a sunday in sussex

i went on a road trip with my sister and her boyfriend to discover some interesting places within sussex county, an area located above lush hills and mountains and vast acres of cornfields, quiet barns and horse ranches. it is home to new jersey's highest point of elevation--the high point monument--nestled among the kittatinny mountains, rising 1,803 feet above sea level.

high point monument

once there, you are surrounded by a spectacular view of new jersey, the pocono mountains, and port jervis of new york. it is from this view that you can truly appreciate the verdant foliage that makes new jersey deserving of the nickname "garden state." green below, heavenly blue above, crisp mountain breeze in between. i can imagine how breath-taking the scenery would be during autumn, when the forests would don orange and ripe pumpkin hues.

marcia lake

the monument bears a striking resemblance to the washington monument, but the surroundings are what make the difference. just below this mountain is lake marcia which is open to the public for swimming. picnic grounds are also close by for outdoor grilling.

my foot has landed on high point

before climbing the high and mighty high point, we went to a small outlet place which is predominated by antique shops more than actual outlet stores in olde lafayette village in the countryside town of lafayette. the shops were built to look like quaint dutch houses in a small village. i was curious about the merchandise sold in the antique shops, so i browsed through a couple of them. vintage furniture, chinaware, precious moments figurines from the eighties, antique dolls and toys, vintage martha stewart books and magazines (where she looked evidently young) aroused my interest. this is the stuff of serious vintage collectors and e-bay hunters. i almost felt like i was walking in a museum where i can actually touch and hold the artifacts on display. i almost bought a vintage raggedy ann and andy doll duo for no reason.

one of the antique shops in lafayette

my purse was undefiled by the temptation of impulse vintage-shopping, but we did buy some locally-grown ears of corn for home consumption.

my sister's boyfriend stuck faithfully to the dizzying and never-ending winding back roads of sussex county to take us to other points of interest, such as the family-owned space farms zoo and museum. when i first heard "space zoo" i thought there was something galactically special about this place, then i found out it was owned by the space family.

space zoo

we viewed the various items on display in their small museum which housed a wall full of stuffed deer and buffalo heads, second-floor railings draped with different animal hides, full-sized stuffed bears (including the polar kind), antique dolls and toys, native american tools and spears, and many other curious items. entrance to this museum was free, but the zoo part adjacent to it wasn't.

we drove right around the property and got to see some animals for free anyway, such as the llamas. i have never seen live llamas in my life until today. we quickly stopped beside the road and i stole this shot through the barbed wire fence.


our last stopover in the itinerary and essentially the main destination was stokes state forest in branchville. my sister and her boyfriend had previewed this place before and saw a lake where people can swim. a wise product to bring with you here is an anti-bug lotion. a bug happened to crash-land into the side of my sister's boyfriend's face while driving with his windows rolled down.

after weaving through a narrow trail of forest pines, we reached stony lake. it was already six in the evening when we got there, but the sun was still bright enough for us to take a quick swim. there were picnic tables among the trees around the lake. on one side, a merry group sang what sounded like a nordic folk song with guitar accompaniment as their grill smoke wafted into the air. as i swam through the lake waters, i imagined myself dancing a jig in time to their lively singing. hmm, in fact my legs were dancing underwater. haha.

stony lake

the lake's name is a misnomer, because its bottom isn't stony at all, but sandy. you're also swimming with small fish.

with summer almost ending and mornings getting more nippy, i'm afraid this might be my only swimming opportunity of the season. ah well, i'm still thankful to have gotten to travel this weekend.

0 vandalized my wall:

Related Posts with Thumbnails