I swear, I’m not just going to be posting photos of trees every day. Promise! But we’ve had a gorgeous week here in NJ. Tomorrow will be rain. You’ll get a break, and I got my bass lesson book today, so hopefully I’ll hit on something there I find interesting enough to talk about in the near-ish future.

For now, though, in today’s Facebook adventures, a friend of mine posted this article:

15 Incredible Hikes Under 5 Miles Everyone In New Jersey Should Take

and my attention was drawn to Thompson Park. What? Thompson Park has trails?! I used to pass there almost every day for 2.5 years of Community College! (…I couldn’t stick to a major, hence the extra .5)  Then, I re-read. Wait. Middlesex? No no, the Thomson Park I know is definitely in Monmouth County. (and actually supposedly also has a trail or two). So, NJ has two Thompson Parks less than an hour drive from one another, because that’s not confusing at all.

For bonus points, the Middlesex County Thompson Park is less than 4 miles from my office! In rush hour traffic, that’s about 10-15 minutes…if you know where you’re going, and if your GPS doesn’t decide to fuck with you. Mine stopped me in the middle of a school parking lot, by a soccer field and said ‘you’re here!’ Uhm, no, I’m not. I’m close, but this is not where I park, and I see no entrance to the park unless ‘walk across the soccer fields currently in use’ is your plan, GPS. So, I drove back out and parked in the first ‘Thompson Park’ lot I found. It wasn’t a proper lot. There MUST be a proper lot. Somewhere.

I quickly realized this park is probably bigger than my home town. So, I didn’t actually find the trail head, though I know it exists (Not just because an article on the internet says it’s awesome, but because I looked up the map and saw the trails marked off. I just couldn’t actually get from where I was to said trails without collapsing.)

Granted, I’m not in amazing shape, and I have hiked literally 4 days in a row, plus a leg workout at the gym last night –my calves are not exactly the happy little clams they are when I’ve given them a day off — but the awesome 70 something degree weather all week demanded it.

In the end I just sort of arbitrarily looped around the immediate mile of park near the car until my calves said ‘Fuck you, Shelby. Go home.’ …and then found myself at the bottom of a hill again.

At the top of the hill, I was thrilled to see a water fountain. The fountain was a lie. Or concept art. You decide. Either way, there was no water. What evil mastermind decided on that?

So, here’s my first round of snaps from the first try of the first Thompson Park. I will have to eventually go back when I have a better idea of where to park/drive to actually access the hiking area of this green city…

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Someone needs to have a talk with this tree about it’s drinking problem.

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