Cheesequake State Park (from a Lenape word for “upland”)

It’s not the Appalachian Trail, but at least I’m out in the semi-wild. Cheesequake. Such an odd word. It’s just an anglicized Lenape word (Cheseh-oh-ke) for “upland.” 

Semi-wild because I’m right next to the Garden State Parkway! I can hear the traffic as I write. The traffic and a foghorn! Pretty cool actually. I’m just opposite Manhattan in New Jersey, about 15 miles up the coast from Sandy Hook. 

I’m spending 3 days here at my new favorite NJ Beach while Landi works on her taxes. They need to be ready before we leave in 10 days for our 3 month stay in South Africa. She wanted me out of her hair (can’t imagine why) and I was in a recession after I finished my AT Section. 

This is my therapy. 

Nice to wake up in the woods. It rained a little last night. I made apple cinnamon oatmeal and threw my instant coffee mixture in because my cup was out in the car. Didn’t want to get up out if my bag. It tasted ok. Surprisingly. 

Semi-wild is a good description. The Ranger gave me an emergency number to call if I run into any trouble from other campers or any wildlife. “Wildlife?” I said. “Yes,” she said. “This is bear country. We saw a track not so long ago.” A track. If I get mauled by a city bear after all those nights on the Appalachian Trail, surrounded by all those Ursa Majors, oh, the irony. 

I’m heading over to the “Clothing Optional” beach today. I’ll be selecting the no clothing option, just as long as I know NO ONE there. For the last 10 years or so I’ve been a practicing Naturist. I guess. I like being naked outside. Always have. Very freeing it is. 

I’ve taken a million photos of Sandy Hook, but I’ll put some up here, just for you. It’s actually located in the Gateway National Recreation Area. 26,607 acres in the Port of New York and New Jersey. A giant playground for the urbanites up here. You can’t get into Sandy Hook in the summer unless you arrive really early. Gunnison, the beach I’ve been referring to, can have as many as 3,000 visitors on a nice day. It’s heavily patrolled. No weird stuff goes on here. The people are very respectful of everyone. Even some families come! Pretty cool. 

They allow cars into Sandy Hook until all the parking is gone. 

You can do anything you want to out here. Surf, kayak, paddle board, bike the 9 mile paved path, fish, walk, explore and learn about this place. Or just beach it. There are at least 5 areas open with bathrooms, food, and showers from Memorial to Labor Day. There’s a fee in the summer but not in the off season. 

I have my bike along on this trip. I rode last evening here in Cheesequake. My legs are stronger than ever! The hiking!

Here are some photos:

They tested all sorts of armament here. 

These officer’s quarters face Manhattan! 

No one lives here anymore. Sad. 

When you’re on the beach and look back this way, the people just keep coming. All day! It’s constant. The walk from the parking lot to the water is nearly a mile. 

I always get here early and leave about noon. Too much heat and sun in the afternoon for me. This is a great place. 

I’m back at Cheesequake. Looks like my new remote shutter works!!!! Cool!!! I’ll use this in the Fall on the Trail. 

I have another night reserved. I really like it here now. Good shower. Campsite #1 has this on the side and behind: 

Nothing.  😀


I love up photos. I think I’ll end all my posts from now on with an “Up.”

Guess I’m finished. 

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