I’ve always had a sense of curiosity, and love to experience new adventures. Not dangerous adventures, mind you…just informative, unique adventures. Since I started traveling as a consultant in 2006, I took up a habit of scheduling “Tuesday adventures”. Ok, they don’t always happen on Tuesday, but Tuesday evenings seem to provide the best opportunity to explore the area in which my current client is located.

I have had wonderful opportunities to explore cities and geographies all over the United States, and have even explored Amsterdam during one of my assignments.

My current assignment takes me to the Jersey shore. Some may think the Jersey shore isn’t much to explore, but I am of the mind that it is really one of the best beach states in the country. Surely, you don’t get as much time in the water as you do in California or Florida, but there is so much charm, variety, and history here.

Aaah…but my latest adventure was not at the shore or even a shore town.

When traveling, I try to schedule at least two periods of physical activity each week I’m away from home. Unfortunately, this physical activity is often on a hotel treadmill. Ick! I was looking for a new adventure this week, so I headed out to Shark River Park outside Neptune, NJ (yes, this really is the name of the town). When checking the map, it looked like the park had various trail options, with some being adjacent to the river.

I grabbed a snack on the way, and thought I might have a solitary 🙁 picnic before taking a walk on the trails. Upon arriving at the park, I discovered it has a great picnic area…probably 20 picnic tables in a grove, as well as a few pavilions. However, I decided to walk and snack. I went around the inlet/reservoir, where I discovered stagnant water but a really enjoyable, level trail. I decided I was up for the challenge of exploring the interconnected trails in the woods. I took the main trail, then turned right up a hill into the woods. I encountered 3 people during the trek…two 20-somethings on mountain bikes, and one woman very much like myself that appeared to be out for a walk. I noticed she had her iPod, which I had decided to forego as I wanted to hear the sound of the woods (random thought….do you ever wonder how many teens have never heard the sound of nature because of their iPods?).

I decided I’d continue to bear right on the trails so that I would end up back at the bottom. After 20 minutes or so, I noticed the trail appeared less used, and that the light was starting to fade. I hadn’t seen anyone for a while. I thought I must be coming around to the main trail soon, and pressed on. Well….the main trail never appeared….I just kept going higher and higher up the hill. 10 minutes later, I decided I needed to head back down the way I came. Light was fading fast, so I jogged partway. I am definitely not a fan of jogging, but found solace by thinking of how my jogging amuses my husband, Bill.

After a very intense workout, I ended up safe and sound back at my car. I decided I don’t have to work out again for the rest of the week.

Not one of my best adventures, but surely a learning experience. The highlight was discovering a patch of ferns. Other interesting takeaways were seeing the pink glow of the setting sun through the trees, and realizing that yes, I *am* capable of jogging, even if it makes Bill laugh every time he thinks about it.

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2 Comments on Adventure in New Jersey

  1. Rita says:

    Great job Mary. I have such a picture of Bill in my head laughing out loud.

  2. CPTBoomer says:

    Your story reminds me a little bit of the Stephen King novel “The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon”. The ending to your story was a lot less scary though!

    Keep up the adventures and the posts —

    Bob Beardsley

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