Glass in Glassboro

This is the last week of Summer and it seems as though we have been subconsciously filling in these final days of the season with many adventures, though being blessed with wonderful weather and the time to do so is truly appreciated.  Our destination earlier today was meant to be the Heritage Glass Museum, as visiting Wheaton Arts and learning about how significant glass-making is in South Jersey a few months back had reignited my interest in the craft.  Many of the surrounding tows had their own glass works that produced items that were both useful and decorative.  Glass is quite an amazing medium, considering it can go from a solid to molten state, be re-shaped and then cool down into a solid form again.  Though I own far more ceramic collectibles than glass, I have been keeping an eye out for pieces in antique shops and managed to pick up a few.

When I was younger blue glass was a prized possession on account I had not really seen colored glass outside of trips to the recycling center, but in my wiser years I am completely enamored by carnival glass for reasons that extend beyond the name.  Then there is the fact that I have performed broken glass routines for many years in the past, which is one of my favorite acts to do as well as being one of the more dangerous ones.  It’s just amusing to be that some glass I want to save and cherish, as it has history and sentimental value, yet other pieces are just a bottle or jar that gets smashed and added to the newest pile of glittering shards I have been slowly building.  This was a lot easier when I drank more and lived with people who were basically alcoholics, but I want enough to execute an idea I’ve had for a while now, plus an extra pile to set on fire when I want to.

Anyway, this isn’t about my exploits in playing with broken glass, but rather about our afternoon in Glassboro and finding disappointment in the fact that the museum was closed.  Well, I suppose that one of should have checked on hours of operation prior to departing, but we do so enjoy driving when the sky is blue and the sun is shining that we figured it would still be worth seeing the town.  Though I feel kind of silly for not having taken a picture of the museum, though now that we know when it is open, I am sure there will be a revisit in the future.  However, it is worth noting that the building was erected in 1926 as a bank and served three other purposes before becoming what it is, which happened to fall on the 200th anniversary of the founding of Glassboro.

glassboro_08The South Jersey Museum of American History is also located down the street, which is something else we plan on going back for, but today we just checked out the abandoned movie theater that appears to be in renovation even though there is a tree growing out of the basement.  With not much else to see on that street, we headed down a different one and passed a cute little diner – one of those old school chromed out dining cars that has two other buildings tacked onto the back of it.  They had a decent crowd and even though I was kind of hungry myself, we skipped the packed diner and opted for a slice at the pizza joint on the next block.  While waiting for said slices to be warmed up, I was amused by the menu of fat sandwiches, as I haven’t seen those since late nights in New Brunswick doing the drunken zombie walk to the grease trucks.   The pizza wasn’t bad and at least had some flavor to it – sorry Philly, you tried really hard but you just can’t do pizza the way Jersey does.

We walked down to Barnes & Nobles after that, as it’s been quite some time since we have even seen one since we moved back.  Most of the large chain stores around here are Boarders or BAM!, and while they are all basically the same, books are books no matter where they come from and it doesn’t hurt to look.  Besides, having the opportunity to inadvertently scare college kids who obviously are still living in their little bubbles is always fun.  Apparently wanting to stand there flipping through a book about South Jersey history is too much to ask when you have tattoos, stretched ears and a non-conventional hair cut.  You don’t see me pointing out people’s appearances in a very loud and obvious manner in an attempt to belittle them and instill a sense of insecurity as a means of covering my own, as I am pretty certain that they would get upset and then look like the asshole.

Then again, I did get some satisfaction about putting my hands all over their precious books and then leaving without making a purchase.

2013_38On the way home we spotted this little park that we didn’t even know existed which happened to be right down the street from where my husband works.  It’s called the Willow Oak Natural Area and was a Boy Scout project funded through donations – there’s some plaque and monument in the gravel parking lot that had these details on it.  At the beginning of multiple trails is a hand carved sign that designates where the trails go, though there is no indication of how far into the woods they reach.  Since it was still relatively sunny out, we did not mind the shade that welcomed us as we began wandering the not so visible path, more signs naming the various trees and plants that surrounded it.

Not much later, we were getting attacked by swarms of mosquitos and decided to turn around.  Usually we are coated in bug spray before even attempting to hike through woods, but I guess the energy of a nice day caused us to forget.  We also seem to be out of the aerosol kind, as bugs haven’t really been an issue lately and so we didn’t even realize that.  Oh well, I suppose this is just another one of those places we will have to come back to again.

High Street and the Castle House

The afternoon started off with a suggestion from my husband that we go check out the Castle House, which is as one would image, a house that undeniably is visually similar to the structure of a castle.  Why someone would want such an abode is a curious mystery, and since we had passed by it a number of times before, he thought it was about time we had a proper visit.  Now I want to mention here that while we are Weird NJ enthusiasts and often seek out the locations discussed in the magazine, we also do it in a respectful way so that other people can also enjoy the random strange, odd and unusual things that are scattered across the state.  When exploring abandoned properties, we generally adhere to the ‘No Trespassing’ warning that are blatantly posted, since we are wise to the fact that people around here have guns and aren’t afraid to use them if need be.  Then again, I have never had such an encounter but I have heard plenty of stories and can only say that if you ignore what is right in front of your face, well, you might deserve having to deal with whomever put them there.

While its exterior walls are smooth, flat and somewhat grey, there are a few features of the Castle House that distinguish it as a unique property, particularly when looking at the modesty of the homes surrounding it.  The most prominent are the alternating high and low segments along the top of the structure, which are also known as a merlon and crenel in castle architecture terms, and the narrow windows that resemble arrow slits.  Yes, there are even bridges that connect to both doors that serve as entrance and exit points, though I have no idea which one is supposed to be the front or back.  Since this is an occupied space – and one which seems well taken care of – I stood on the street to take the photos posted below.  Showing respect for property, whether it is lived on or not, is something I wish more people would consider before embarking on explorations.  Not everyone wants a bunch of lookie-loos hanging out on their long snapping pictures and pressing their faces against windows, which is something I am sure those who act in this manner would find rather invasive if it happened to them.

Sine we were already in the area, we headed down the road for about five minutes to check out this abandoned house that had been mostly burned down.  There was yellow tape strung across trees in the front of it, so again, my photographing was restricted to a specific distance and I had to do the best I could.  While unsure of what had caused the fire, there was plenty of evidence on the surrounding trees and the shed that had also been damaged which suggested it was mighty powerful.  Ordinarily I would not be so intrigued by something destroyed by fire, but I didn’t get any of those smells associated with it either.  If it had not been for the neighbor across the road mowing his lawn, I might have tried to get a little bit closer, as I am sure the charred remains of the wood offer some interesting details.  Being on your best behavior is a challenge sometimes, but I do want to be able to revisit certain sites and do what I have to so I that can.

millville_03While the sky had been fairly overcast when we left the house, we noticed that it was starting to clear up and my husband asked if there was anything else I wanted to take pictures of.  Unable to think of anything in the area, he suggested a butcher shop we’ve passed before that has a giant bull statue out front, but he got confused as to which direction it was in and we ended up in Millville instead.  By then the sky was far more blue, so we parked on High Street which is part of the Glasstown Arts District, where there are plenty of galleries that host works from local artists, and a variety of shops and restaurants for just about every taste.  It is also home to the Levoy Theater which may not be as extravagant as the Broadway Theatre in Pitman, but this one has quite an extensive history and has been through many renovations to create the structure that is seen today.  We happened to come across a store that was filled with nothing but antique radios – something my husband is fond of and sort of collects – but they were closed and had very limited hours, though we will go back since the prices were very affordable.

millville_11After stopping in the book store that sort of reminded us of the ones we used to frequent in Philly, we went wandered down to the Maurice River and entered the walk that follows alongside of it, admiring the park across the way and the view down river.  Here we encountered several bums, one of whom smiled at us, and though they were not particularly troublesome, it was one of the first times we had seen any actual bums just hanging out in a park.  Then again, the majority of the parks we have visited this year are either state forests or in areas that aren’t heavily populated, where as this one is in a town where there the neighborhoods show signs of lower income residents despite the impressive Victorian architecture that dominates them.  Here there was a shopping cart sitting in the muddied bank of the river, random words scrawled into the painted metal posts of a gazebo, and busted out bulbs in the lamps that lined the walk.  On the bright side, we came across a large stone structure that was oddly placed and wondered what it had been used for – I thought it might be an old train trestle.

Another afternoon well spent wandering through a South Jersey town, taking pictures and getting to know a little bit more history about my home state.

An Afternoon in Smithville

smithville_03Located along Route 9 in Galloway Township, the Historic Towne of Smithville does not quite have the same lengthy history as Batsto, but it does offer an atmosphere of family friendly activities that will certainly make you glad that you took the time to visit.  My husband has been telling me about it for quite some time now, and when we learned there would be a car cruise there today, it seemed like the ideal opportunity to take a drive out.  His dad came along as well, which is always nice since it tends to be just the two of us and it is not often we all have the chance to do something together.  This also means that during the ride we get to hear stories about how he used to go there with his wife and how long it has been since they last went.

The oldest structure in this quaint little South Jersey town is known as the Smithville Inn and it dates back to the late 1700s, though there is some debate as to whether or not the structure was originally planned as an inn.  It is now a 42 seat restaurant which offers a charming and intimate dining experience, though there are several other places you can also grab some grub that range from coffee and baked goods to pizza and pretzels.  Aside from food, there are over 40 different shops and boutiques that have a wide variety of merchandise such as collectibles and crafts, arcades that house antique artifacts from old amusement parks and an old-fashioned steam train that takes visitors on a tour around the town.  You can also enjoy paddle boats, miniature golf or a round on the carousel that spins its riders right next to the lake.

smithville_05Our purpose in visiting, aside from it being my first time there and wanting to check out what it was all about, was to browse the classic cars that were supposed to be on display until 5 pm.  Whoever gave my husband that information may have misunderstood his question and thought he was asking about something else, as all of the cars were revving their engines and leaving just as we got to the lot they had been parked in.  Oh well, it was still a beautiful afternoon and there were enough still around for me to get my fix of nostalgia and whatnot, so we decided to walk around so I could check things out.  The arcades had piqued my interest when my husband had been showing me the town map, though I was disappointed that they did not have any games.  They did, however, have some amazing vintage machines that are as solid as furniture, but I was not interested in flattening out my penny or having my ‘fortune’ delivered on a card via automaton psychic.

There were plenty of interesting shops that we visited as well, such as Evermore Herb Co. where you can purchase just about any herb you want for the kitchen or your own well-being.  Inside the Candle Shoppe one will undoubtedly be overwhelmed by the numerous fragrances of Yankee Candles, though there are other assorted housewares available as well.  We happened to find some really lovely smelling incense and bought a dozen sticks – I don’t know why we haven’t done this sooner since I used to burn incense all the time, as I tend to prefer them over candles.  At Fantasea Treasures, I was enamored by the display of kitsch in the form of hand carved tikis, giant glasses made from cut liquor bottles and a large assortment of nautical themed gifts that were set beside quirky bar signs.  Could not resist purchasing a blue crab, as they had plenty of them hanging on the wall, perhaps to integrate into a future hair piece or something.

Dad treated us to a ride on the train, and I don’t care how hold I get, I will never stop enjoying amusement ride and see plenty of people who are in there 60’s and beyond having a heck of a time relieving their youths on them, so I am going to have my fun too.  There was a couple twice our age sitting in front of us, so that made riding with tons of kids and their parents a lot less awkward.  Basically the train runs a loop around the area of shops known as the Village Greene, and gives you a better view of some of the on premises lodging options such as The Barn and the Johnson House.  If you suddenly are struck with the urge to be groomed or pampered, there is a full service salon, nail space and barber shop that are more than happy to cater to your needs.

My favorite shop is also the last one we happened to stop in, and I was kind of surprised to hear punk music blasting out of it since the general vibe of the town is quiet in comparison.  Underground is full of apparel, records and artwork related to punk, but it also carries a significant amount of Jersey pride merchandise.  The prices are also much better than a certain store in Philly that carries mainly mass produced alternative uniforms, and I am always happy to support local businesses over larger corporations.  We were just browsing, but I definitely spotted a few things I would not mind going back for, as the town is open every day except for Christmas.

On the way back we stopped for dinner at Mickey and Minnie’s Inn, a restaurant on the White Horse Pike that has been owned by the same family since 1938.  There are not enough of these places, as large chains of the same old shit tend to dominate the highways that pass through all of these South Jersey towns and buildings that were once filled with hungry crowds now stand empty and slowly decaying.  The interior of Mickey and Minnie’s was covered in wood paneling, kind of dark and looked like it hadn’t been changed since the 80’s.  Our service was more than friendly and prompt, and the food came out on giant plates, so that made up for feeling as though we had hit a time warp.  None of us were able to actually completely finish our meals, but we were all satisfied and that’s what matters.

Despite having missed the car cruise, I would have to say it still turned out to be a really great day that I got to spend with two people who mean a lot to me, and I don’t think it really gets any better than that.

Apple Picking at Duffield’s Farm

Though typically an activity associated with Autumn, my husband and I felt that apple picking would be an appropriate activity to celebrate Friday the 13th, as there are only two this year and the other falls in December when temperatures are less kind in this part of the Garden State, which tend to restrict outdoor adventures.  When I was younger my father would take my sister and I up to a farm somewhere in norther New Jersey, where there seemed to be endless rows of trees teeming with apples that had been dropped in the middle of the sprawling scenery where the leaves reflected the changing seasons.  We were instructed to strictly pick fruit off the ground that was not bruised, spoiled or crawling with bugs, and then spent the next hour or so hunting down the best pieces.  Being children, I am sure we disobeyed the rules and plucked an apple or two off the tree when no one was looking, and eventually we filled a few baskets which were brought back to the stand to be sorted and paid for.  Many of the apples wound up going to my grandmother who used them to make cake, pie, sauce and a few other things, though to me it was a chance to be doing something fun.  Even if I was occasionally grossed out by the things I found on apples.

duffield_farm_01Since this was many decades ago and we live in a much different part of the state, we consulted Google as we often do when we are searching for local ventures.  First you have to find farms that even offer pick-your-own, as many just sell the produce they grow or offer a limited amount of crops that are subject to short lifespans, such as strawberries which were gone before the end of Spring.  There were none in the immediate area, so we went over a few counties and complied a list of the farms that had apple picking, then went back to see which varieties were available.  While not particularly picky about apples, neither of us are fans of certain types and wanted to avoid spending the time to travel if they were the only ones accessible.  This narrowed our decision down to just a couple, then mutually selected Duffield’s Farm Market.

The history behind this quaint farm and market spans over eighty years, family owned and operated which is becoming increasingly rare in a society ruled by corporations.  In the beginning, fruits and vegetables were raised on the land that had been purchased in the 1930’s, which went on to be sold in neighboring Philadelphia.  Additional land was purchased twenty years later, though there was difficulty supporting the family and that is when strawberries started to be peddled from their front porch.  Demand grew and a small market was constructed where various fruits and vegetables were available for sale.  Several expansions have brought Duffield’s Farm Market to the store that it is today, providing fresh produce, baked goods and deli items to all who walk through its doors.  They also have facilities to host parties, offer hayrides for every season and even educational field trips where schools and large groups of children can experience fresh scenic farmland.

duffield_farm_04When most people hear the word farm, they picture flat fields out in the Midwest filled with towering cornstalks and very rarely see New Jersey as a major source of the nation’s fruits and vegetables.  They would likely be surprised by the fact that we are ranked in the top ten producers of cranberries, blueberries, apples, tomatoes, cucumbers and sweet corn, just to name a few.  There is also a significant amount of vineyards that have developed award-winning wines, which is something else people don’t often associate with Jersey.  We have seen many vines set up in rows while driving through various towns and always see the shelves stocked with the local vintners brews, the Jersey Devil Port by Valenzano being one of my favorites.  Summer brought fresh produce into our diet, and I know that it is sold at the supermarket, but knowing you are eating something that someone grew in the dirt fifteen minutes away from your house somehow tastes a million times better than something that is sitting on a shelf.

Earlier this afternoon, we made our way to Sewell, the drive marked with the usual passing through diverse towns, ranch style houses and farm fields sitting next to industrial buildings and shopping plazas.  When we arrived at Duffield’s I was immediately filled with excitement and the urge to start snapping photos.  My husband went inside to purchase the bag we would be using to collect apples, and also had to pay for a pair of round trip tickets on the hay ride that would be taking us out to the orchard.  The tractor left right as he came back outside and the next one would not be leaving for about half an hour, so we wandered around to check out some of the other buildings.  He then reminded me there were animals, so we went over to the pen where they were being kept, wondering if we would be able to pet them.  That question was quickly answered when we saw the double fence, though I understand the need since not all children are so good at gently petting animals or understanding when they want to be left alone.  The goats were my favorite [though being a Capricorn, I may be a bit biased] and one of them even stood up on its hind legs to loudly bleat at us.

After having our fill of the animals [even having traveled and worked in the same tent with them is not enough for me to be keen on the way they smell], we sat at one of the picnic benches to drink our coffee.  Though it was not a particularly chilly day, apple picking is not complete without a warm beverage, so we had stopped at Wawa on the way to pick some up.  Finally the tractor returned, each kid with at least one apple in hand while their guardians struggled with apple stuffed bags.  We were one of the last groups to go out but did not mind since there were only a few other people, increasing our chances of picking good fruit.  There had been no instruction of where the fruit could be picked from, and when we arrived at the orchard, we were merely shown the signs marking the different trees before being told there was about twenty minutes to fill our bags.  For some reason most of the group went right; we wanted Honey Crisp apples and headed for those trees.  Unfortunately many of their apples were already on the ground, sadly rotting away – there were even ones on the trees that had dark spots.  The trees to the left had some better looking fruit, so we went over there instead and managed to fill our bag in about ten minutes.  Before getting back on the hay ride we stood under a tree and tested one of the apples, then realized we were the last ones in the orchard.

In all we paid a little over $20 for the hay rides and a little over half a bushel of apples, which calculates into approximately sixteen pounds.  Not bad for the first pick of the season, and we may return there in Autumn for pumpkin picking.

Belleplain State Forest

An awkward start to the month of September left us with the first weekend coming on its seventh day, though it was certainly one that had enough blue skies to lure us once more into the great outdoors.  Up to date we have visited at least a dozen different parks, several of them being state forests and every one memorable for many reasons.  While many other people across the country have adjusted to a schedule that includes hours spent in school or at work, we are limited only by the weather and occasionally gas.  It is the latter that aimed us towards Belleplain State Forest, which brought us down a familiar road where distraction caused a missed turn.  Thankfully there was a lot we could turn around in that became a sort of pit stop on account there was abandoned gas pumps sitting in the middle of it.  The building was closed, though it was interesting that it seemed to have been used for movie rentals and perhaps a convenience store at one time when it was still a station.  We even found a horseshoe in front of the door that was taken as a souvenir – it’s not like anyone was going to miss it.

After taking some photos we were on our way and this time made the turn we needed to get on the next road.  Half an hour or so later we were pulling into the parking lot and ready to take on the new hiking challenge that waited for us.  Spread across over 21.000 acres of Woodbine, Belleplain is filled with pine, oak and Atlantic white cedar, where the soil is less fire damaged than what one usually finds in the Pine Barrens just north of the forest.  Though there are several trails open to hiking, biking and even horse back riding, they seemed to act as more of a connection between the various camping and boating sites rather than a way of wandering through the woods without getting lost.  Thanks to a few useful maps and the fact that all of the trails are well-marked, we made our own route that took us from the lot into the forest where signs pointed out the various trees and plants that surrounded us.

belleplain-state-forest-14Eventually we arrived at Lake Nummy, a former cranberry bog that now offers visitors an opportunity to swim and fish, though there are no lifeguards off-season so doing so is at your own risk.  There was a smaller lake that we came to first which was not labeled on the map so I don’t know the name of it.  The trail we were on became a land bridge between that one and Lake Nummy, where a few people were splashing around the shallow end as we made our way towards the beach.  Since it was a little warm, I convinced my husband to wade into the lake with me – it was a good thing I had worn footless tights with socks so that I was able to do so.  It may have looked silly but it was fun so that is what matters most, and I had been trying to shoot a 360 degree video but thought my skirt was going to fall in the water, and I almost dropped my camera in the lake when I went to grab the skirt.  Next time I make sure that I have the right clothes on to go wading in a lake.

belleplain-state-forest-19With our feet rinsed off and our shoes back on we resumed the hike, encountering several people along the way who were also hiking or biking, passing by one of the many campgrounds on the other side of the lake.  The view from there was unobstructed by trees, the low-hanging sun dancing along the reflection of the trees in the water where two old ladies are sitting and fishing.  It is always easy for us to see why people are drawn to these places, even if they don’t offer complete solitude all of the time.  Here you can detatch from the material things that tend to weigh you down in every day life, where the sun coming up over the top of towering trees is a moment you want to sit and watch with a mug of hot coffee or tea in your hands as the sky changes from grey to blue.  Though the distant roar of traffic serves as a reminder that you are not entirely in the wilderness, the calls of birds also let you know that you are miles away from home.

Many of the places we have visited offer year round camping, which is something we very much want to do but recognize that we would need a significant amount of supplies in order to do so.  Plus I would want to be able to have the dog with us, and not every location is friendly towards pets so it remains on our ever-growing to-do list.  Our afternoon at Belleplain was still an enjoyable one, and perhaps we could return there in the Winter to try out cross country skiing.  Neither of us have ever skiied before, but we imagine that doing so on a mostly flat surface might be a tad easier than down any sort of hill.  Riding a horse would be another one of those first time bonding experiences we are looking foward to, but I am pretty sure they are only available to rent during the season as well.

Thirteen more days until Autumn and the trees should start putting on their annual show of colors, which I am prepared to soak in and document.

Corson’s Inlet State Park

For many, Labor Day Weekend marks the unofficial end of Summer, signifying the beginning of school for children and teenagers all across the country, while adults begrudgingly face another week at work while reminiscing on whatever vacation time they may have had.  When you grow up going to the Shore, laughing at Shoobies and going to the beach in every season, there really is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ time to be there.  In fact, I have been known to hit the sand in the middle of Winter when there is several inches of snow on the ground, or during a hurricane when the winds are whipping the ocean into a frenzy and you feel like you are getting a free facial.  For me, the day after Labor Day was one of those ideal times to make our way down to the sea.

With so much success in choosing our destinations from the map, I knew my husband was keen on going to the Ocean City area and searched for points of interest in its vicinity.  There were a few sites I checked out before suggesting the one I thought would be ideal for lunch, which we obtained from Wawa before fueling up.  Part of the route we took was the same as when we went to Ocean City earlier this year, marked with heavily wooded areas that belong to Estell Manor Park and the Tuckahoe Wildlife Preserve.  Houses appear in clusters, each one having a distinct identity from the other and set next to abandoned buildings that are overgrown and slowly fading away.  Familiarity is refreshing, but so is seeing parts of your home state that you haven’t seen before, and probably didn’t even know existed until finding it on the map.

corsons-inlet-state-park-20Corson’s Inlet is one of those places, an undeveloped piece of oceanfront meant to preserve the area’s natural habitats and diverse species of migratory and residential wildlife.  The sand dunes also act as a protected nesting site for assorted shorebirds and waterfowl, offering visitors the ability to observe their living and mating habits.  Or in my case, the social behavior of other people and attempt to be invisible but still confident, especially since I was wearing another newly purchased high-low skirt.  At first the trend was weird, but I now have three skirts and three dresses with this style of hem and I am really digging them.  There is no actual address for the park, so we had to use the GPS coordinates and felt dumb for not realizing we even had that option on our unit.  Corson’s Inlet is also a part of the NJ Coastal Heritage trail and an extension of Belleplain State Forest, though according to the site it suffered significant damage during Hurricane Sandy which prompted us to ensure we would be there during low tide.

We brought our lunch down to the very rocky beach, sitting under the Ocean Drive overpass for a bit of shade and privacy from the handful of other people who were enjoying the gorgeous afternoon.  It’s not even worth trying to remember the last time I sat on a blanket and pulled food out of a wicker basket, as I would surely get lost in thought and risk being stuck on past events.  Building new memories, ones that I share with my husband who had never even had a picnic on the beach before, become the focus of my energy and it is difficult to be disappointed by that.  We get to experience places for the first time together, and in this instance, found ourselves gazing at the same sea and sky as we eat sandwiches and watch people cruising the sparkling water in a variety of boats or on jet skis.

corsons-inlet-state-park-22After lunch we set out on a trail that took us through the sand dunes, which mostly acted as access to the beach.  Here we could see the damage that Sandy left behind, as much of the underbrush had been swept up into huge piles and pushed through their surroundings.  We even encountered a half foot gap between where the trail had originally been and its current state, which I have to say was a bit of challenge for someone with short legs wearing a skirt and tights.  Eventually we came to the ocean and walked down to the waterline so I could take some video.  A woman was there with her dog, who was happily barking at a ball and chasing it into the brine.  Though I would have liked to been able to wade in a little bit myself, we had more hiking to do and so returned to where the trail split off into another direction.  The plants here were as tall or even taller than us, so I thought it would be fun to shoot some video as we walked, occasionally panning over towards the ocean or into the layers of vegetation that seemed to go on forever.

The trail was not very well marked, but it was pretty easy to figure out which way it went, until we  reached a huge pile of sticks that seemed to obscure a sensible path.  My husband explored on that went into the woods, but it was not one that looked well traveled; I noticed it was possible to walk over said sticks where the pile was not that thick.  Well, there wasn’t much on the other side and we started thinking that perhaps part of the trail had been washed away.  The beach was still close, so we found an area that had few plants and just made our way towards the ocean again.  Here there were a few dozen people basking in the late afternoon sun, but we had been hiking for over an hour and were running out of water.  For some reason we were also being swarmed – and bitten – by greenheads, and just wanted to find our way back to the Jeep.

corsons-inlet-state-park-34Coming off the beach, we finally got rid of the flies and wandered through a quiet neighborhood, heads turning as we scoped out the various types of architecture.  Plenty of balconies and bay windows that are either pointed at the ocean or face West for the best view of sunset, where landscaped gardens and green manicured lawns are set next to plots of bricks filled with rocks.  There were also numerous signs advertising rooms for rent, which I imagine are quite affordable this time of year, and other indications that tourist season was coming to an end.  It took another half hour or so to walk up to the street we had turned down earlier to get to the parking lot, and while it was a hot stretch of asphalt, we did get to see quite a few herons that were fishing in the bays.

Before departing, we went up on the Ocean Drive overpass and got a great view of everything from one of the little fishing piers provided.  Though quite tired, we had an excellent time and may return to explore the other side of the inlet.