Monticello - Jersey City, NJ
Nov 3, 2007
|Another crisp fall morning greets us as we awake; Walmart is open 24 hours a day, so there is traffic all the time. It was a quiet night though, but now shoppers are coming in - it is time to go.
Today we are heading further south to Orange County and the town of Montgomery, where we will be visiting the Orange County Choppers store and see if we can find their shop.
We follow Hwy 17 for a few miles and then exit onto Hwy 17 K. Beautiful country side, the roads are narrow, but the houses have large properties around them, no fences anywhere.
We see the shop on our left, but we can't turn onto the road, since we are too long. We continue on to the Montgomery Plaza, where the store is located. We see flashing lights on police cars, who are blocking the road, because a large group of motorcycles is leaving the parkinglot. We pull over, and can see Paul Sr., Paul Jr and a large group of people ride off down the road. The boys are besides themselves!! We find a good spot in the parkinglot and go inside the store. It turns out this is our lucky day; today is the day of the fall ride where people can sign up to ride with the Teutels for 1 1/2 hours and see the colours of Orange County. There are autograph sessions starting at 1 pm - the boys cannot wipe the grin off their faces!!
The store has every bike on display they have built on their show; it is really neat to see these bikes in real life. One can appreciate the workmanship in these bikes, even if you are not into bikes or like to ride them. The work is unbelievable, all the intricate details you don't really see on tv. Sandra makes sure there is a picture of each bike; the tv screens show episodes of the tv show. We spend at least 1 hour looking at all the things in the store and then decide to unhook the truck so we can drive to the shop and take a picture there. Because of the cold weather, the truck will not start, so we have to hook up the motorhome batteries to the truck batteries and wait a while before it will turn over. The last 2 days we have not run the truck much, and we have not been able to plug it in at night; the cold weather is not helping. While we wait, we have our lunch and after lunch head out back towards town to see the shop. We can see some bikes in the shop in various stages of being constructed, and take some pictures. We can hear the bikes from the ride coming back and head back to the store.
Around 12:30 people start lining up inside the store for the autograph session, Evan gets in line with his book, Connor with his poster. Next Saturday they are opening their new shop, showroom & store all in one building, which is about 9 miles down the road. They will have one way glass, so you can see the building of the bikes without them seeing you.
Paul Sr. is the first for the autographs, Paulie (Jr) is on at 2, and Mikey is last at 3 pm. It takes about 30 minutes before the boys get their autograph and they want to wait for Paulie to come at two. Back in line, but he is runnning about 20 minutes late. The smiles are still miles wide, so they stay in line and then decide to wait for Mickey who is only about 15 minutes late.
We finally leave at 3:45, the boys are on a serious high!!
We get on Interstate 87, the New York Throughway (toll road) to get towards Jersey City, New Jersey. There is an RV park there that is open year round, which is across the water from New York City - and they are open, we called. The price for an overnight is a little steep, $60, but what can you do?
Connor programs the address into the GPS; it will be much easier to navigate the roads this way - the traffic is getting much busier here.
We cross into New Jersey; no nice signs welcoming you to another state.
New Jersey is not a very large state, it is 7,400 square miles and has a population of 8,4 million. It was the third state to join the Union in 1787, after George Washington fought the British in 1776 in Trenton, during the Revolutionary War. The state was named by the British for the island of Jersey; Samuel Morse demonstated the telegraph in Morristown, and Thomas Edison built his laboratory at Menlo Park, both are towns in New Jersey.
The closer we get to New York, the busier and crazier the traffic becomes. We can see the city skyline beside us; it is thrilling to see the Empire State Building and other landmarks you normally see on tv or in movies.
We all help navigate, read the road signs and figure out our turns. We have to drive towards the Holland Tunnel, which has 8 lanes or more going into it, cars are lined up at the booths to pay. Each tunnel or bridge into New York City has a toll, but it does not seem to bother people driving in.
We turn right before the tunnel and follow the road into the RV Park. The town of Jersey City has a population of 240,000 and it is home to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
It is a major manufacturing and transportation center which is seperated from Manhattan Island by the Hudson River. Each year $1.3 billion in steel, chemicals, soaps, perfumes, elevators and other products are produced here and shipped from here. In 1910, the Hudson River railroad tunnels were completed which made Jersey City the transportation and distribution hub it is today.
The RV Park office is closed, but the security guard checks us in and we can find our own spot. We pick one right across from the Statue of Liberty, which we can see through the boats that are on land being stored for winter. Later in the evening ,as we walk the dog, we can see it all lit up.