Archive for the ‘Ocean’ Category

did google street view capture ET in NJ?

Ok, this is coming from the weekly world news, so right there you need a saddlebag of salt to go with this story. That said, the picture taken by the google street van is intriguing…

The Route 9 Dinosaur

The Route 9 dinosaur is a landmark in Berkley Township, NJ. It may have started its life as a promotional item for the Sinclair Oil company, which used dinosaurs as their trademark. If the interview done by Roadside America is correct, then the Route 9 Dinosaur is a mufflerman.

At one time the dinosaur wore a covering for a carpet and flooring company, and now it stands in front of a home decoration store. The dinosaur has been beheaded by car accidents twice, which isn’t surprising considering how close it sits to the road and how dangerous Route 9 is. The owner of the building where the dinosaur sits had him rebuilt with steel and a molded fiberglass head. It seems this dinosaur will remain on the street as a landmark for years to come.

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J L Tree

The J L tree is so named because of the legend of Jimmy Lynch. He was a high school student who lived in Lakewood in the 70’s. he was murdered in a park in town and his girlfriend carved his initials into the tree where he died. Within a few years, the tree branches formed the letters J L and still can be seen to this day. If you get your car close to the J L tree, word has it your car will stall out./

Supposedly Jimmy is buried in a cemetery in Spruce Street. There are tales of eerie figures in white that haunt the cemetery.

I have not visited the J L tree because I don’t know where this legendary tree is. If anyone does, please share, thanks.

A warning on what not to do when driving in the Pine Barrens in a non 4×4

We drove down to Tabernacle, NJ, deep in the Pine Barrens to do a Jersey Devil Hunt,but the trip was not without incident. Whats a JD hunt? It’s an event sponsored by the Pinelands Preservation Assn. The partipants meet near the Carranza Memorial. There’s a camp fire. You roast hot dogs. Marshmellows are toasted. As the sun goes down Russell Juleg tells stories about the Pine Barrens and by the 9PM it is totally dark out. At this point everyone heads out for an hour hike in the woods looking for JD. I imagine at some point this becomes something like the Blair Witch project. I wouldn’t know because we never made it…. well we made it on a second trip but that night we were waylaid by the sands of the Pine Barrens.

We left North Jersey at 530 to go 100 miles on the NJTPK at rush hour on a Friday in summer. Seemed pointless but the trip actually went quite well and we arrived in the general vicinity by 730. We knew that as long as we got there by 745 or so we’d be ok, only missing the camp fire stuff. We would still make the main event. At this point I should point out that GPS units do not know the difference between real roads and paper roads. Paper roads are roads that exist on paper but which are unpaved and often not meant for travel if you do not not own a 4×4. Well thanks to the Garmin thinking that a trail through the woods qualified as a “road” we took an unpaved road that eventually wound into what appeared to be someones back yard. Real Hee-Haw territory. All I needed to see was a mangy dog and chickens.

We made a bat turn then headed for the Carranza Memorial. The directions claimed it was just past the Memorial, so I drove past it, saw an entrance for some campgrounds and well, its the right place it seems, they mentioned a camp fire, so I checked it out. It was a dirt trail, clearly useable by cars…. I go past a few families having a cookout, a few more empty areas, a little farther, a little farther, finally i say, “No, this must not be it, lets turn around.”

I pull off road to make a u-turn. My wife sees it is sandy. I don’t. She doesnt manage to get out words of warning before I hit the sand. Now this isn’t just sand, it’s more like…. quicksand. I go 3 feet off road and just come to a halt. Now the fun begins.

I cant go foward. Cant go backward, Try rocking myself out. nope nope & nope. I am buried. I take the lid to my storage box in my trunk and start digging. Both wheels. Rockrockrock. Nopenopenope. We have been there maybe 5 minutes total when (thats the sounds of angels singing btw…) here comes jeff and his Jeep Cherokee!

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This guy just shows up and says “need any help?” Hmmm.. I’m stuck in sand, and he’s got a tow rope and a 4×4. HELL YEAH I COULD USE HELP! Did I mention this guy used to drive for AAA?

So he pulls off road (and doesnt get stuck mind you) and hooks up a tow rope. He starts pullin me out but I’m wedged too tight in the sand. In the picture above he is running to fetch some boards to stick under my tires. In probably no more then 10 minutes he has us pulled free and clear. I know I would’ve been there way past darkfall waiting for AAA if Jeff hadn’t showed up…

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This shows how much crap I kicked up spinning my wheels. I am still wondering if I got sand into any intake or anything. I haven’t driven since the incident, but I did drive 100 miles to get home without incident so I believe I am ok.

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My bumper made nice smooth sand as I was ragged. Shame is I ripped something off from underneath the bumper in the process, a rubber cover. This happen once before (losing the cover, not getting stuck in the sand ) and I had it replaced. I seem to recall it was $300 but I may be wrong & I’m hoping to replace it back into its spot myself… we’ll see

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This shows how deep I dug in spinning my wheels.

so let this be a lesson to you all. Don’t be stupid and stay on road, unless you have 4 wheel drive!

Jersey Devil Hunt

The Jersey Devil was supposedly born the 13th child to Mrs Leeds, born in Leeds Point, NJ in the 1700’s. After having so many children, she didn’t want any more and if she had another it would be the devil. There are other women in other places who supposedly gave birth to the jersey devil, but her name, that town, and that reason are the most commonly known origins. Over the past 200 years over 2000 people claim to have seen the creature, mills were shut down, trolleys were supposedly attacked, and fire departments supposedly tried to knock it off a roof with their fire hoses.

The JD Hunts are conducted by Russell Juleg, of the Pinelands Preservation Alliance, whose goal is to help preserve the Pinelands, and to educate people about the area. They conduct many nature walks, canoe trips, as well as provide lessons in wilderness survival. JD Hunts are held numerous times thru out the summer and fall. The event costs $10 pp, and you must register in advance. You can register by calling Russell Juleg at the PPA at 609 787-3740. The hunts begin at the Batona campsite, located directly opposite the Caranza Memorial on Caranza Rd.

We arrived for the hunt around 7PM, and although it was getting dark, we still had an hour of light left so we roasted hot dogs and marshmallows and enjoyed the evening air and talked amongst ourselves. There was at least 15 of us, ranging in age from 10 to at least 55. Around 8PM it was getting dark and we got down to business. Russell Juleg, our host, stoked the fire good and began telling the story of Mrs Leeds 13th child. He took care to present the story as folk lore. “it’s not too terribly helpful to get hung up on whether not the JD exists. From a folklorists standpoint, a more important question is what role did the telling of the story play in South Piney culture?” Juleg explains the history of development in the Pinelands, and tells how the story may have originated, and how strange noises in the woods might translate into a “sighting”. He also explains why the story has continued to be told nearly two centuries after it first began being told….

The Jersey Devils hockey team are named after the creature.

By the time Juleg had given us a history of the JD and the basic history of the Pine Barrens, it was now 9PM and it was pitch black. Russell told us to put our food and chairs away and to meet by a big tree. “And leave your flashlights in your cars!” he yells. Surprisingly we were able to see quite well in the pitch black night, and we proceeded on a 90 minutes 1.5 mile hike over old railroad beds, past the Caranza Memorial, and along narrow trails. All along the way Russell told us tales about Piney characters from long long ago, and we kept a lookout for a set of eyes up in the trees. I won’t reveal what happened on our excursion, but I will say that at times it was a tad scary and unnerving, being in the woods in the dark. Course some of us were more scared then others, and that of course made it even more fun for the rest of us. The whole thing lasts about 3 hours or so, and is well worth the $10 cost. If you go, remember to bring bug spray, marshmallows and hot dogs, but leave the flashlights at home!

The remains of Friendship

The old Piney town of Friendship is nothing more then a few foundations off a sandy road in Wharton State Forest.

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LBI Wreck

This wreck of a sea shack can be seen as you cross the bridge onto LBI. That’s how I found it, out in the marshes. More pictures here

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The Sex Plant

They call it the sex plant because someone spray painted those words on the wall of the old building. I hope it doesn’t mean anyone actually comes here and has sex because… Ew. It’s ease of access makes it a popular place for exploring and busting out the walls. Note that the concrete cinder blocks were busted out with a sledgehammer. Smart. let’s knock down the walls that support the building structurally. Darwin Award in the making.

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Pasadena Terra Cotta

Henry Charlton Beck refered to this place as the Pasedena Terra Cotta factory, but I have it on good authority that he its real name is the Brooksbrae Brick Factory. Whatever its actual name, the factory burned down in the early 1900’s, and lately has been tagged with the usual graffiti. If you visit you’ll find two underground tunnels, with one tunnel having two levels. The tunnels are cramped (I had to crawl on my hands and knees) and are nothing at all of interest. It’s just a short tunnel about 65 feet long. There are more pictures here.

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grave of charles wills

As the sign says, it’s a lone grave in the middle of nowhere in the Pine Barrens. I found it because there’s a geocache there. There aren’t words to describe how I feel about micros in the woods where reception is lousy.


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