Not So Bitter: Our Reunion with Sourland Mountain Preserve

One of our most notorious hikes happened last June, when we ventured into Sourland Mountain Preserve. The basics were: 100 degree heat and humidity + no map/compass + leaving trail + you get the idea = hell recounted here and here.

The key to Andrew’s posts on our trip is this: “There is no parking lot to speak of, just a gravel area tucked in from a long winding country road in Rileyville.”

I’m embarrassed now, for all the times we talked about how Sourland Mountain kicked our asses. Because in reality, the Preserve is made up of 3 well marked, well maintained trails with mild slopes and a total distance of less than 5 miles. Our return trip blessed us with better directions from Google Maps, so this time we actually arrived at the front gate of the Preserve. Instead of going in through the back entrance where there were no official trails, like we did last year.

Here we are at the trailhead. Andrew was still not sure but I was ready to go!

This Sourland Mountain is completely different. There are boardwalks made by boyscouts to help you along some muddy areas…

…and bridges over streams that we would have had to navigate last year by using slippery stones and tree branches. 

Once we got over how tame this side of Sourland is, there were a lot of cool things to enjoy.

Andrew took this beautiful pictures:

and swung around on a vine he found:

We stopped and hung out in our hammock for a while:

(There was a picture of Andrew and I together in the hammock that we took using the timer but the 90 degree weather from yesterday left me looking a bit more disheveled than I’d prefer to broadcast across the world wide webs).

And coolest of all, we found this abandoned car in the middle of the woods. For this, we left the trail.

There were some old-school Pepsi cans on the ground and inside the car. I guess it used to be a cool hangout for kids.

Ok so I really liked the cans…More pictures of the car:

Andrew also found a snake:

And some frogs!

And I found a TV dinner plate:

We both brought our cameras so that means Andrew took stealth pictures of me at the Dunkin Donuts drive thru:

And you can see the two sets of photos here and here.

What a fun day! Afterwards we went to Lowes, Staples and Kmart collecting tools for a lightbox that is almost complete. We also ate at Famous Dave’s where I had an appropriately named Sassy Salad and Andrew had beans. Oh no, sorry that was the two fat old women at the table next to us.

Really, if you take away the beautiful weather, scenic walk, lazy hammock hour, et cetera… the real treat was being with my love and knowing that we were both happy and having a blast.


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