Cycling, 2017 Tour de Pines

VIRB_0072So while the story of my riding has yet to be published, I’ve been pretty vocal on my rides. From a casual 10-13 miles at home, through 68 miles in the Tour de Shore, posts to social media have been quite frequent.

The overall journey begun with walking, and the Tour de Shore as my ultimate goal. In 2016, and after my first few hundred miles, Pinelands Preservation Alliance: Tour de Pines 2017 (Sunday, Short Loop)my first organized ride was the Pinelands Preservation Alliance ‘Tour de Pines’.

I returned this year for the 2017 ‘Tour de Pines’. A rainy day, it appeared liquid sunshine was going to be in abundance.

The ride is long and slow, but relaxing. Normally averaging 16ish mph, the pace for the day is 11-13. A bit nerve racking at first, but soothing as time advances.

Pinelands Preservation Alliance: Tour de Pines 2017 (Sunday, Short Loop)Good camaraderie and chili at the end of the ride marked the end of a damp & wet 26 miles.

Next posts? Looking back to July & August at Tour de Shore and the South Jersey ‘Tour des Farms’.

-kris

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Cycling

Hello, world! 😜

It’s been too long since I’ve posted. There have been trips and adventures not yet cataloged, as well as a newfound love of cycling.

The next few updates will focus on those cycling adventures, but until then, here are a few shots from a 35-miler last weekend.

—kris

 

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My Favorite Picture – 2015

Minard Castle Ruins, Co. Kerry, Ireland

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A return to the Glencree German Military (War) Cemetery…

Meg really wanted to return to Ireland this year and was left with the task of planning the trip. I tried to limit my involvement to determining the flights, getting us to/from the airport (JFK is fun at rush hour!), and interjecting a few things I wanted to see (Guinness Storehouse, etc.).

Glencree Cemetery - From AboveThe first thing on this list was a site I visited previously – the Glencree German War Cemetery in the Wicklow Mountains. Spending more time onsite was one benefit of returning again, but what I really  wanted to do again was my respects to those interred here.

Glencree Cemetery - stone & crossesWhile the hallowed grounds appeared different than they did in 2010 (or so I thought, revisiting those pictures proved my memory wrong), the peace and tranquility remained. Mist was in the air while a slight breeze rustled the leaves. Sounds of the water flowing through and down a waterfall lent itself to an overly calming effect.

This is the final resting place of 134 German soldiers; soldiers that had either crashed into Ireland (as a result of flying over England), or those that had washed up as a result of a maritime incident. It is not limited to just those loses in World War 2, the remains of six soldiers from World War 1 are also interred here.

Dr. Herman Görtz (Major)There is one well known occupant: Dr. Hermann Görtz. After conviction and a 4-year imprisonment in Britain, he later parachuted into Ireland. He was again captured and served time in Ireland and was released from custody in 1946. Dr. Görtz committed suicide in 1947 out of fear or being handed over to the Soviets after being informed he was being deported to Germany.

While making it a point to visit Glencree may seem somewhat macabre, it is one of the few ways to recognize our past.

/kris

For more info, visit the Glencree Centre for Peace.

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Abandoned Ellis Island – April 2015

UntitledThree of my four grandparents were immigrants. While none of them passed through Ellis Island, the sheer history of this site made it a target of my admiration.

In 2010, Meg and I visited the traditional side of Ellis Island prior to a visit to Ireland. While there, the ranger made note of the abandonment across the ferry docks. It was only recently this was made available to visit/tour.

Save Ellis Island (www.saveellisland.org) is working to restore this side of the island. It’s because of their preservation efforts that even touring this side has become available.

UntitledHurricane Sandy attacked the grounds, but as those of us in the Northeast are, both the site – and the people who work to preserve it – are resilient.

As for my tour, I was fortunate in the majority of my group was delayed or didn’t arrive. As a result, only two of us set off on the tour of the abandoned hospital, kitchen, morgue, and (–captains house??–). While others joined us as we went, this “quiet” beginning was quite beneficial.

We began with a bit of history, Untitledranging from the purpose of Ellis Island and immigration, to fires on the grounds and the changing of purpose (island ownership in the 16/1700’s, immigration, Coast Guard activities, prisons capabilities, etc.)

As the others joined, we made our way through the kitchen and other wards throughout the grounds. The United States not only verified that the immigrants were fit to enter the country, but also cared for those that might have needed an extra “bump” (medically).

MorgueSadly, while numbers were extremely low, a number of those arriving in America did not survive. A full morgue (right), with freezer, allowed autopsies of the deceased to be completed. With the classroom-like arrangement, it also allowed the morticians to share the knowledge with their students.

StairwellIt was humbling to walk the hallowed grounds so many had once strived to set foot on.  It was even more humbling to know my grandparents had once strived for the same exact thing.

/kris

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