The family gathered in New Jersey this week to celebrate the life of our matriarch, Anneliese. “Omi” passed away in November, and it was decided that we would wait for better weather to inter her ashes beside my grandfather.
Growing up, my grandmother would bring her children and grandchildren together every summer at a small lake cottage in Denville, NJ. There is little doubt in my mind that spending so much time there, learning to swim and canoe and explore nature with my cousins, contributed to my immense love of the outdoors.
The time spent in NJ this week was filled with family gatherings, tributes to my grandmother, and two formal memorial portions, one at the cemetery and one at the lake. In between, we had free time to revisit old haunts in the area, take down-time to rest and grieve, and to take care of ourselves as needed. Having been cooped up on a plane for five hours and needing to boost my endorphins, I asked to borrow the car to hit a local trail and stretch my legs. My sister and mother decided to join me, and just like that we set off on a five mile hike at Pyramid Mountain.
Being the east coast, mountains are a little different than we in the northwest might consider them. Pyramid Mountain’s summit elevation clocked in at a whopping 928 feet. However, what they lack in altitude, east coast mountains make up for in lush, green hillsides, unique geological features, and a whole different experience from equivalent hikes on the west coast.
The trails varied from wide and gardenesque to rock hopping up a veritable river bed of bolders. Yours truly may have confused a junction or two that resulted in a moment of “wait, we’ve been here before!” and added a few extra steps to our counters, but by the end it was a great hike and a much needed reprieve to nature in the midst of so many emotional waves.
Apparently the bolder we stopped to play around on is somewhat well known as a local landmark. Tripod rock. So we got to play accidental tourists as well.
To follow our trail: