Sunday, September 20, 2009


Dave and I spent yesterday at Cheesequake State Park, just a few miles from his apartment in New Jersey. Its name apparently derives from a Lenape Indian word meaning "place where people make cheese during earthquakes."

Oh, sorry -- it actually comes from Cheseh-oh-ke, which really IS a Lenape word meaning "upland" or "upland village." At least, according to Wikipedia, which as we all know is never wrong.

Anyway, it's a beautiful park, filled with woodlands, low-lying swamps, a lake and lots of hills and trails. We brought the dogs with us to give them a day outside, and since they're getting up in years, we chose the shortest possible trail to hike. Even that nearly wiped them out.

As you can see above, the leaves along some parts of the trail -- especially in the low-lying swamps -- were already beginning to change.

We went to Wegman's first and packed a picnic lunch with a baguette, some interesting cheeses (an Italian one called Bel Paese and an English cheese similar to Stilton, but more orange -- can't remember the name), some pickled onions, some garlic-stuffed olives, some edamame hummus and clementines for dessert. We thought about trying to bring some wine, but they don't allow alcohol in the park. Oh well.

We stopped by the park office for a map and saw a sign saying someone had stolen a turtle from the park's interpretive center. Bizarre! I speculated it was the act of a misguided animal rights activist, but Dave suspected it was the act of a hungry person. At any rate, I hope the turtle returns.

All in all, a good day!


  1. this post contains two statements that illustrate fundamental differences between your country and this one:
    1) the park doesn't allow alcohol .... waaaaaaahhhh?
    2) oh well.

    I can tell you that even assuming a French park would put up a no-alcohol rule, every one packing a picnic would bring their own anyway. I'm not saying this is good, I'm not saying this is bad, I'm just sayin'

    (But if you and the dogs had a good time, that's the main thing.) :-)

  2. Do they inspect water bottles? Just sayin'...

    The picnic sounded so perfect, even if it didn't include wine.

    I'm sure Ruby and Ernie appreciated being invited along on the hike. Poor Armenia (but then she probably is not much of a hiker!)

  3. Ha! We discussed sneaking it in, but we knew we'd be having wine that night with dinner, so there was no real urgency. :)

    Armenia is definitely NOT a hiker.

  4. Beautiful pics. And how perfect that you brought CHEESE with you for lunch. I mean really, you would have to.

    I'm glad you get out of the canyon now and again and walk in the woods. Love that canyon, LOVE it, but still.


  5. In the 1950s my father was reassigned by the military overseas. Our family traveled by military ship, which had a strict "no alcohol" rule. My dad, being the intrepid guy he was, filled my infant brothers glass baby bottles with vodka and brought them aboard.

    Loved you description of the park and the picnic.

  6. Cheese Quake, huh.

    I think my humor style is rubbing off on you. ;)