Wednesday, July 20, 2022

What Put the ANGEL OF THE L TRAIN in the Pine Barrens

     Last week I wrote about my experiences with the NYC subway system since one of the main settings for Angel of the L Train is New York City. However, the heroine of my book grew up in the Pine Barrens and returns there when her situation in New York gets out of hand.  
     I haven't lived in the Pine Barrens--so I can't call myself a Piney. But I live in New Jersey and find the Pine Barrens a unique part of the state which is very intriguing. It's also known as the Pinelands of New Jersey. The Pineland National Reserve encompasses 1.1 million acres of the southern portion of the state and is about 22% of New Jersey's land area. It’s bigger than Yosemite or Grand Canyon National Park. The sandy, arid soil is not good for standard crops but it is good for cranberries and blueberries. It is also home to a wide variety of animals. The ecosystem even includes some carnivorous plants. 😮
Batsto Mansion

     I've enjoyed some good times in the Pine Barrens. The Cranberry Festival in Chatsworth is fun. I've camped in the Pine Barrens and gone swimming in a cedar bog. I came out dripping red water, which was a bit disconcerting. Officially, it’s called “tea colored” water, but it sure looked red to me.
     I've visited Double Trouble State Park  and Batsto Village. Two of my daughters went to college at a campus located within the Pine Barrens. I've also been to Albert Music Hall many times to hear live country, bluegrass, and Pinelands music.
     Then there was the night I heard the Jersey Devil. What an eerie experience! My daughters were asleep, tucked into their sleeping bags inside the tent while I sat at the picnic table with our Coleman lantern, reading a book. Hubby had gone to take a shower. Suddenly, there was a horrible screech. The lantern went out and everything went quiet--even the crickets were silent. I was petrified and fumbled around attempting to find a flashlight. Fortunately, after a few minutes, hubby came strolling back and wondered why the lantern had gone dark and then he fixed it. It’s true I didn’t see anything, but I think that's just as well. I was already scared. 
    One of the strangest sights in the Pine Barrens is the pygmy pine forest--one of the only such forests in North America. The trees are very short. (You can read abut them here:

Little House in Double Trouble State Park
   If you haven't been to the Pine Barrens, I reccommend taking some time to check it out. Then you'll understand why my heroine feels it's a great place to escape from her troubles in the big city.


No comments: