A much too long hiatus from hiking and exploring outdoors in NY, lead us up the elevation of my home state; Norther New Jersey. More specifically we were destined for the Delaware Water Gap and the AT’s southernmost glacial lake, Sunfish Pond.
We opted to stay at in KOA rustic cabin on the PA side of the river where we could light a fire, drink, and relax without concern. The cabin was a charming 144 sq. ft. heated room with beds and a porch. We cozied up to the fire and enjoyed the quiet night and crackling of the fire…until or neighbor woke up. The were a rowdy couple who drank and argued passionately, fortunately for us after one of their “sessions” the man tipped us off to Promised Land State Park and Worlds End State Park, with recommendations to check them out.
We began our day with a hike Old Mine Road to Sunfish pond fantastic 8-mile round trip, following a creek for a portion of the hike. Hiking near water features always enhances the already amazing experience adding greatly to the soundtrack that is the forest life. The waterfalls are as visually beautiful as they are auditorily stimulating. It’s no wonder many people listen to soundtracks of nature, but we would rather hear the concert live!
The pond was incredibly still and serene so we decided to cook up our dehydrated
curry lunch on the banks of the lake. While the water was boiling something broke the silence and I heard the telltale sound of a snake. I hadn’t realized that Eastern Garter Snakes ate curries. We ate our lunch and packed out all evidence, leaving only our footprints and the faint smell of curry.
We completed our hike with enough time to explore the NJ Skylands a bit on our drive home. Driving down farm country we made a pit stop at the corner of a cow pasture, Amanda and I took turns feeding the cows and laughing at their goofy cow-antics. We tried to stop for wine a few times but were turned away due to either the time or an insanely high tasting fee. There is no reason a sample of 5 wines should cost $25 per person. Onward, we got all turned around and after driving through seemingly nowhere and a million house neighborhood we ended up at Beneduce Vineyards. Beneduce offers wine that rivals that of California, not present are the sugar loaded flavorless varietals that too many vineyards offer. We enjoyed a glass or three, a tasting plate of cheese and cured meats, and a tour of their greenhouses. A great ending point to a fantastic weekend!