Alps' Roads Special - Brick/Wall Road Meet

Brick/Wall Road Meet, June 29, 2013

The idea for this meet started as a joke about funny place names to have meets. (This is not the only one I've done, but it's the first.) The joke was that with construction going on near Brick, the "Brick Road Meet" would possibly win that title. Well, I didn't want to take a chance, so I circled people through Wall to make certain of it. From a base of South Brunswick, I traveled several local Middlesex County roads to CR 571, heading east with a brief detour across the Ward St. Bridge in Hightstown. The fairly direct route was Monmouth CR 1, CR 527 northeast to NJ 33, US 9 south to Jackson Mills Rd., and some random back roads from CR 526 to pick up CR 528 in Lakewood. I did a little pre-meet scouting of Airport Rd. construction, since that wouldn't be a stop on the tour, and headed to the restaurant via NJ 70 through the Garden State Parkway Interchanges 88-89 reconstruction in full swing. Finding myself a little too early with the direct route, I looped back to Lakewood along NJ 88 to check out downtown. It was time for the meet lunch, which came with a stern but embossed warning on the wall:

Post lunch, we headed out NJ 70 to CR 549 south to the nation's only surface cloverleaf, using the loop to CR 571 east and gawking at the strange signs that never get more normal with each generational replacement. We continued east to Spur CR 549 and out NJ 37 to the button copy of Seaside Heights at and along NJ 35. We headed north along original concrete through some of the rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy to our first stop at the CR 528 Mantoloking Bridge and the stub of its predecessor. Our next stop was the Lovelandtown Bridge in Point Pleasant, so we continued up NJ 35 to Bridge Ave. and secret NJ 13. Finally, it was time to connect Brick to Wall. I sent drivers up Bay Ave. to NJ 88 so that they could experience the elongated quasi-circle at its eastern end, then north on NJ 35 onto NJ 34 through their relatively new intersection. We cut up to NJ 138 via Allenwood Rd. and parked on the southern stub of NJ 18 for a freeway promenade and the meet photo:

Left to right: Valerie Deane, Laura Bianca (needing 50% of help), Alison Long, Leigh Koven, Carl Tessier, Chris Commans, Jess LaBrie, Keith Thomas in rear (and possibly a Michael Temme-Soifer out of the shot), Scott Davis in center, myself in front (giving 100% of help), Adam Winkler, Oscar Voss, Anthony Costanzo, Michael Pruett, C.P. Zilliacus, David Golub, and Adam Moss (using the remaining help).

Once we had corralled our youthful energy and abundant hair, it was time for the last leg of the trip, back toward where we started by way of NJ 138 west to NJ 34, back south to NJ 70, and west to CR 528. We then turned down Airport Rd. to NJ 70 (which is why I vetted it pre-meet) and parked to walk around the work zone at Shorrock St. and the future Garden State Pkwy. NB ramps. We were right by the meet restaurant, but the meet wasn't done: we saw the work from above on 528, from below on 70, and now it was time to drive alongside it on the Parkway north an exit to CR 549. The official route returned south on the surface, though some returned via the Parkway south for more construction views. That was the end of the meet, but the post-meet festivities continued at the Lakewood BlueClaws just west on CR 528. It was so festive, I don't know how I got back after that, but roads don't count when you drive them after dark anyway. Stay tuned to find out what meet could top the name "Brick/Wall..."

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