After a night in a motel on the 1 and 9 highway north – my room had no windows but I did not care because I was so grateful to find a refuge from the lunatic driving, lack of road signs and enormous potholes that typifies the New York and New Jersey area. Lynn sends me an email confirming that she is expecting me that day to come over and spend the day. I give her a call, using up the last 5 minutes of my 7/11 phone card (amazing value) – she gives me clear directions and I pack my bags, heading over to Lynn and Andy’s house not far from the Red Carpet Motel.
When I was clear of the 1/9 highway, it was so much better, up the steep hill, past the assortment of houses, some with sidings, some faux stone. I stop and buy a plant and wind up the leaves and flowers up in stretchy plastic so that I can strap it to the mountain of luggage on the back of the bike.
I arrive sooner than expected and find Andy watering the front garden. I meet Desmond and Lynn and we have a relaxed lunch and wibble about Newport Museum to take a closer look at the great collection of Tibetan art on display. I am struck how quiet the museum was, so near New York City. So empty because most of humanity ignores Newark, rushing into the Holland Tunnel so they can wander aimlessly around Times Square in a daze.
Desmond, Lynn and Andy and I keep setting off the fragile alarm systems near the display cabinets and it becomes a running joke as to who would set the next one off.
We set off home again to play crazy 8s while Lynn, with her boundless energy braves the supermarket and Andy barbecues meat vegetables and peaches for our meal. Desmond off to bed, his brain now shut down from its intense days work we are left to listen to some records before we turn in. Andy, like Lynn has encyclopaedic knowledge of music. His specialty is Jazz, Lynn champions women musicians and vocalists on her radio show alongside many new finds. It was the end of a lovely day – it was great to see them again – time passes so quickly.
We all start yawning and I realise how tired I have become and remember the next day I have to take my bike to Long Island, sadly the last day of my 11,000 mile journey. I sleep a dreamless sleep in Lynn’s studio and next day hug my friends goodbye to face the grizzly drizzle and the Monday morning commuters.