Boasting about my Garden State
Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Yesterday was a day without plans and we did something old fashioned.
We took a drive.
I didn't take pictures but enjoyed the scenery as I drove small highways and byways in my Garden State.
Lest you think New Jersey is all beach and party, think again.
Yes, we did have lunch in a diner!
The lower third, South Jersey indeed hosts beautiful beaches but also massive farms and the Pinelands National Reserve. A walk through them on a warm early summer day will bring you the scent of scrub pines and blueberries. There are many wetlands throughout, bogs of brackish cedar water filled with trilling frogs and of course our state bird, the mosquito! In my youth it was the farm and horse capital of NJ where I spent many hours of enjoyment when I wasn't at the beach or driving off road through hot pines on dirt roads. It's all flat land.
Central Jersey's tidier farms give way to suburban and urban landscapes as well still hosting some of the pines and beaches. Here the beaches stop at Sandy Hook, Gateway National Park. I get to live next to history as we are filled with places named by our Native Americans, the Lenni-Lenape, Revolutionary War sites (yes GW slept here) Industrial revolution marvels and a host of WWII military ventures. Saying there's nothing to do is not investigating!
Yesterday's drive was north. Not to Frank Sinatra's or Tony Soprano's homes but real north. Twenty minutes from my house the foothills of the Watchung mountains rise in rolling slopes. We continued up in elevation and away from "civilization" through the Highlands section comprising soft green peaks and forested valleys with glacier-cut lakes more numerous than I thought. The Kittatinny mountains hosts 72 miles of the Appalachian trail and I've walked some of it! I can't claim I've "done" the trail. I found a few more early settler sites under repair in conjunction with the NPS and plan to go back this summer when they are open.
Nice drive on a nice day with a nice guy!