There was only one day that I was free to get in some hiking, geocaching, or photography. Being reasonable, I decided to try and do all three. =)
With a storm coming in during the weekend, I had one day to get up early and try to photograph the rising sun at Washington\’s Crossing. Which was also the next location of several geocaching hides for the NJ Revolutionary War Geotrail (#njpatriots1776).
I was up before the sun, and the large Wolf Moon was still visible in the early morning darkness. I tried to capture the image with my smart phone, but between the bitterly cold wind and my shivering, the photo isn\’t the best.
It was 19 degrees outside according to my car, and I drove directly to Wawa to get a hot coffee and pretzel. I needed a bit of fuel myself to get my early morning adventures started!
It was a long drive, and I hoped to get there before sunrise. Unfortunately due to construction, there was a few minutes delay and I arrived at the Delaware river just as the sun crested over the horizon. But it was early enough that I was able to get some lovely photos of the Wolf Moon hovering over the partially frozen Delaware river.
I parked near the Delaware river on the New Jersey side. I wanted to get a photo of the early morning light on the river\’s water – so I went off trail and approached the river\’s edge. The river\’s edge was recently soft mud, as evidenced by the dog prints pressed into the mud. Yet, those prints were now sealed in with icy temperatures. I marched over frozen dog prints and left no print myself. ICE COLD. It was still 19 degrees when I left the warmth of my car.
The river was making odd noises as frozen ice islands of various sizes floated past me. The river\’s edge was also frozen and creeping deeper into the moving waters of the river. The ice islands floated into the ice edging and then scraped noisily past me, or began to spin the ice islands around and around… rolling it along like a frozen gear.
Nearby the canal was still. In the dim morning light I was trying to capture an image when I realized that the canal itself had a wafer thin sheet of ice over the waters. I\’m not sure I was able to capture the delicate frozen state of the canal.
It was so much fun trying to get pictures and videos of this winter adventure.
Washington\’s Crossing State Park
After playing photographer by the river, I headed up to the state park. I hoped I didn\’t arrive too early. But I was lucky, the state park was opened already and I was able to drive in and explore. Luckily, no one else thought it was a fun idea to step outside in below-freezing temperatures at dawn… so I had the entire park to myself to find my geocaches and explore.
After all the hard work of finding the caches, I was silently grateful I did this trail in the winter. The locations that hide the caches are full of brambles, thorns, and prickly bushes. Holy-Thorny-Situation Batman! I had my hair pulled and my jeans damaged from all those impressive thorn piles. I was SO grateful for a thick leather jacket that kept the worse of the thorns from reaching my skin. I\’d hate to imagine tackling this location in warmer temperatures, or barelegged in summer.
I spent a few hours doing my hike / caching activities. Sadly, the museum and visitor\’s center is closed due to Covid.
Revolutionary War cemetery
One of the benefits of geotrails and geotours is the hard work that the creators put into their trails. In this case, #NJPatriots1776 spent a long time to gather historically significant locations and built a geocaching tour based on the Revolutionary war. This helps historically curious folks such as myself explore and discover gems that I might miss. Such is Ewing Church cemetery. I\’m not sure if I would have visited this location without the help of geocaching. But I am grateful that I am participating in the Geotrail. I love exploring old cemeteries and strolling their grounds. Today was no different. The wind would take my breath away, but the sunshine was brilliant and the game was entertaining.
I had to solve puzzles involving finding cemetery markers. And these were markers unlike anything I had seen before. I won\’t post the photos here, as they might away the game to others. But it just made the day more interesting.
I can\’t wait to explore more of the geotrail in the coming weeks. When the weather cooperates. After returning home from this fun day spent outside – I prepared for the \”major nor\’easter snow storm\’ that is scheduled to start the next day.