Friday, June 10, 2011
High Times, What's the Point?
So I have been continuing my quest to find something in visiting some sites in the NJ/NY area before I ultimately decide to leave. When I don't know. So I decided to take a run up to High Point Park in Sussex County located in the northwest part of New Jersey. At 1803ft above sea level, It is the tallest point in New Jersey. Not too tall but there you go.
The drive on Rt. 23 was direct and very pleasant, It stretched from Verona through busy towns, massive cloverleaf overpasses, through small mountains and along some pretty lakes while hugging mountain sides. A very good "Sunday drive" that was a treat in and of itself.
When route 23 entered Sussex county. I felt like I went through a bit of a time machine, the roads had little traffic the scenery was pastoral and the businesses was old school. It was pleasant. I got to High Point Park, Paid the 5 dollars (Doing my part to stimulate the economy.) and drove up to the monument at the top of the hill.
Unfortunately the monument was closed so I had to settle for the beautiful view at ground level. And the view is quite stunning. You can see the three states of New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania from one point. I walked a thee mile trail that used part of the Appalachian Trail. It was a bit treacherous and rocky and a little too buggy but cool. I got a little displaced so my hike took a bit longer than intended.
While I was hiking I thought about calling my friend Al, who doesn't live too far away and who I hadn't seen in a little while. Plus, I was curious on what his life was like these days and I wanted to visit an area I hadn't been to in a few decades. When I called him and told him my idea of seeing him, He was surprised but wanted to see me. Now, I had to establish a place to meet because Al has still yet to get a cell phone. He suggested a mall called the Galleria at Crystal Run and I thought cool, that should be easy enough to find since it's a sparsely populated area.
Now, Al may not have a cell phone, I don't have any sort of GPS device. So I had to wing it to find this place. It was located outside of downtown Middletown but in a different direction and further out than I had expected. After circling around the area for about twenty minutes I finally asked for directions at a QuickChek. The girl in valley speak gave me directions that suggested she had no idea what she was talking about. Except she was very accurate and every road she told me about had no route numbers. I went off a different direction when I spotted lots of mall like buildings only to find it wasn't the Galleria at Crystal Run. So I backtracked, finally found the place, Once again the girl was accurate.
I was about twenty minutes plus late in meeting Al, But he was there and after some aimless wandering in the mall, He went about showing off his current lifestyle. Al teaches cartooning at Orange County Community College (OCCC) with an emphasis on the business of cartooning. His class is located on the lower floor and it was shades of art school again. He's very happy teaching because they have the enthusiasm of youth. Al showed me this beautiful mansion located on campus.
Finally we went to his favorite area comic store where we talked about our comic buying habits. I gave up buying Marvel and DC about twenty years ago and about twelve years ago I stopped going to comic book stores when several of the alternative comics I bought stopped publishing on a regular basis. So I did a little catching up. I bought a Love and rockets book, A Keith Knight book collection and a comic book by Peter Bagge called Apocalypse Nerd. Damn, They are all good and I need to catch up on my Bagge and my Hernandez Bros. Keith Knight's comic is available on line. Still his collection is great.
Anyway, After having dinner at a diner, Me and Al spent almost an hour merely talking in the mall parking lot while holding our car doors. Filling in the gaps in our lives. It was fun, Very 80s like experience. I then drove home along the side of Greenwood Lake, A favorite route of mine.
Next, A visit to my folks and a shore disappointment.