Monday, February 11, 2019

Franklin Parker Preserve, The Red Trail



 Good Monday morning to you. The post you are about to read I wrote last Monday, then I got busy and never posted it. By busy I mean I needed to get a quilt top finished, and another quilt started, and get everything put away, as well as get the house spic and span before the weekend. Because I celebrated 60 birthdays this weekend and we threw a party. Thats a story for another time. Today however I hope you enjoy my walk with Jill.


 Sunday I took a walk with Jill, we went back to the Franklin Parker Preserve because I was so intrigued with what I had seen and even more by what I read about the trails in the Preserve, especially the Red Trail. I just had to get back there and do some more exploring.
  These days walks with Jill are a special treat. She is in the fight for life, and I mean that literally, so sometimes the fight makes her too tired and weak to take the walks we use to. Sunday I gave her a call and she was feeling like walking, so off we went.
   We both brought our cameras, and a happy excitement to be hanging out with each other. I had no intention of making a blog out of this walk because,1) It was after all 2 friends hanging out, and 2) Just how many post can you make about the Pine Barrens, not to mention the same preserve, I already wrote about. Then we walked one of the coolest trail I have ever been on. 

     When you stand in the parking lot facing the gate to the green trail, the 2 entrances for the red trail are on your left and right. Bill and I went to the left, and found a trail that was low key and easy, more like a path. Jill and I went in on the right and found the exact opposite in every way much to our pleasure.



  The red trail is rugged and at times confusing. I didn't know while we were walking but some of the unique sights we saw were because we were walking in old cranberry bogs that had been restored back to their natural wetlands. Walking along the floor of an actual bog is completely amazing, even when you don't know that's what your doing. 

 The confusing part of the trail were all the twist and turns. At one point we thought it was just turning us back around to go back the way we had come, but nope, it turned us around and then sent us to the right. The trail got even more interesting after that. We walked around old bogs still full of water, some of them frozen, some over flowing onto the trail. We were so thankful for the great tagging on the trail, getting lost could easily happen. There were times when we had no idea which way to go, because the trail doesn't even look like a trail.  without those markers we might still be out there.We traveled up and down slopes and gentle hills, on paths almost too small to be a path, and around twisting  curves, and at every twist there was, was another sight that stopped us in our tracks and took our breath away. 



Then there were the foot bridges.
   One foot bridge looked like a bridge, the others not so much. I am going to let the pictures do the talking. I am missing 2 of the bridges, because Jill took those pictures and I don't have them, but I am sure you will get the idea.



  We did almost the full 5 miles of the red trail, when we got to the spot where the green and red trail meet up, we chose the green trail, a shorter and much easier walk with the wind at our backs. The sights on the green trail are beautiful too, and the trail is more like a road making the walking a whole lot smoother.


     We were both invigorated and satisfied when we got home, and ready for a nap. 
        Have a wonderful day, and keep on walking.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Franklin Parker Preserve and Lucille's in the Pine Lands



 Yesterday was bright and clear, and almost warm. A perfect day to go exploring. And exploring we did. 
   I am in search of a rare type of robin that I saw a photo of on line. A Piebald Robin is the birds name, there is a little bit of the red belly but the back feathers are a patchy mix of grey and white. I think it is very cool looking, exotic but not. So of course I want a picture of this bird for my own. I asked the photographer where she got here photos at, and she gave me good exact directions to where she had been seeing the birds at. 
Piebald Robin
      I showed Bill the direction and of course he knew right where to go. ( SHHHH don't tell Bill but I can't go out in the Pines without him. I would be so lost.) Between the rain and things we just had to do we didn't get to go until yesterday. 
   As I already mentioned yesterday was perfect to be in the woods, and much to my surprise and delight yesterday we walked the red trail.

 It is a long trial about 5 miles, so we didn't do it all.We did about a mile and a half of it, and That was just fine. The mile and a half offered up so much to see. We saw frozen swamps, swamps bathed in sunshine where it could squeeze in between the trees. There were cranberry bogs, more abandoned RR tracks, even a few deer ran across our path. 
    
















   What we didn't see were birds, didn't hear any either. That is until almost end of the trail, well, actually the beginning of the trail because we had flipped around onto the green trail to go back to the car. There, just after the deer had crossed in front of us, way up in the sky I saw two birds flying, they landed in the tree at the very tip top for the shortest second I've ever seen. With no real hope of capturing whatever kind of bird it was I pointed and fired anyway. With in less than seconds of me pushing the button the birds were gone. I walked on thinking I got nothing and I didn't give it another thought. I will be returning soon to this same spot, because while the photo is blurry( and I won't be sharing it)we can make out enough of the body shape and beak size to make both Bill and I believe that I did indeed find the bird. The birds were right in the area the photographer said she had seen them.Making me believe this is there hang out, so I will try again very soon. 
   The trail itself was amazing, first we walked on a bed of pine needles, then it turned into white sand,( hard packed so easy for walking) and then it became red clay, then back to sand.




 It felt like we had visited at least two different states, instead of walking one trail. I want to go back and finish the red trail, after researching it a little the entire trial is worth the exercise. I am just waiting for a day that Jill is free and feels up to it.
    After our wonderful walk we crossed over to Chatsworth Lake just to look around and got the surprise of a life time, when Getty went in the water to fetch a stick. First of all Getty has never really fetched, secondly he has always stopped short of going into the water. 




A camera malfunction caused me to lose the winning photo of him bringing back the stick. Thats okay because I saw it and it is in my memory.
  Then we did a drive about.







   Please don't ask me where I was because I really and truly don't know. Sometimes we were in the Franklin Parker Preserve and sometimes Bass River state park, Penn State Park, and out by Simms Place. What I do know is when we came out of the woods, and Bill asked which way,  I knew which way to point to take us to Lucille's.

 Lucille's is one of my most favorite places to eat. I like to go there for the interesting decor as well as the extremely good food. I have yet to order something I didn't like. We pick our times carefully because that place is pretty much packed all the time. We try to go on off times so we will for sure get a table. The locals love this place so it is always hopping. I love to just sit there quietly listening to everyone interact with each other. It kind of washes over you and makes you feel warm and comfortable. 






We left Lucille's full and happy.
  I got what I call my shot of the day, on my very last photo of the day, and it truly was a lucky shot. We were driving down one dirt road or another when I spotted a deer grazing. I got Bill to stop and I snuck out of the car as quietly as I possibly could and crept up as close as I dared, and took my one and only shot, because as soon as I raised the camera she was off and running. 
  

  All in all I couldn't ask for a better day. Every time I go exploring in the Pines I just find myself in awe of all it has to offer. I can't wait to do it again.
  Have a wonderful day,I hope you enjoyed my walk and drive about.