View of one of the carriage roads intersecting with the Turtle Back trail.
You know how it is, hikers. There are moments, in your day-to-day life, when the burdens of work and/or school and/or family life get to be a little unmanageable, and you feel that the only cure for it all is to get your boots on and get out into the woods.
For me, it had been one of those weeks. Or rather, one of those couple-of-weeks. Between work, graduate school projects and 10 million other duties and responsibilities, I’d been practically chained to my computer. And it didn’t help that I’d spent too many weekends recently catching up on all the things I hadn’t been able to do during the week.
Last weekend, however, saw the kind of fall weather that hikers dream of. Blue skies, temperatures in the high forties (cool enough to require a sweatshirt), and the trees were starting to turn color. So I said to myself, “That’s it. This weekend, I’m going hiking. No excuses.”
I felt like doing something local (or at least something that didn’t involve taking the Garden State Parkway or the NJ Turnpike), and decided to head down to South Mountain Reservation in West Orange. So that Sunday morning saw me making my way down Pleasant Valley Way toward the reservation.
I left my car at the Turtle Back parking/picnic area, started stretching, checked the map, took a swig of water and headed off into the woods.