Saturday, January 29, 2022

First Day Hike - Mid January Version

Way back in 2021, a group of us headed out in the the New Jersey Pinelands, scouting out a potential route for a First Day Hike.

Well the first day came, Patty and I were in Florida, and back in New Jersey the weather was craptastical, so the hike was postponed. 

Until January 23rd. A cold but otherwise gorgeous day.

Which meant Patty and I could join in on the fun! Woo Hoo!

Our fearless, mostly, leader Terry, and her brother from another mother (and father) Tom.

We wandered down old sand road. Where by old it means from the 1940s. Older than all us hikers.

At which point we turned down another sand road, provenance unknown. Spoiler alert: it's sand roads all the way around.

Except for this bit. The sand road was bisected by this watercourse. The logs in the background a bridge we, where we were mainly Joe, a retired carpenter who helps maintain the Batona Trail these days, 'built' to cross.

Only five of us were brave enough to cross. Our previously fearless leader was not one of the five.

And off we went down a sand road covered with pine needles.

Along the way we spotted the remnants of a number of Earthstars. A type of fungi.

Patty likes Earthstars. (So do I.)

Eventually we made it to the beach, one of many such along the Wading River.

Not your typical beach attire. That's Joe, of bridge building fame, on the left.

A picturesque tree. On a warmer day a spot to sit and dangle one's toes in the stream.

Picturesque in the other direction as well. On weekends in the summer it would be crowded with kayakers. Some of us hikers, myself included, have been a part of the crowd.

On the way back we passed by what remains of the original Evans Bridge. A bridge Joe had no hand in the construction of. At least as far as I know he didn't.  

We exited the woods just south of the aforementioned Batona Trail. Joe may have had a hand in the construction and-or maintenance of these bridges. 

We then headed back to the cars for a bit of refreshments, shrimp, a variety of cheeses and meats, yummy lemon bars, chips and dip, among other stuffs. And took turns sitting on Terry's accordion chair.

Image courtesy Terry Schmidt

A good time was had by all.

No comments: