We were driving on Route 287 to southern New Jersey. As soon as we hit Route 206 we’d be on our way to spending a perfect day in Lambertville: one of our favorite places to stroll, meander in and out of art galleries, and walk along the Delaware Canal where barges, pulled by mules, used to pull boats through the canal.
The first sign causing a double take was a street called “Dory Dilts Road.” I know it’s not polite to laugh, I thought, But I am very happy that I don’t live on “Dory Dilts Road.” Not only that, but I am extremely grateful that I wasn’t born with a name like Dory Dilts. Can you imagine the teasing that poor child must have endured at school?
A few miles down the road was the exit sign for the State park. That brings back memories. That State Park was the site of the Old English Sheepdog Dog Show, where we went for a fun afternoon one summer and came home with a new Old English Sheepdog puppy. I remember that whenever anyone asked what kind of dog an Old English sheepdog was I explained, “The one in Disney movies whose fur always falls over its eyes,” and they immediately visualized the dog I meant.
Onward towards Lambertville we passed the exit to Flemington. It took will power to keep driving and not detour for a quick stop at their many outlet shops. Who can’t resist a bargain, and the Flemington shops are famous for their bargains on clothing, shoes and kitchen ware. But shopping was a different mindset from strolling the barge walks and visualizing donkeys pulling the barges through the canal.
The drive to Lambertville was fraught with temptations, and was difficult to stay focused on the goal. That’s because next on the road was the Amish Food market, where Amish farmers bring home baked goods, meat specialties, home made pickles (have you ever tasted “pickled baby beets”) and other wonders designed to make the mouth water. And they do whether we stop or stay the course, resist temptation and keep driving.
Deprived but determined we reach our destination. What a beautiful afternoon to be out in the country! The Delaware River was full of graceful sailboats and fishing boats, the colors in the canal were sparkling, and the dirt path alongside was unspoiled and uncrowded. We meandered in and out of the many art galleries in town, and completed the day with a lovely dinner in a restaurant alongside the canal.
We were glad not to have succombed to the temptations along that road on Route 287 south, and to have left all those exits as old memories.