled.

We have a 411 as well, but our truck "has issues".  Many issues.  This one looks better than new and had been stripped down to the frame for restoration.

The air tank is at the rear-center of the photo above.  Also visible are the PTO shaft and the chain drive.  The chain drive was used to power an outboard generator mounted in the bed of the truck.

When Scott got the rig, it had mismatched wheels.  2 of the set were wheels with holes, the other were "pizza" wheels without holes.  So, he used the EDM equipment at his shop to cut holes so the wheels would match.  Then they were painted the stock color, red.

Scott had also obtained a detachable backhoe that connects to the rear mounting pins on the 406.  This assembly is fully functional.

In addition to the backhoe, Scott also has a "dirt blade" for the front of the 406.

Some brackets Scott machined in his shop at home.

Another example of fine workmanship.  Note the TIG weld and chamfered corners on this bracket.

From Mountainside, NJ, we slugged it out in traffic again.  Kathleen's GPS routed us through the very center Elizabeth, NJ (next to Newark airport).  The traffic was off the chart since we arrived at noon.  The portion we saw reminded me of a cross between Tijuana and a bad neighborhood in Brooklyn.  The demographics of Tijuana and the "ambiance" of Brooklyn.  We made the transit without incident, then headed over the bridge to Staten Island and then to Long Island.

The Verrazano Narrows Bridge is an imposing structure and heavily traveled at all hours of the day.

The traffic got much heavier as we actually hit Brooklyn.  It is such a PLEASURE to drive in thick traffic in the mog at 2 mph for miles and miles and miles.

From the elevated highway, we could see the Manhattan skyline.

NYC is all about big infrastructure: bridges, tunnels, railways.

We could see tour boats and water taxis on the East River.

The higher portion of the roadway allowed us to see the Staten Island Ferry and it's terminal on the south end of Manhattan.

The Brooklyn Bridge.

The Brooklyn Bridge is made of stone and steel and was quite a wonder when it was built.  Come to think of it, it is still a wonder.

I had forgotten about graffiti on the buildings.  This one was more colorful than most of what we saw.

Many thanks to those who hosted us.  We greatly appreciate the kindness and hospitality that we were shown.  Mi casa es su casa should you make it to the San Diego area.

Our plan is to do "family things" on Long Island for a few days and catch up on truck maintenance items.  From Long Island, the plan is to cross Long Island sound via ferry to Connecticut.

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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2010, all rights reserved.
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