Archive for atsion

The Thirteenth of March, Two Thousand and Eleven (Hiking in Atsion)

Posted in Daily Pictures, Good Times with tags , , on March 14, 2011 by Verge


Hiking and Eagles

Posted in Daily Pictures, Good Times with tags , , , on September 14, 2010 by Verge

Monika works 7 days a week, which can obviously be pretty exhausting.  Especially because 5 of those days are spent chasing toddlers.  I can’t even imagine the patience and determination one needs to accomplish such a task.  Sunday she made it home by one.  I made her lunch, gave her free pick to do whatever she wanted that afternoon.

lunch (that's right, I took a picture of my sandwich. that's perfectly normal to me)

Monika called her sister because she had decided we were going hiking.  half an hour later, we packed up some things and headed here.

people dump garbage in the woods, we play on it


I collect stamped bricks with different names. I found three I've never seen before.

cool tree


here's a shot that includes the abandoned rail road tracks

monika was in charge of the phone

Later, when we got back to the house, the Eagles game was on.  Usually Kreg and I watch the game together all season long, but he was occupied, so I had to try to watch alone.  I’m not really the biggest football fan to begin with, but to try to watch it with two completely uninterested women really is quite difficult.

Oh, and it’s kind of a challenge when you don’t have cable…

untangling the antenna for the first time since January (the end of last season)

comcast with power boost really does make things move faster

Hi Def baby!

We made a pizza to enjoy while watching the Eagles suck! It came out awesome


Later that night, after the game, I pickled peppers (for real), but that is a post all its own.  Then, to an early bed because I had to be up at 5 am to go and work week one of the new season.

Two Fires and a Matinee (Weekend Review # 2)

Posted in Good Times with tags , , , on May 12, 2010 by Verge

There were a lot of circumstances that prevented the backpacking trip I had planned this weekend.  We were supposed to be partying Friday night, then waking up early Saturday and driving to Atsion.  Four to six of us were then going to take a five mile hike with all of our camping gear on our backs to the Mullica River campground.

It is a vehicle inaccessible site and so once we were in, we were in for good.  The plan was to set up our tents, gather firewood, make lunch and dinner, and generally enjoy the outdoors.  This campground has no water, toilets, of other luxuries at all.  We were all looking forward to roughing  it for a month and a half.

Then, as we made some preparations  on Thursday night for the exciting weekend ahead, Kreg got a horrible call.  His shop was on fire and those were about the only details he got.  He rushed off with Kat to Hainseport to see what the hell was going on.  It wasn’t good.

I didn’t see them again for the rest of the night, but several calls from them confirmed the worst.  It was indeed his shop that burned.  It was no small fire.  All his work inside was destroyed.  His tools were about the only thing that made it out still usable, and only after several days of cleaning.

At noon on Friday, as I enjoyed a beer at a local bar, I got the news from Kreg that he was bailing.  I should have expected that he would.  I would have in his shoes.  He had way too much to take care of at that point.  I was just hoping he was going to blow off things for a day or two and let things settle.  Within and hour or so, I decided to call off the trip.  It was probably smart that I did.

That afternoon I got to plant my garden and all my annuals.  Pictures to follow soon.  I originally was planning on feverishly planting so that I could pack our backpacks and head out in the morning.  Due to our postponed camping trip, I was able to take my time, and Monika and I had a leisurely afternoon instead of a hectic one.  Later, we had a small camp fire at our house, and then another one over some drinks at Rob’s.

The weather was supposed to be windy and rainy.  We had originally decided that we were going to go for it anyway and hike through the rain and have a hell of an adventure on Saturday.  Well, in the end, it never rained.  But, there was a hell of a windstorm that not only would have scared the hell out of us had we slept in our meager tents surrounded by trees that night, but also spread a forest fire through the Pines.

Instead of gathering firewood Saturday afternoon, Monika, Schmoo and I went to Philly to see Julia Nunes, who I was originally pissed I was going to miss due to the camping trip.  It was a 4 pm show at North Star Bar in Fairmount because it was all ages and only ten bucks.  We got there in time for the opening act, a guy from Philly name Lucas Carpenter, who you can also check out here (all the loops were made on the spot, not pre-programmed).

I was glad we made it for him because I thoroughly enjoyed his show and got to meet him after his set.  We also got to meet Julia afterward along with the other 60 or so teenagers that were at the show.  We picked up a few of her CDs…

Monika, Julia and Maya on a Saturday afternoon.

and got some photos, too.  It was a great afternoon in the city and at least softened the blow of missing our hiking trip considerably.

Later that night we hung out with Marla and Rob and Kreg and Kat over a campfire and some cigars.  At least we got outside for another night and had some more outdoor time.  The next morning, neither me nor Monika had to work, which was why we were originally going camping in the first place.  But, even though we didn’t have to work formally, I had tons of stuff to do around the house and yard.

I worked in my garden, did laundry and dishes and the normal boring crap. But, I did finally finish and mount the huge wooden gear above my garage.  And, after discovering some directions online, I made some of my own recycled bottle tiki torches.  The details of how to make these is in a coming blog post.

I had a great weekend after all, but at the expense of my best friend’s shop and a potential epic weekend that could have been.  Hopefully both will be resurrected in the future, better than the original, and everything will work out in the end.

Weekend Review #1 — Samantha’s Week

Posted in Good Times with tags , , , , , , on April 29, 2010 by Verge

Sam was in town for the weekend.  She arrived Friday evening; That’s when the debauchery began.

Friday evening I wasn’t sure if and when Sam would show up.  We played it low key and hung out  at Plunge, a swanky little joint located two doors down and run by my best friend.  Shorty later, Lorie and Sam showed up with Clint, and libations were plentiful.  All three ended up spending the night and Clint was gone when I woke up.


As promised, I phoned my friend Mike in the morning and planned to meet up with him at Atsion for an excursion in the Pine Barrens.  I wasn’t sure if he was going to show up with his daughter or not.  We planned to meet in at noon, and we met at the old Mansion there, among other hikers.  We set off on the abandoned rail line that once ran from Atco to Atsion, along what is now Raritan Ave in Atco, and a simple dirt road called Railroad Ave in the middle of the woods nearest Atsion.

Mike showed up with John, one of his good friends, but also, one of our work peers.  He is also a seasoned outdoorsman and knows the area well.  The six of us found the trailhead easily.  I was looking specifically for some concrete evidence that this was the path of the old rail line.  Mike and I had also loaded around 25 goecache locations into his GPS the day before over lunch.

The planned path was ambitious — around 8 miles.  If you know the area, the hike was this:  Atsion on Railroad/Raritan Ave. to the first intersection, which is Railroad Ave and Sandy Causeway, then left onto Sandy Causeway until meeting the abandoned rail lines which run nearly parallel with Fleming Pike back towards Atsion.

We had a beautiful day for a hike.   We tracked down a handful of goecaches.  Best of all, the hike was not carefree.  We had to navigate huge puddles, thorns and thickets and a seriouss lack of bourbon after the first half.

Here are some Geocache finds….

and another one…

crossing the washed away bridge…


Sam’s friend is about to move to Germany and she was having a sort of going away party at some of her favorite spots in Center City.  We met with her and some of our friends after taking the Speedline.

First stop was the Rum Bar.  I had only been here once before for Dave’s bachelor party.  It was pretty crowded but the music was good and we got to the drinkin’ pretty quick.  The bartender was kind of a freak and I think it may have been his first time at a real bar or something.

Perhaps it was my tips, or his inexperience, or my sharp suit, but he was making ’em strong and I got pretty tore up there. So much so that the bouncer at the bar next door nearly didn’t let me in the place.

I wasn’t surprised that our friend Don and his crew were in the city, but I was definitely drunkenly confused when they showed up at the bar unexpectedly.  But, the bar had gotten crowded and it wasn’t our scene so much.  We poured into the busy streets and hailed a cab to Ulana’s near South Street, a bar I know well and like well enough.

I can’t possibly say that I was completely sober when I took a spill in the club and banged up my arm, thumb and face, but I was soberish.  Monika had cut me off back at Rum Bar, so I was certainly in better shape than earlier.  No matter, though, I was fine and the scrape on my cheek  was gone within days.

We spent some time at Ulana’s until everyone was drunk, tired, or broke.  We found our way back to the train.  It was after 2 and the train was packed.  We didn’t even get to sit down the entire ride from 8th and Market to Lindenwold.

Sam got in an argument with two losers somewhere in Jersey and had a bit of a shouting match with them.  Sam was obviously drunk and they were obviously one of only a few people on the train who weren’t at least buzzing.  She kicked one of them as they slipped through the doors and I tried to hold her back.

This is me the next morning.  That’s a breathalzyer in my hand.  I didn’t feel right.

Monika and I had to work all week, and Sam had plenty of things she wanted to do and plenty of people she wanted to see, so we mostly didn’t see her during the week.  But on Thursday night, we all went to Manny Brown’s for


That’s my cover band.  Anyone who hadn’t gotten a chance to visit Sam while she was in town had their last opportunity Thursday night.  A lot of people showed up and most of the people in the bar were there to see her.  Some friends who had never seen me play before finally got to check out the band.  This includes some people who had never seen me play a bass even though I was their manager for years at Sam Ash.

It was also the farewell show for Faith, a girl I only knew from our shows.  She was there almost every week and was always a sweetheart.  Her husband was serving in Iraq when I met her, and is coming home to be stationed in Washington State.  Faith and Sam both got leid and received their Hawaiian names.  I hope to see her and her husband walk into one of our shows one day when they’re back visiting old friends.


Our last adventure of the week was a day trip to New Hope, PA.  Out of the four of us, I ws the only one who had been there before, and I’ve been there a lot.  I got to play tour guide for the day, which I enjoy.  Let’s face it, I like being the one in charge.  I also like leisurely roaming around with three beautiful women.

three blind mice

We wandered around pretty aimlessly for a while, checked into the kitch antique store and spent a good deal of time there.  I was looking for a good fedora, and the girls tried on numerous things.  We crossed Bridge Street into Lambertville, NJ where the annual Shad Festival was taking place.  Since it’s pretty family oriented, we bailed rather quickly and headed back to New hope for Lunch.

We headed towards Sprig and Vine, a new vegan restaurant that was very recently opened.  The head chef was a former chef at Horizon’s, one of Philly’s finest vegetarian spots.  It was a beautiful day, the sun was out, and we dined on the patio in a peaceful, outdoor setting.  We all ordered something different, and were all satisfied.  Admittedly, their menu was small, but in comparison to regular restaurants, I could eat everything, and so the menu was hugely awesome!

Since Sprig and Vine was a BYOB, and we didn’t bring any with us, immediately following lunch, we headed to Triumph Brewing Company.  A mere 200 ft away, it is  a craft brew pub that has live music, the freshest craft brew on tap, and a great, glass-walled atmosphere.  Here, we had many libations…

Okay, so craft brews are kinda’ my thing, so I (not so) reluctantly agreed to visit my favorite restaurant in New Hope, Wildflowers.  Right on the water in the center of downtown, this place is everything awesome about this town:  great people watching, super nice staff, very quaint, on the water, full service bar, and most of all, amazing home made sangria.  We ordered a nice liter carafe of half white-half red sangria, and I let myself get talked into one of their signature Margaritas.

We wound down here over light conversation and reflections of the week behind us.  Eventually we made it home.  The next night, we drove Sam to the airport so she could finally get back to the one she loves.  But, like an emotional see-saw, I know that she must have immediately missed us as much as we miss her.  On her final night here, she said something to Monika and me that assured us that for the rest of our lives, we’ll all remain together.


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