Mylifesamess's Blog

Day Trip to the Pine Barrens

Posted in nature, travel by mylifesamess on 11/06/2011

Tom and I took a trip to dirty jerz to visit the Pine Barrens today. He’s been talking about going since he read in the paper that the General Store in Chatsworth was up for sale, which led him to the book “The Pine Barrens” by John McPhee. It wasn’t the most exciting trip we’ve ever taken, but it was a nice day to spend outside and with each other.

The first stop was Batsto Village, which is still recovering from Hurricane Irene.  It was a nice walk and very well maintained, but I wasn’t particularly compelled by anything I saw there, except the mansion that we didn’t get to go in.  It looked like it had lots of hidden nooks and out of the way rooms, as well as a strangely steeple-like tower which I think must have been great fun for any children who lived there.

It then took us about two hours and a stop at the still up for sale General Store in Chatsworth for directions to find the pygmy pine forest.  We took a short stroll through it, and pointed and laughed at the trees, and marveled that we were able to see for miles as we towered above the stunted forest.  On the way back to the car, I found a small, particularly compelling pine cone on the path which I brought home as a memento, which will go nicely with the shell I retrieved from the river at Susquehanna State Park. 

Lastly, we headed up to one of the fire towers in Wharton State Forest, which I thought was what Tom was most looking forward to.  It turns out he’s even more scared of heights than I am.  I attempted to show him what a pussy he was for only making it to the second platform by heading up to the fifth platform as if it was nothing.  I was totally fine until I looked down to see where he was and realized how high up I was.  It took me about ten minutes to actually muster up the nerve to walk back down, but I still count myself as being at least thirty feet less of a pussy than Tom.

I got a book at the General Store called “Ghost Towns and Other Quirky Places in the New Jersey Pine Barrens.”  I think it will reveal some new destinations if we ever decide to return.  I was hoping for weird and bizarre, but I think I’ll have to settle for interesting and abandoned. Which reminds me that I’ve still been meaning to get that “Weird Pennsylvania” book.

Sorry if this post is too link heavy for your taste.  I linked so much because I want people who are interested to easily learn more about the Pine Barrens.  Before Tom told me otherwise, I had always realized that there were large pine forests in New Jersey that we would drive through on the way to the shore, but I never gave them a second thought until now.  Maybe I underestimate everyone in thinking that they are like me.

Hiking to the Fire Tower