- Around Town
- AMI Foundation Donates More Than 500 lbs. of Food from 6th Annual Food Drive
- QuickChek Opens Newest Store In Morganville
- Rumson Country Day School Celebrates the Class of 2012
- Ask The Experts
- Jim ONeill - Event Sales Director
- Ask The Expert - Harbor Lights Financial Group, Inc.
- Ask The Expert - Ann Hughes, M.D.
- Bay Wellness
- Bay Wellness - Don't Forget
- Bay Wellness - Physician Focus: Steven R. Berkman
- Bay Wellness - How Can An Ultrasound Help?
- Best Bets
- The Guide 2014 - Mancini Giuffr Salon & Spa
- The Guide 2014 - Paramount Oral Surgery
- The Guide 2014 - Shrewsbury Wine and Liquors
- Day Tripper: Dover Stone Church
- Day Tripper - The Staten Island Childrens Museum
- DayTripper: Historical Village at Allaire
- Fall Guide
- Fall Guide - Performing Theatre
- Fall Guide 2014 - The Art of Wine
- Fall Guide 2014 - Activities
- Featured Artist
- Featured Artist - Molly Gaston Johnson
- Featured Artist - Carol Bruno
- Featured Artist - Amy Puccio
- Gift Guide
- Best Bet - A&E Kitchen and Bath
- Best Bet - Gables New York
- Gift Guide - Monster Mini Golf
- Health Talk
- HWB2016 - Raritan Bay Medical Center
- Health Talk - Pietro Carpenito, M.D.
- Health Talk - Adnan F. Danish, M.D.
- Health, Wellness & Beauty
- Health - Absolute Vein Care
- Integrative Health Services at Raritan Bay Medical Center
- Company Profile - Center for Sleep Medicine at Raritan Bay Medical Center
- Holiday Buzz 2015
- Holiday Fun in the City: NYC & PHL
- Eat Beat - Holiday Buzz: Dining Out for the Holidays
- Restaurant Guide - Osteria Cucina Rustica
- Newsletter Articles
- The Home - Design Trends
- The Home - Monmouth St Tile
- Eagle Oaks Golf & Country Club - In A League of Their Own
- Our Picks
- HWB 2015 - New Reflections Plastic Surgery
- Our Pick: Golf Greens Fore U
- The Home Gallery - Ralco Builders
- People On The Move
- People On The Move - Arthur Davey
- People On The Move - Mitchell Remig
- People On The Move - Jeanine Doody, Two River Dairy
- Summer Guide
- Where Heritage Meets The Sea
- Best Bet - The Burr Law Group
- Our Pick 2016 - Hot Tubs by HotSpring
- The Bay
- The Bay - Welcome to the Premiere
- The Bay - National Stroke Awareness Month
- The Bay - Healthier Heart
- The Guide
- The Guide 2014 - Marlboro Village Pharmacy
- Our Pick - Gerald Peters Goldmine
- The Guide 2016 - Visage Hair Studio NYC
- The Home Guide
- The Home - Rysers Landscape Supply
- The Home Guide - Troost Bros., Inc.
- The Home - Signature Kitchens of New York, Inc.
Etc - Walking through Monmouth County
05/03/2012 - By Steve Froias
Im going to track rattlesnakes next week!
In Arizona? New Mexico? The United States Congress in Washington, D.C.?
Who even knew there were rattlesnakes in the Garden State except on The Real Housewives of New Jersey?
But it turns out New Jersey does indeed have its fair share of rattlesnakes, information provided to yours truly by a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) specialist during a recent hike through one of Monmouth Countys superb parks. I belong to a hiking club of informal and revolving membership, and we have made it our mission to visit every one of these green spaces on scattered Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year.
A GIS specialist uses computer software in conjunction with geographic methods to organize and display data in a useful format. My pal employs those skills on behalf of the State of New Jersey in service to their Division of Wildlife to track wild animals throughout the state, such as found in the woods or Pine Barrens -- not in Belmar or Seaside Heights -- during the summer.
After tackling the hilly Hartshorne Woods along the Navesink River shortly before the winter that wasnt, we recently embarked once more upon the trails and chose the Manasquan Reservoir in Howell as a good starting point. It is relatively flat, though fairly long at slightly over five miles all the way around, and a good segue into the outdoors after a season of couch surfing. And, I was assured that we wouldnt happen upon any rattlesnakes. It seems they make their home in North Jersey, perhaps because of its proximity to the Paramus Mall.
Still, for a group of youngish professionals in their 30s and 40s, a hike can be a revelatory experience. Its hardly Man vs. Nature -- or Woman vs. Nature in this co-ed group --yet revealing nonetheless. This is a group more accustomed to spending time in downtown Freehold, Red Bank or Asbury Park, after all, and at finer eateries and better barstools everywhere in between.
The first surprise should actually come as no surprise: the 40 year-old mother of three sets the pace. Right out of the SUV, the glam mom who traded in her Jimmy Choos for Nike cross-trainers charged ahead during our first hike and left the men gasping behind. She was quickly dubbed the Hiking Demon and looked upon with a mix of awe and angst; its tough for a guy to get a Guinness gut moving at 8:00 a.m.
Soon, everyone falls into line, although small cliques form. These will evolve and change throughout the hike over the course of three hours. What is amazing is the sheer volume of confidential exchanges that take place within each, however.
Its often said that alcohol loosens tongues, but hiking away from the world as away as being a mile from Rtes. 195 and 9 and perhaps two from the Parkway can be - appears to equally lubricate and so soothe inhibitions. I learn that one person has consulted a pet psychic in order to interrogate the family dog and gather information about a home burglary. One on one in the lead, startling details of the investigation into the theft of a laptop, television, X-box and assorted other electronic devices are revealed to me as seen through Fidos eyes and channeled by a gypsy in Pennsylvania via Vonage!
Its all very confidential (I wouldnt admit this to anyone else...) and the subject changes abruptly when another member catches up and the two become three and then dissolve into another configuration where no doubt other secrets are shared.
Its also remarked upon that hiking through Monmouth Countys parks holds out the promise of benefits beyond the salutary effect on the cardio-vascular system. Its also a great place to meet people especially attractive, in-shape people you might want to go on a date with!
The steady stream of vigorous hikers, joggers, runners and cyclists share a robust physicality and pink- cheeked ruddiness which compares favorably to the liquor-rouged, redfaced visages weve seen at a favorite watering hole the night before. Simply put, a lot of the people going our way are hot! The GIS specialist is noting every species of bird you can imagine, but most of us are more interested in anything in Lycra and sweats rather than feathers.
Yet soon, the end of the trail approaches and we re-form as one unit and discuss the urgent need for a restroom, as none of us has truly succumbed to nature out on the trails. Fortunately, the Manasquan Reservoir has a visitors center, which is not always the case in every park weve been through. In that case, the best place for lunch is usually the closest.
As we prepare to enter a truly frightening wilderness traffic on Rte. 9 en route to Panera Bread in Howell our endangered species guide reiterates that the one snake we have seen was definitely not a rattlesnake though the slithery denizen of the not-so-deep woods may be romanticized as such soon to give our morning some more panache.
Besides, he says Rattlesnakes shouldnt scare you. They want to be left alone and wont seek you out.
Im afraid of the ticks. They are out looking for you.
And then we are all satisfied that we can feel like Survivors million dollar prize or not.
Powered by eDirectory™