We took a day hike into the Pine Barrens in South Jersey. We found a lot of what we expected…sand, streams and wildlife. But then we found this old tower. It appears to have an oven of sorts in it that had been modified over time. Below is an explanation from Wikipedia.
During colonial times, the Pine Barrens was home to various industries. Bog iron was mined from bogs, streams, and waterways, and was worked in furnaces at Batsto, Lake Atsion, Ferrago, Hanover, and several other locations. Iron from these early furnaces was instrumental in supplying the American military with weapons and camp tools during the American Revolution and the War of 1812 and the Second Barbary War. The bog iron industry fell off in the mid-19th century when iron ore could be mined more cheaply in Pennsylvania. Other industries such as paper mills, sawmills, and gristmills rose and fell throughout the years. Smaller industries such as charcoal-making and glass making also were attempted and met with varying degrees of success.
In the Pine Barons of South Jersey, deep in Wharton State Forest, there is a great expanse of pinelands that stretches as far as the eye can see. On a recent hike on part of the Batona Trail, we reached the Apple Pie Hill Fire Tower. NJDEP. The fire tower is 60 feet tall and sits upon a hill that makes the height of about 200 feet above sea level.
You can see Atlantic City, NJ and the casinos are visible in the distance on a clear day. And to my surprise, in the other direction, you can make out the Philadelphia skyline. Quite a distance.
The tower used to serve as a look-out for forest fires but now serves as a destination for hikers, nature lovers and, unfortunately, young people who want to party and who don’t respect what they found in the woods.
Believe it or not, this was the end of a beautiful sunny day. It was a hot, humid day but when a cold front pushed through, it resulted in a huge storm cloud. That cloud turned into an extremely violent storm. Three tornados touched down in New York. Luckily, we only got pouring rain, wind and some thunder and lightning.
When you look at this photo, it appears to be a huge alien spaceship darkening the sky. You never know. Maybe that’s how they hide the mother ship. In a storm cloud! Hmm, I did notice a gap in time that I can’t remember…