Posted by: Mike | May 23, 2008

Getting back to nature

Well I didn’t get around to making that post about WoW yet, but today as  I was writing some journal entries for my American Literature class, I got really into one and it started to get very long, so I’ll probably use it as my second paper for the class.

I decided it would tie in well to the theme of this blog, so I’ll post what I have so far.

I love living in Florida. I enjoy the warm weather, most of the people are nice, there are lots of things to do, and it doesn’t snow here. I don’t think I could ever move back to New Jersey permanently, but I will always visit. In the 18 years I did live there though, it was mostly a great experience that I’ll probably not get to experience again. The town I lived in was very different from where I live now. Franklin, New Jersey is a smaller town in the mountains of northern New Jersey. It’s kind of the “gateway” to northwestern NJ(from the rest of NJ anyway.)

Franklin was established as a mining town(which in turn helped it become the mineral capital of the world), and at one time was probably a very busy place(for the time period), but today it is probably comparable to any small town you would find in Pasco County.

To a teenager was a pretty boring place, but to a younger kid growing up there, it was full of adventure. I lived on a dead end street right next to the woods, and when we weren’t playing around in the streets, we were in those woods exploring the unknown. Often enough we’d come across many different forms of wildlife, opossum, deer, raccoons, a few squirrels, and the occasional bear(in which case we promptly bolted in the opposite direction.) Being an old mining town, there were a lot of ruins and old abandoned buildings, and mines(which we stayed away from.) These provided additional places to explore, and “escape” from the “real world”.

Every once and a while on the weekends, my dad would take me and my friend fishing at Franklin pond(which was actually a lake), or the Walkill River. This soon became one of my favorite hobbies, and we began to venture throughout Sussex County in search of new places to fish. My dad was also really into trains and their history, much of which is a big part of the area we lived in. All around Sussex County there were abandoned “rail trails” which were basically trails where trains used to run. Along these trails you can find a number of different artifacts from the time when trains were a major part of American life. Some of the things we found were lights from crossing signs, the signs themselves, and an abundance of railroad ties and nails. We started off walking on small sections of these vast trails, but eventually we got into mountain biking, and so we were able to explore large portions of these trails in a few hours. One of the best parts about these trails was that the majority of them ran through nothing but the wilderness. Often these trains go past rivers, lakes, over mountains, beautiful open fields, or just through the woods. No matter where the trails went though, it was always an enjoyable experience.

As our exploration of Sussex County continued, we came along a place called the Big Flat Brook. Little did I know that this was probably one few places left in the state that was virtually untouched by humans, and one of the best fishing spots ever.

I’ll finish the rest this weekend. Time for Gruul’s!


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