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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
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    6,936

    Default Route for Newton to Wilmington?

    Probably during the final week of this month I will be travelling from Newton MA to Wilmington DE (not sure of exact address yet). So far I have planned on 9 from Newton to I-84 (a bit on 49), and using the I-91 bit round Hartford... depending on the time of day I get there. Then pick up 209 through the Delaware Water Gap. Maybe follow that all the way to Jim Thorpe.

    From there I would like to get to West Chester and Wilmington - without getting on an interstate / toll road. I have looked at 248 / 145 / 29 / 100 / 202. Is there a better choice? I am not looking for the quickest or shortest. I just want to know if there are any routes you know of, which I have not considered. Or if I am choosing any routes which from your knowledge are always congested.

    And am I bypassing anything I should be checking out... anything which is of no great cost. (The budget was shot a few weeks ago!!)

    Lifey

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default In My Sleep

    Well, not quite, but I used to make that drive half a dozen times a year or more over a period of about 12 years. And I was an inveterate shunpiker. The basic I-84/US-209 route was my choice for daytime drives when I had a little time to spare, although most of my drives were made between 11 PM and 7 AM, my normal working hours. Anyway, after many trials and different experiences, here's how I ended up doing it. Stay on US-209 for a bit after you leave the Delaware Water Gap until it duplexes with PA-33 (When I was taking this route, that was actually my license plate number: PA 33) and stick with PA-33 when it splits off in Hamilton, following it to I-78 west. Next take PA-412 south, switching over to PA-212 south when those two duplex. In Quakertown, where PA-212 ends, pick up PA-309. As I recall, this involves some driving on un-numbered city streets, so check your maps/GPS closely. In Telford, switch over from PA-309 to PA-113 and then PA-29 in Collegeville, finally using US-202 into West Chester. For the final run to Wilmington, I suggest PA-100 down the Brandywine River valley for the scenery and serenity rather than US-202 which would be faster. You will end up entering Wilmington from the northwest on DE-52, Kennet Pike and Delaware Avenue. What kinds of things would you be interested in checking out?

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 07-04-2012 at 10:27 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Found all those.

    Thanks Buck. Looks really great! One query though, would you suggest I return to Hamilton after Jim Thorpe? I was planning on taking 209 all the way to Jim Thorpe, but could not work my way through the maze of roads between there and West Chester. Normally I would just hit the road, so long as I was going in the right direction, I would not care. But with the cost of fuel (and my budget), I'd rather not spend too much time heading down the wrong roads.

    Brandywine River Valley looks like my type of route. Thanks.

    What am I interested in??? gee, I understand now why people have so much trouble expressing that. Things that have in the past taken me by surprise and / or off the planned route are:
    A little gallery full of local art and craft, at the back of a coffee shop
    A sign.... e.g. 'The Centre of the Contiguous States'
    Artists (many) painting along the Great River Road - turned out it was a festival
    A house made of only bottles
    I know these are the things upon which one stumbles without warning, but if you have in the past, I'd love to hear.

    Lifey

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Next Step Over

    Yeah, the problem is that in trying to get from Jim Thorpe to Wilmington you are attempting to cross several ranges of the Appalachian Mountains across the grain. There aren't a lot of good options. I would suggest that you stay on US-209 after Jim Thorpe as far as Tamaqua and then take PA-309 down to south Tamaqua and PA-443/PA-895 west and south to PA-61 south. At Reading use US-222/US-422 as a bypass to the west of the city and I-176/PA-10 south. Stay on PA-10 past the Pennsylvania Turnpike and use US-322 to West Chester.

    Of all the routes I've suggested, the one I am most familiar with is PA/DE-100 down the Brandywine River, so a few suggestions. In Chadds Ford PA there is a great little museum built by, and dedicated to the art of, the Wyeths (N.C., Andrew and Jamie) on the banks of the Brandywine, and a short distance up (north) US-1 is the Brandywine Battlefield, a Revolutionary War site. In the other direction (south) on US-1 is one of the premier horticultural displays in America, Longwood Gardens. If you proceed from Longwood into Wilmington on PA/DE-52, then you will also pass by Winterthur, a former DuPont home that is now a museum of interior decorating, the Delaware Natural History Museum (my nephews and nieces refer to it as the dinosaur museum but it is actually best known for its collection of shells), and if you watch very carefully on your right at the junction with Campbell Road you will see a 'tree' that is at most only a couple of branches encased in concrete. Legend has it that George Washington tied his horse to that tree.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 07-05-2012 at 08:08 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Looking good.

    Buck, that looks really great. Thanks so much. On my last trip I took 209 from Jim Thorpe all the way to I-81, in the pouring rain. Had planned to take it all the way to the river, but it was not enjoyable in the wet. Sure hope this time the weather will be fine. If I feel like a change, I can opt for I-176 rather than PA10. Yeah! Great trip, but it is still a couple of weeks off.

    Thanks for those other suggestions, will watch out for them. The 'tree' sounds like just the sort of thing. lol

    What, if anything, do you know about Caernarvon Friendship Park?

    Lifey

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Not Much

    I checked the map and found that I have driven through Caernarvon Friendship Park and never really noticed it. I think it's just your standard town park with picnic grounds, ball fields, and the like. Its name derives from the fact that it's in Caernarvon Township, not any special relationship with Wales.

    AZBuc

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Oh! Drats!!

    Why do I persist in making plans. I can't recall when last anything I planned came off as planned.

    So now I am in Detroit after three days of little going as planned. Still hope to make it to Jim Thorpe, and down to West Chester and Wilmington. Meanwhile I plan(?) to make the most of the east coast of MI and enjoy some of the scenic routes through OH and PA.

    Lifey

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