Tuesday, October 12, 2010

lost weekend and such...

I recently made a new friend...he is from the greater Atlanta, GA area and we are very much alike.  This was perfect because he wanted to explore NWNJ and I love to show people the lovely area of NWNJ!

His camera is way better than mine, so I was totally envious, and I did not shoot everywhere we went as I literally live a few miles from some of them and see them almost daily.

Our Saturday adventure had to begin late as Juju had a soccer game that was moved to 1:30pm, so we did not begin until 3:30pm. Oh, her team is STILL undefeated, thank you very much! 5-0!!!!

Our adventure began with us stopping off at the Mt. Villa Elementary school in Allamuchy.Why was this place so special, well aside from it being a lovely old mansion, it was also the residence of one of FDR's mistresses!
It has some lovely architectural features and a stunning view of the lake behind it.

From there we went to an abandoned farm complete with a 15 foot iron gate with a tree growing into the front of it.
Sadly, the gate was hit with graffiti since I stopped there a few weeks ago.  Also, we hiked it up the road from the gate and found 4-5 buildings of the farm.  All of them were covered in graffiti.  I mean covered!
Whoever did it, spent days, if not weeks, writing on every part of these buildings.

Yuck Fu...even the trash was graffiti laden.

I like the part on the wall where it says, "More
obscenities upstairs" 

That red paint was not there a few weeks ago!
We then drove through the Delaware Water Gap, went up and through Stroudsburg, PA and then back through the Gap at that lovely time of early evening, when the sun is golden and hits the Gap just right.

We took a long ride to Exit 12 off 80E and took 519 North through Newton and the pretty country up there before returning to Hackettstown too meet up with his roommate for dinner.

Sunday 10-10-10 was a whole day of exploring!
We met up around 10:30am and proceeded to the Allamuchy General Store for breakfast/Brunch.  Their coffee was so good, and one of the few times I have had coffee at all in the past month or two.
I had the two scrambled eggs with taylor ham and seeing anyone try taylor ham for the first time is always nice! Though he tried to say it tasted like spam (pshaw....)...

After food we started out.

First we went to drove up to an ostrich farm not far from here, just to see what a few hundred ostrich look like in NJ!

After that we headed to the Newton area again, passing two red tail hawks flying together.  I love me some birds of prey!

We arrived at St. Paul's Abbey, which is lovely in its early state of abandonment.  It is not trashed yet and still looks great from the outside...good enough to be murdered in!

It had a very creepy feeling form the outside and upon seeing a broken window, I opened it to get a shot of the hallway (which reminded me of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest or The Shining) and the thought, maybe I need to go in.

At one point, I was on the second floor and thought, "What if there is a person or an animal in here and I scare it?!" No joke, just then I pass by a door that says "Showers" and it is closed, the wood under my foot made a sound and the shower door creaked open a few inches....I FREAKED OUT!!
Thankfully as I made it to the other end of the hall, R had come up the other stairs and we met up...needless to say, after that, I was not far from him the rest of our exploration!
Which is good since at one point we came across a creepy dead bird on a desk in a dark room and the bird was illuminated by the sun coming in through the window above it.

Then we were in a totally blacked out attic and phone flashlights were only enough to kind of light our way.  At one point I found a picture on the floor and blindly snapped it with the flash on just to see what it looked like.

There was a beautiful fountain that appears to show a martyr scene (but I thought no one knew how St. Paul died) and the barn behind the empty abbey was nice for some shots as well.

By the time we returned to the car, I was covered in burrs.
We hit the road and sung down into Byram to see a historic plaque that I had passed a few times and never got to read.  All I know was it said something about kidnapping and murder.  Well of course we had to stop there! Turns out to not be as interesting as the title made it out to be.

We then went a bit further south into Waterloo Village.  It is a historic Village on the Morris Canal that used to be the place of all kids in N NJ to go on field trips, until someone embezzled a bunch of money from it and it has been shut down.

Not a cloud in the bright beautiful, blue sky!

I laid down on the ground and put the camera less than
one inch above the water...I LOVE how this turned out!

I rang this bell, it is loud and works!
Just loved the detail on the railing.

Weather vain on the Blacksmith shop.

Church still used inside Waterloo Village.
Detail on church shutter.

They do host events there from time to time, and there is a chuch on site that remains active on Sunday's, but other than that, you are free to walk the grounds and explore!

After that, we drove down Rte. 46 West to see the Dinosaur Rock, then stopped off at an old Church in Vienna/Independence.
I was almost out of battery at that point, so I did not take any pics, but there were some older gravestones (mid 1800's) and some trees that had grown over the iron fence which was pretty neat to see.

It was fun, scary, exciting and glad to have someone to do it with me! Hopefully we can have a few more adventures before he heads back south.