Right In Our Backyard

We always seem to want to travel far to see new sights and experiences and forget what is in our own backyards.  My Husband and I have lived all our lives in and around New York City (in the City’s own backyard, New Jersey), but I have yet to see the view from the Empire State Building or the Statute of Liberty.  This is a real shame.

One of our Backyard treasurers is the Morristown National Historical Park.  This National Park not only encompasses the City/Town of Morristown but nearby Jockey Hollow as well. The picture above is of the Ford Mansion in Morristown, which was George Washington’s headquarters from December 1779 to June 1780.

While Washington headquartered here in Morristown, nearby his troops were encamped at Jockey Hollow.  The picture below is of the Wick House which is in Jockey Hollow and was where General Arthur St. Clair made his headquarters during that very cold and very snowy winter.  (The Photographer, Dave, is in this picture as well – a nice selfie).

dave-at-the-wick-house-jockey-hollow

There are many nice hiking trails in the park as well as a one way park road which leads you through the main encampment area.  Close by to Jockey Hollow also lies the New Jersey Brigade Encampment Site where another 900 soldiers arrived during that winter.  At the New Jersey Brigade site one can find The Cross Estate Gardens.  At one time the house on this property was known as the Hardscrabble House – not really sure why, but the owners wife, Julia Newbold Cross was a member of the Royal Horticultural Society.  The gardens here include a formal perennial garden, native plant garden, pergola covered by wisteria (as seen below at sunset) and a pathway of mountain laurel.

cross-estate-gardens

The original owners of this estate Mr. and Mrs. John Bensel, who was a civil engineer, and built the water tower below.  This supplied them with water and suitable pressure for the plumbing system in the house.

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Remember to look in your own backyard from time to time to see the treasures you can find.

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The Garden State

This past weekend while I was driving a commentator on the radio was discussing the most beautiful states in the US and then noted the ugliest states.  One of the states listed as the ugliest (I think it was #7) was my home state of New Jersey.  I was incensed.  We have lived here in New Jersey all of our lives, and while I would never say we are the “most” beautiful state, I certainly would not say we are one of the ugliest.  In fact one can find beauty in all of the states if one looks.

 

But you don’t need to look far to see the beauty of New Jersey.  One just needs to leave the environs of the New York City-Newark airport area to find that New Jersey is truly “The Garden State”.  From rolling hills and farms, to the pine trees, to the beautiful coast line, New Jersey is a beautiful state and is worthy of its title.

I’m sharing some pictures here taken by my husband recently on a hike through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (oh yes we do have National Parks, National Historic Sites and National Recreation areas in New Jersey).  This is a lovely area where the Delaware River cuts through New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

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You can hike many trails here, including the Appalachian Trail.

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And some of the hikes are quite difficult.

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I just wanted to share with all a little piece of where I live and the state I call home.

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And finally the intrepid adventurer himself.

dave-and-delaware-watergap