Walking by the water..

If you live in Monmouth County, NJ, I visited your drinking water today. That sounds weirder than it really is. The Manasquan Reservoir is located in Howell, NJ. This is about a ten minute drive from where I work. I went there today in search of some pictures for tonight’s blog. I shot a few and got a nice mile or so walk for my effort.  What was the most surprising thing about visiting the reservoir was the lack of animals that I saw.  I saw one squirrel and maybe five birds in the half hour or so that I walked around. Two of the birds were working a bird feeder at the environmental center.

The park was quiet. No school busses full of kids on a field trip. Not many people walking around. There is a perimeter trail (5.1 miles) that I did not walk on. I can’t walk five miles in an hour and be back to work on time. Maybe in two hours.  Who wants to go back to work all sweaty after exercising?  Not me.  In the picture I posted on Face Book the thing I saw in the picture was the blue of the sky and contrast of the lake. My wife and another person on Face Book commented that the water level look low in that picture. I looked on the NJ Water Authority website and they are reporting the reservoir at 83 % capacity.  The graph seems to put the current level between the highest and lowest levels for this time of year. See the chart here.

Other than that excitement, my day was pretty boring at work. The commute was much nicer than yesterday. Thankfully. My DW had a meeting in the morning and worked in her unit in the afternoon. DS1 was home late this evening. He said he stopped on the ay home for dinner. DS2 attended a study abroad fair at school today. He currently is thinking about Rome, New Zealand or Istanbul, Turkey.  What a varied group of choices that is.  DS3 and I traded texts about his trip home on Friday and his plans for the weekend. It will be good to have him home for a few days. DS2 is staying on campus with some friends.

Tonight’s pictures are from my walk at the Manasquan Reservoir. Enjoy!



Worse than not asking for directions..

Not catastrophic by any means. Just slightly frustrating.  Today’s adventure was to go kayaking in the Barnegat Bay for a few hours. Both my DW and I enjoy kayaking, and even though we live 7 minutes from the Atlantic Ocean, we have never kayaked in this area. We have lived down here in Southern New Jersey since 1986. Never went kayaking.  We have kayaked in St. Thomas, New York, Florida, Maryland and probably other places that escape me at this moment.

I went online this morning to do some reasearch so I would have an idea about cost and location of the possible kayak rentals. It seemed from my online reasearch that there were some places on the mainland and many places on LBI. Some of the places on LBI advertised rather expensive prices. This encouraged me to try to find the local rentals places in the hopes of saving some money. Of course, I did not write down the possible places to check out. I had a general idea of where the marinas were, and that should have been good enough. Not!

After we drove around for 1.5 hours we gave up and headed to LBI to rent kayaks like the tourist do. There is nothing wrong with renting kayaks like a tourist, just that you will probably pay more than is necessary.  Oddly enough, the first place we stopped at had kayaks for rent at a reasonable hourly rate. We took two kayaks for two hours.  We went out to the dock and kayaks were the most basic model available. No seat backs and probably 10 feet long, at best.

The boat length is an issue when you are 6 foot and not real skinny. The real issue was the lack of seat backs. If you ever rent a kayak, don’t rent one without a seatback. Talk about two hours of discomfort. The kayaks we rented in Annapolis were twice as nice as these boats. So, a lesson was learned today. Look at the kayak before you pay or make sure the kayak has a seat back. 

And we got wet. The kayaks were self bailing, as most are.  The seat in these kayaks was so low you started out sitting in the water. Hey, summer time, slight rain storm, your wet anyway!  The bay water was in the 70’s and the air temperature was nearly 80 degrees.  Being wet was not a big deal.  We have rented self bailing kayaks before and never sat down in the water.  I guess this is the difference between the lowest level kayak and a mid to upper level model.

The three pictures tonight come from the beach on the bay (Ship Bottom, NJ) where we stopped to get out and stretch our muscles. Enjoy!