On the early morning 28 Oct 2014, we waved goodbye to Homewood Suites By Hilton Newburgh-Stewart Airport after breakfast, heading for the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway. If you are a fellow leaf peeper, you will now be clapping your hands with joy. I can vividly remember the delicately pink cotton candy clouds, the breathtaking fiery sunrise sky and the glorious peak fall foliage colors accompanying our journey on the I-84. Sunrise is always extra special to me as I am not normally awake to catch its glorious splendour 😉 I don’t think you will be able to guess where we stopped by next?!
We made a detour to Matamoras in Pennsylvania to refuel! This is our other claim to fame of having visited yet another US State on our 2-week vacation after having toured Rhode Island and Connecticut. Have you compared gas prices on the Gas Buddy website before? Being smart and prudent with your money will enable you to enjoy the other luxuries of life. Crossing the border from New York State into the state of Pennsylvania was really interesting as there were so many advertisements for cheap cigarettes and tobacco by the roadside. You really have to experience it to really understand what I mean. And I don’t mean the cigarettes or the tobacco! 😉 Even the Matamoras gas station was advertising for cheap tobacco too.
In the US, you have to guesstimate how much fuel you need to get as close to a full tank of fuel and pay for the fuel first before refuelling. When you are in a rental car and you are not used to its unique fuel consumption but you wish to minimise fewer trips to the gas stations, this will certainly be an interesting challenge on the first few days of your road trip! In England, you are allowed to refuel and then you pay for your fuel, which makes life a little easier. It’s definitely one of the culture shock on our first US road trip years before. How interesting ?! I’ve spent a lifetime of noticing curiosities. You’d probably notice by now that I’m easily amused 😉
Having promptly refuelled, we crossed back over the Delaware River into Port Jervis, New York state. Do check out the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway official website for further detailed travel inspirations. The Upper Delaware Scenic Byway is divided into 5 sections, namely the Southern Gateway, Lower Section, Mid Section, Upper Section and the Northern Gateway. The City of Port Jervis is located on the Southern Gateway of the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway. Do try to spot the Civil War cannon and the Union soldiers’ Monument on the Orange Square Veterans’ Park from the car. During the Gilded Age, it’s the site of brass band concerts. At the top of the Union soldier’s monument is the statue of a soldier. This soldier, stunningly life-like color-bearer, was carved out of a solid piece of granite by Edward King. In his left hand the American flag and on his right hand, he rests upon his sword, which he is in the act of drawing from his scabbard. This beautiful park is also the very spot that the American author, Stephen Crane, had gathered stories from the Civil War veterans from the 124th NYVI, “The Orange Blossoms” for his famous book ‘The Red Badge of Courage’.
The Upper Delaware Scenic Byway is a recognised scenic New York Fall Drive, a hidden gem drive of a lifetime. Do try to catch the sharp bends of the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway. If my featured image for this blog had looked all too familiar, perhaps you had caught a glimpse of this beautifully challenging 70 mile twisty stretch of the Delaware River in a car commercial. I’m really pleased to have captured the characteristic twisty bends of the Lower Section. This photo is coincidently the same portion of the breathtaking road as viewed from the Hawk’s Nest scenic overlook, featured on the Lower Section of the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway official website . It’s also a motorcycle enthusiasts dream riding road ! Now’s the time to dream about which open-topped convertible or American muscle car you would wish to take on this journey 😉
Along the Lower Section, we also spotted a rickety old metal bridge by the name of Pond Eddy Bridge. So, being adventurous, we decided to give it a go! Catch the stunning blue sky and the fall foliage’s reflections in the gleaming Delaware River twice when you backtracked onto the same bridge again and continue your journey on the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway.
Do drive safely! The NY Route 97 is not for the faint-hearted! Be mesmerised by the many many hairpin turns and the gorgeous colors of fall as you drive along the twists and turns of the New York State Route 97, whilst cruising alongside the bluish Delaware River. This portion of the Delaware River is also interestingly nature’s border between the state of New York and Pennsylvania. When you’ve reached the Middle Section, do look out for Barryville, the town where Liv Tyler’s “Heavy” movie was largely filmed and its antique store. If you’re feeling peckish, your best bet is to stop by the River Market cafe at Barryville for a quick bite. Or how about an ice cream or two! Try their signature coffee called River Mud. It’s a strong brew! Also, you may be interested to know that the hamlet of Narrowsburg, the deepest point of the Delaware River, is also known for its vibrant arts and opera cultural scene. The Town of Cochecton, in the Upper Section, is home to the oldest surviving railroad station in NY State.
The Village of Hancock, located in the Northern Gateway, signals the end of our journey along the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway. The East and West branch of the Delaware river will converge at the base of the Point mountain in Hancock before making its long journey into the Atlantic Ocean.
Hopefully you’ve been sufficiently inspired to attempt this exhilarating unforgettable autumnal drive of a lifetime! Please do tell me about your Upper Delaware Scenic Byway adventures. I would love to hear about them too! Do catch my next blog as we continue our way to explore the hidden gem vineyards and wineries of Finger Lakes, New York State and then onwards to Niagara Falls in Canada. Till we meet again, happy autumn and take care!