nature

Adventure time: Washington Crossing State Park

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I decided to keep the ball rolling yesterday on my adventuring, and decided to take myself out to a state park. To get out, enjoy the nice weather, and just have some fun. I had. I where in particular to go, so I went to google, and did a quick search on state parks. One of the hits was to Washington State Park, which was not too far from me. So off I went. To where George Washington is said to have crossed the Delaware to come into Trenton, during the revolution. 

Upon arriving I went to the little museum to check out history. It’s always so neat to see such things. I am very fond of those old time periods. Where life was simple. I enjoy those simpler times. There is just a majestic beauty it. Don’t get my wrong, I would never survive back then. I enjoy the luxuries that we all take for granted today, such as air conditioner. I would be a hot mess without it. Let alone the advancements we have in medicine today, over what they used for surgery back then. No thank you. Sadly, I was not able to take pictures inside the museum. All that I saw, will be a memory for ever. Or until I lose my memory. Which ever comes first. 

There was plenty of paths to take. I passed a couple buildings, but sadly they were not open. Until eventually I came across the place where the crossing happening. There is a lovely bridge you can take, that takes you over the road and down to the water. 


And there it was, the famous crossing site of George Washington… I think they may have exaggerated the story some over the years. I’m no Michael Phelps but I think I can cross that little bit of water quite easily. I kid of course. I am told that was just a little canal. I canal believe it myself. See what I did there? Puns are fun, or should I say puny? No?! Moving on. 

Right past that little canal was much more water, which I assume is the actual place he crossed. Maybe. I wasn’t there back then so I have no clue where he exactly passed. The sign said it was 13 miles, all the way around it, and I wasn’t that interested to see it, to walk that. So I went about my way and kept walking, and enjoyed the rest of my day outside in the sun, and having fun. 


Before heading back home, after a fun filled weekend of adventuring. Before going to Barnes And Noble and picking up a stuffed Totoro. Just because. If you have never seen My Neighbor Totoro, I highly recommend it. Or any Studio Ghibli film. And no, I am not too old for toys, or stuffed animals for that matter. He know guards me while I sleep. It’s the simple things in life that make me smile. 

That’s it for this weekends adventures hopefully next weekend I can get out and adventure somewhere else. It was nice to get out and adventure and go to new places I’ve never beje before. As well as see a piece of history. 

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Life is a party now…

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Tonight was an outing that was different than what I normally do for my weekly adventures. This time it was a family birthday party. And it was a public place, that was outside.  So not only would I be going out, there would be other people there. People I don’t really know, or even how many would be there. The idea of this in the past would be enough to create so much anxiety, that I would think about various ways to get out of it. Now with the way my life has been, how much I have improved my health, and the way I am changing my whole life, I was able to go out to a birthday party with family, and their friends, and go out and enjoy myself. Something I would not be able to do before. If I did do it, I was suffering quietly on the inside. The one thing about anxiety/panic is that we suffered while you didn’t even know it. We wondered how long we would be there, and more aptly, how long do we feel obligated to stay there before we can escape from this place and never come back. It’s even worse when it’s loved ones as you feel like you are letting them down. Being a disappointment to them. We already suffer with worry with what others think of us, now we are making it worse for ourselves.

Tonight was not like that. Tonight was different. Tonight I had freedom. I got to live. I got to spend some time with my family, and I went outside in the process. I went to Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge, in Medford. (That title is a mouthful.)  I did not have to leave early. I was not checking my watch and counting down the minutes. Yes, I have done that. When I went on vacation years ago with family, I was counting the time down until I got home. That’s how bad I was living in the past. It was a horrible time for me. So now to be able to do this, to go out, to enjoy myself. It is incredible. I am loving every moment of it. I got to see some frogs, and some birds.. Lots, and lots of birds. My favorite was the Falcon, Artemis. I am a mythology geek. I never thought I would be able to go to a place like this, to go on a nature hike with people, walk around, look at animals, sit around a fire, and enjoy myself. To have fun. To be happy. I never would have thought it was possible to be happy. I am glad the universe proved me so wrong with that one. So wrong.

I will say I was disappointed that all the animals were in caged in enclosures, I was so hoping to see the animals out in the wilds. Like Pokemon.. I suppose it’s not too bad. Since they had some snakes there. I would have probably passed out had I come across one of those in the wild.

This post.. Has no puns in it. That’s not puny at all.

Boom! Nailed it.

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Adventures in going out: Week 19

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The scientific progress goes boink edition.

 

redbank_3The adventure train just keeps on chugging along. Chug -a- chug -a- chew – chew. The train got hungry there at the end. I am so close to the 20th week of adventuring which would be five months. Holy smokes, Batman. Before heading out I checked my weather app to see what I would be contending with. It was calling for thunderstorms today which put a cloud upon what I could do outside. (All puns intended.) I thought about just doing something indoors but that was not tickling my fancy. Plus I could not get a ticket to the movie The Secret Life of pets. So I opted to do something somewhat local and go outside and have some fun. Today was the first cool day in a week as we were facing a heat wave, and I have never been a fan of heat. I decided to do something local-ish that I could think of and decided to go to Red Bank Battlefield again. I know it’s my third time there. I don’t know what it is. I just… Like it there. Something about it. It feels comfortable to me. Very familiar. I’ve never been in the military or even am a violent person. I’m passive and don’t believe in violence. Perhaps it’s a past life of mine, if such a thing exists.

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I am also a nerd and since Pokemon Go just came out, I had to take it with me, and see what I could find at the park. I was excited to do so. Yep, I am a nerd. I’m a keeper ladies. **wink wink. Nudge nudge.** Pokemon Go tricking nerds into going outside and getting some exercise in the guise of collecting Pokemon. Ironically enough something like Pokemon Go is actually a great tool for someone who deals with anxiety and agoraphobia, and things like that. Anything that can help them go out of their comfort zone to new places is a great thing. Who knows this may help me go out even further in life to more places than I thought of. Of course you end up staring at your phones all day, but we did that anyways. Sure enough at Red Bank Battlefield was a ton of people staring at their phones trying to collect Pokemon. I kid you not. You could hear them all talking about it, and see it on their screens. Even a couple passed me and said, “I know you what are doing.” It could even be a tool to get people to talk to each other. So for people like me these types of things that are fun to play can have so many more benefits than they even thought about.

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After catching some Pokemon and enjoying the view and the scenery there I heading out of the park and drove to another place to go and enjoy. I stopped at place called Strawbridge Lake and just walked around a little, saw some fish jumping and enjoyed the atmosphere. I have not been there in a probably a decade. Happens when you used to not get out much. There is just something so lovely and soothing being in nature. It’s very calming and happy. It is literally my happy place. Of course the servers of the game I was playing was offline I had to actually put my phone down. I know that is like a fate worse than death these days. We spent the major part of our lives without phones, and the internet on phones and texting on phones, and now we can’t put them down. Even at the dinner table we are starting at them. We are so disconnected from the real world and life now.

When I got to the lake I noticed a handicap parking spot. All the spots were lined in a row. The same row. On the end was the handicap spot. Which got me to wondering. What is it providing easy access to? The tree? The trash can? It’s not any closer to the lake than  any other spot. I’d get it if all the other spots were behind it, but they were all lined in a row. After enjoying the scenery I heading back home, after spending a few hours outside enjoying myself, life, and nature. It was a perfect day.

I’m hoping next week to be able to visit a Vietnam Memorial that is in the state. That should be a fun time. And will be something new. Just think of all the Pokemon I could catch out there… Yep, I’m that much of a nerd.

 

 

 

Adventures in going out: Week 17

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The Silly String Edition.

This week out was my 17th week of adventuring out into the wilds of the world. I was not sure exactly if I was going to go out or not this week. With vacation just two days away I am saving money for my vacation, and still have things to do with regards to my vacation and its planning. I still have little idea of what all I will do down in D.C. I am leaning more towards just winging it. This is all out of my normal routines and bounds that I have no idea and instead of just overwhelming me I am gonna just go with the flow. That is what I have been doing with my adventures and it has steered me well so far.

I did not want to not do something and take a week off from my adventures as that is the route to the Darkside, that Yoda, warned my about so many years ago. Skipping one week now becomes skipping another week at another time. To eventually I am not going anywhere at all.

So I decided to just to a quick Google search on what was around to go an see and explore. I came across a place called Wharton State Forest, which was 40 minutes away from where I lived. Off I went to go and have some adventures. After driving and getting to where my GPS says this place is suppose to be all I see is just woods and some road that keeps on going. I drove down it some but did not find any parks. While there was tons of tree and woods to explore, I learned from my trip to Rancocas State Park to not just randomly walk in the middle of nowhere. I decided to not stop there and just start driving aimlessly. After about 10 minutes or so I found Wharton State Forest and eventually turned around to go to it. Upon arriving I saw lots of people on some sort of beach swimming in water. It looked like a fun little place. I get to the gate, and they want cash to park there. Sadly I did not have any cash on me. I did not know I would need some. I had to turn around and go about my merry way. Rejected and defeated from my place of exploring.

Instead of just heading back I decided to just keep driving, driving, driving. With no destination to go. With my trip coming Monday and needing to drive 2.5 hours to get to my hotel, I used this opportunity to practice being in the car, in a route I have no idea about, and see how I feel and did. I kept on driving, and turning, and driving, cruising to some good tunes, I managed to be out there driving for two hours. And I did great. I was calm, cool, collected, and had some fun out there. Today was not a failure in adventuring, as I did a car adventure and prepared myself for my big adventure this Monday.

It was a success and I am all ready for vacation. Well after I pack for it. Then I will truly be ready. Then the grasshopper will become the master.

 

Adventures in going out: Week 14

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The adventure train just keeps on chugging a long. When I first started out doing this adventure of mine it seemed large. I was afraid I had bitten off more than I could chew. It was scary, the idea of going out someplace, once a week. That was way beyond my norm and my comfort zone. But I knew this was something I had to do. No this was something I NEEDED to do. To bring down every wall I created and put in place to hide and protect myself my whole life. That life was no longer working for me. It had to go.

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Then here I am at my 14th week out in a row, more than I thought I could ever do. Yet here I am. Not only did I go out today, but this was not the first time I went out this week. In fact today was the 4th time I went out in one week. 4th times? Crazy! Yet, I did it. Monday on memorial day I went out to eat with my friend, twice. Thursday I went out to a group activity of a meditation class. With people I did not even know. I could not have even imagined that I would ever do something like that. Yet I did, and loved it, and will be doing it once a week for the next 8 weeks. Friday was my days birthday and it was my idea to go out to dinner with my family. I put it all together. Me? Once who would normally run from such ideas. This time it was my idea. Plus I really wanted to go back to Applebee’s to have their Maple Mustard Salmon. It was delicious. That there would be enough for most people, and originally I only had the goal of going out once a week. Yet I did not and would not stop there.

Today I decided to go and do some hiking and went to Rancocas State Park, down in Southern NJ. It was a nice day out to do some hiking so off I went. It was not too far from where I live. The park was nothing special for me. There was a lot of trees, I mean a lot of them. Which I guess is all part of the nature walk. I opted for the blue trail as that was the only one I could find at first. I followed that, and who knows what happened but the trail went all over the place, and I went all over the place, and had no idea where I was. At one time I heard a rooster and thought I may have stumbled into the twilight zone. It was freaky, and I was a tad hungry for some poultry now, and if only I could find a pig, I could have had one tasty breakfast, in the afternoon. I remained on the blue path, and then some how I ended up on the white path, and passed the same guy twice. It was all types of discombobulating. I walked, and I weaved, and I swatted an annoying fly over and over, and eventually. I got lost within the path, that was within the path, that was within the path. And boy is it scary not knowing where you are in a park full of trees. I was sure at this point I was being hunted by a Werewolf. There may not have been a full moon, and it was during the middle of the afternoon, but I could tell, he was out there. You weren’t fooling me werewolf, I was on to you. And your Teenwolf basketball skills. Eventually I found the start of the blue path, but that was not where I came in at, so I exited anyways, and had no idea where my car was. Dude, where’s my car? So I did the only thing I could think of, I turned to my GPS and asked for directions. It took me back to the start of the park, and where I was able to find my car. I was a little worried as I didn’t think I ever would find my car again. It was truly scary not knowing if I would see my car again. Once I found my car, I was so happy, I wanted to kiss my car. And I almost did. So Rancocoas state park, I do not like you. And your twisted blue/white paths of terror. I did see a chipmunk, but never saw the rooster, or the woodpecker I heard.

That would be enough to stop there, but it wasn’t for me. After barely escaping the woods with my life, and narrowly escaping the Blair Witch, I took myself to the movies to Ninja Turtles 2, out of the shadows. I am not a fan of Michael Bay because of the way he’s butchered that poor Transformers franchise over and over again. One of my favorite cartoons of all time. I still watch the original movie to this day. Yes, I am that much of a nerd. The movie was OK, not sure why they decided to drop some profanity in a Nickelodeon movie. Not a fan of the way the turtles looks Someone needs to tell Raphael to stop hitting the “juice.”

All in all it was a great week and another triumph for me.

chipmunk

Adventures in going out: Week 13

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This week is lucky number 13. Many people are afraid of that number, but as of late, it has been a great number for me. This week did not go as I had originally intended it to. I was originally going to go to the Aquarium yesterday with my brother, and his family. That fell through as both of them ended up having to work. Since I had taken off from work I decided to go out and see X-Men:Apocalypse. It was pretty good movie in its own right. I wouldn’t say it was as good as Captain America:Civil War, even though that was more like a family domestic dispute than a Civil War, but it was a great movie. I would have done it in two movies. Done another Iron Man movie, and started it in that movie, and then finished it in Captain America, instead of trying to do it all in one movie. It made the plot too rushed and weak, IMO. But I digress, mainly because I like to say digress.

Even though my goal was to take myself out one day a week I was not going to stop at just going to the movies, it’s like I’m a madman that is possessed. I took myself out and back to Red Bank Battlefield. I had visited this site back in like week one or two of this journey, but when I went, the House Museum was closed, and I wanted to check it out. Mainly because it is purported to be haunted. It was open, and I was able to take a nice little tour of the house. Sadly, I did not see or feel any spirits or ghosts. Boo! Ha ha, see what I did there? (All puns intended)

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It was a nice day down by the river, and enjoying being out in the sun, and walking around. Even if I was exhausted from working out yesterday, something I don’t normally do, and running in the morning before going out today. While it was very hot out today, I do not like the heat that much, the breeze from the water and the trees felt real good. It was a lovely day. It may not have been the shore like most people do this weekend as it is Memorial Day in the US, it was still a lovely view. While out walking around this park I came across this sign and boy is it so true for the journey I am on in life today. I have struggled so long with health, anxiety, agoraphobia, and going out, that I was basically defeated by life, and was a recluse, only going out to work, and occasionally to a friends house or family. But now, I am changing everything. And it has been glorious the triumphs over the struggles and setbacks I’ve had in life to being where I am today. I would have never thought this would be possible or even that I would ever get there but I am here and I am loving every step of the journey. So much is changing for me. When I first started this journey I was so scared of this and that, I would not eat, or really drink before going out. Out of fear of what could happen. As time went on and I grew more confident and become more healthy emotionally and mentally I started to eat small meals before hand, and a little drink. Today I was able to eat breakfast and lunch, a snack, and a few glasses of water before embarking on my journey. I could not be more happy with my results and being able to do all that and still go out. I hope and wish everyone that has ever been in this spot in their life, ever been here, realize that there is hope there and it is possible to live a life of their wildest and greatest dreams. If I can do it so can you.

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On my way out I came across this tree, with people’s initials on it. It just really irks me, I have visited a few parks and places like this, and this type of stuff is all over the place. Like why would you think it was a good thing to deface a living breathing thing, just to show your “love” to another. Why would you want someone to show their love to you by doing this to a tree? You wouldn’t want me to scratch my initials into your forehead. Profess your love by plating a tree in their name, or painting a rock. The only thing more irksome than this is smokers that flick their cigs onto the ground when they are done with them. As if they expect a maid to pop up out of the ground and pick it up for them.

OK, let me not stick up this wonderful post with such things. Moving on, all and all it was a great day. It’s not over yet as later on I am going out to Outback restaurant with my family. I have been craving some Outback Alaskan Crab legs something fierce, and then this Monday I am going out to eat with a friend of mine. I’m loving having these weekends full of exciting and fun things to do. Now if only I had the money to really travel, I would be like Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic and on top of the world.

Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend, or your weekend. Make it a great one. I am.

Adventures in going out: Week 2

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In continuing to push myself more and more I have started my years journey to take myself out once a week. Today I took myself on a hiking trek through Smithville Historic Park. I hiked for 7 miles today. It was a a little breezy outside, but overall the weather was nice. It was lovely to be out in nature, hiking through the woods. There is just something so serene and peaceful in being in nature. Listening to the sounds all around.

I was surprised to see many people out there. I was thinking I would be kind of alone with the exception of one or two people. Man was I wrong. Lots of people were out there, some were out there jogging, some where out there walking their dogs. Everyone having a nice, and relaxing day, enjoying the weather, and nature. I will saw it was sad to see many of the trees along the paths will people initials on it. I guess nothing says love you more than you and your mates initials in a tree. If you didn’t see it, that was me rolling my eyes at that comment.

I was surprised at how calm and collected I was out there, I was out for about 4 hours. Give or take. My only thoughts really were in the idea of taking myself out there. While at times it felt kind of lonely to be out there hiking alone,  I was OK. I enjoyed the quite times and this was a great experience and exercise for helping me to overcome these types of things so in the future I can be out with other people. One step at a time. I was excited and looked forward all week to this venture. That is saying a lot for me. As I have been one who has spent their whole life hiding and afraid of these things, and coming up with a million and one excuses to not be out there. It is a refreshing change of attitude for myself and gives me hope for a brighter and better future. One not hindered by fear and panic. I accomplished a lot today and this is one step further in life. And I look forward to next weeks adventure.

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