Monday, January 2, 2017

A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins With ...

... a Frist Day Hike!

This year the hike was at a local nature preserve, a mere 4.3 miles from my home, but one I had never visited. Nor even knew existed.

It was a surprisingly nice day as we headed out down the trail. Our nominal leader is Mark, the guy in the red shirt. but he is a plant geek and was soon left behind, looking at whatever was growing along the way.

Not to worry, as it was a rather straight trail ...

... along a former railroad right of way.

Which is good, as it was not a particularly well marked trail. Although it may soon be?

Approximately 1.7 miles after we started we came to trails end, at the US Post Office in Birmingham, NJ. Which serves all 33 residents of this village, which is coincidently 33 feet above sea level. (I didn't know this place existed either.)

We relaxed and waited for the rest of the first day hikers to reach the post office, slowly increasing the population of Birmingham by over 100% for a short time (we had 44 hikers).

This is Terry (shown here with a 'wood duck' head she found):

She is the coordinator of this particular first day hike; Thanks Terry! It is one of nineteen hikes, one horse back ride, and one mountain bike ride hosted by the NJ State Park Service. Such events are held in all fifty states, and not just by state park services. Other groups are now getting in on the action. I'm sure you can find one in your area.


This is our third time joining the first day hike festivities and as is our custom, we bring food and drink to share at the end. As this hike did not have a nearby picnic area we decided to host the after hike gathering at our place. And while we may not have topped the population of Birmingham we did have a nice turnout. With four crock pot dishes, plenty of liquid refreshments, and a variety of salads, dips, appetizers, and deserts.

An appropriate beverage for the NJ Pinelands methinks.

It was a very nice way to start 2017.


About that 1000 mile journey ...

A couple of weeks ago we were at Whitesbog for an owl prowl for which Patty was co-leader (with this guy). This owl prowl was coincident with the monthly full moon hike (it was cloudy, so no moonlight on this walk; no owls either). And Patty was speaking to a women who regularly attends the full moon hikes. And this women told Patty about the '1000 mile challenge', where you walk one thousand miles in a calendar year.

And now we are walking.

And I've less than 997 miles to go!

(Wish me luck ...)

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