Tag Archives: parks

Gettin’ High in Jersey…Sort of…

This past Saturday I went with my folks to a park that sits at the tippy tippy top of the great state of New Jersey. It also happens to be the tallest point as well…a whole 2,000 feet. Citizens of Montana, Washington or Alaska may let out a hearty chuckle at the thought of 2,000 feet being high but for us, that’s pretty awesome!

At the entrance

At the entrance

Highest point in NJ

Highest point in NJ

So anyway, there wasn’t too much to this place. There was a lot of trees, grass, rodents, birds…ya know, the usual. There was a pretty large lake too but park officials had only a small section roped off where humans could swim and it didn’t look to appealing. There were a bunch of little rascals running around in 2 foot deep water and God only knows how much urine and baby poop were let loose in there. So needless to say, I took a pass.

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We decided to bring Bandit with us which in hindsight, wasn’t too smart of an idea considering we walked about four miles. I will say though that this 18 lb. ball of fur and cuteness was quite the trooper. Aside from a few times where the heat got a little intense and we had to carry him, he trucked it the whole way with us. This dog’s got spunk. Body of a Shih-Tzu, heart of a Lion.

He's a champ

He's a champ

So, after a three or so mile slightly uphill trek, we reached the point where we could actually see the famous (or not so famous) Washington-look-alike monument. After another mile, we finally reach the top of this hill to realize that we had to climb about 300 steps, give or take, up the most humid, wet, stuffy and uncomfortable man-made monument known to human-kind. My Dad and I went up first and the higher up we got, the worse my anxiety became. I could feel the air getting thinner and more humid and along with the claustrophobia, it made for an unenjoyable climb. We get to the top of this damned concrete monument only to find a pretty disappointing dungeon with a few foggy windows to look out of it. It was certainly not worth the effort in my opinion.

If this doesn't make you queazy, nothing will.

If this doesn't make you queazy, nothing will.

The view from the top

The view from the top

Overall though, not a bad time. I had fun with the parents and my dog and it provided some good, old quality time. Yeah, yeah call me corny if you want.

Here are some random shots for your enjoyment, including some cool fish-eye shots.

I saved this little guy from sure death

I saved this little guy from sure death

 

Stairs to nowhere?

Stairs to nowhere?

Lone flowers

Lone flowers

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Monmouth Battlefield State Park

This past Friday (8/7/09) I went with the girlfriend to Monmouth Battlefield in Manalapan, NJ to take in the sights and test out my spiffy new Nikon camera. It was a gorgeous day all around so I can’t complain. I’m loving the camera so far but I still have alot to learn…

To be completely honest, this park is amazing…a true hidden gem. For one, it’s free. Two, the views are second-to-none. Three, IT’S EMPTY. I can count on one hand the number of bodies that I saw throughout this 2,928 acre piece of majestic earth. The views are uninhibited and allow you to see for miles. The lands maintain a nice balance between being manicured and being rugged. The farm land is pristine and for the most part, untouched which is rare for the state of New Jersey. There are some remote trails as well and when you walk through them, you instantly get transported to a lush and seemingly tropical locale where plants, flowers and wildlife abound.

It was a nice change from the hustle and bustle of everyday New Jersey life. It’s clear to me that many people don’t know about this natural escape…and to a point, it would be nice if it stayed that way… unspoiled, untampered beauty.  So if you’re reading this, SHHHHH…

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