Saturday, February 28, 2009

Save The Date: Kakeout Reservoir Hike

Save the date - Sunday April 26, 2009 - for a hike around the Kakeout Reservoir [i.e., the Fayson Lakes reservoir] trail.

It's a terrific hike and offers you a view of the Kakeout reservoir and dam unlike what you see driving along Fayson Lakes Road. As gorgeous as the drive is, this hike will transport you to a different world.

Smoke Rise's Ken Bitz is organizing this outing. In fact, you will see the official notice appearing in the April 1 issue of The Smoke Rise Newsletter.

Ken describes the hike as follows:

This hike is rated easy and is 4 miles on the blue trail around the Kakeout reservoir in Fayson Lakes. The vistas are beautiful for a lovely spring day.

The plan is to meet at the Smoke Rise Inn parking lot at 1 PM and then car pool over to the trail head on Fayson Lakes Road since parking there is limited.

Lisa discovered a site from which the map above comes. It details the Kakeout Reservoir hike, with lots of details [topography, map, description, etc. all along the left hand side of the image].

We took the hike right before Thanksgiving with our kids and had a blast! I'll try to post that summary with photos before April 26th.

For information on these hikes as well as information on the Smoke Rise trails, please contact Ken Bitz at

I hope you'll join us for this terrific hike. See you then!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Didja Know? Trails

I was very excited to find this article from Cornie Hubner's series "Didja Know?" titled "Trails." Although it brings up more questions [i.e., does anyone know more about the camping site mentioned?], it helps makes sense of other details.

A miniature Appalachian Trail is available at our door steps. Providing all of the features of the National Trail, eleven marked paths reveal untouched Nature in nearly 15 miles of sensory adventure. High vantage points with boundless panoramas of lakes and forests, flowered covered valleys and marshes alive with birds and animals offer unmatched pleasure. Beginning in the early '50s, with the enthusiastic support of J. Alden Talbot, a dedicated Trails and Conservation Committee, explored and identified the first trails. These were provided with official looking markers, which when vandalised, were replaced with the colored tree blazes still discernible.

These trails were inadvertently included in the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference Map. As such, they were considered part of the 165,000 miles of the 100,000 public trails of the U.S.A.. Except for the Boy Scouts in Camps at the Southern and Western boundaries, few others ventured to gain access to the trails starting within the Club because of the Gate House. The trails were removed from the public maps and intrusion by the Scouts stopped when they were formally notified of their trespassing.

The Appalachian Trail enters New Jersey at Route 80 near the Pennsylvania line. It dips into New York for a few miles near Greenwood Lake and along the Kittatinny Range for 65 miles. A well known trail begins in Hewitt, following a wild, craggy path, a distance of 18 miles terminating in Butler. Marked with blue blazes, it is the southern end of the New England Upland, composed of 600,000 year granite and ore deposits. The ore attracted our earliest adventurous settlers who were forced by law to send the ingots to England for manufacture into consumer goods (forbidden in the colonies) and returned to sell for huge profit.

Evidence of pre-revolution mining activity still exists near Stillwater or New Pond, not far from Mountain Trail (Blue) that is approached from Mountain Road near lot No. 669. This trail joins West Lake Trail (Yellow) and then the Indian Corner Trail (Yellow) to end at the top of Orchard Road, the longest contiguous maintained path.

Orchard Road was once part of the Estate Road system that provided entry from South Gate, located near what is now the recently opened formal entrance to the "Estates in Kinnelon" development. The road was used as a bridal path to the Barns and followed along East Shore Drive. A few area riders were delighted to be invited to join the Kinneys and their friends for exhilarating jaunts to the picturesque picnic grounds. Locals recount seeing the lucky riders, garbed in formal riding habits, as if for a Madison Square Show, maintaining the quality of local aristocracy. The bridle paths were the basis of our present roads and the trails flowing from them.

A nature loving, dedicated Committee opened and maintained the trails with occasional help from the Company at cost. The limited budget provided the use of a bulldozer, one day at a cost of $72.oo per diem (from the minutes). The painters, loppers[?] and sloppers (work classifications) spend many hours, with $25.00 of hired help laying a corduroy road on the Hemlock Trail (Orange) through the finest stand of evergreens, previously almost inaccessible. This trail, like the others, was regularly patrolled often needing a power saw for removing fallen trees.

A power saw, carried on a rod between the shoulders of two stalwarts was frequently operated by Dr. Lyndon Peer, a world renowned Plastic Surgeon whose books on Cleft Palate and Ear Restoration are standards. His "Loppers" watched and shuddered as he manipulated the dangerous incongruous "surgeon's" instrument with little regard for his priceless hands. A mark of appreciation for the efforts of the group was in a coat of arms - motto, "from Precipice to Precipice" that was presented by the Club in '59.

Trail rides by the Riding Club were increasingly popular. Many novice riders became expert as the stable provided mounts and lessons. Mountain trails together with open roads leading from one to another provided almost 30 miles of paths. These also attracted a less welcome customer, the trail bike rider. Their reckless, fantastic feats of speeding to most remote spots, spread terror to man and beast until peremptorily stopped.

A decrease in interest and the sale of the 1460 acre south section, cut off access to trails beyond the end of Lake Kinnelon. The camp site, cleared and prepared by two pioneering committee men is available by permit, under strict regulations for those seeking life "in the raw." More than 30 species of trees, marked by the N.J. Dept. of Conservation and over 200 birds (20 species of Warblers, 12 Sparrows, 7 Ducks) have been identified and recorded between '54 and '62. As if to authenticate our indigenous nature, 3 bald eagles visited in '52 for three weeks to feast on the carcass of deer that had frozen in the Lake. Wild Turkeys are now returning in increasing numbers and there have been recent sightings of Black Bears (125 reported in the state).

Nature lovers need not travel far. With increased interest Trail Maps (1967 ed.) lists of Birds and Trees could be made available and the serene, unrivaled beauty of our share of Nature reopened at our door step.

And, now for the questions:

If you have knowledge of the camp site that Cornie refers to, would you let me know?

Lisa and I are trying to reconstruct the 'yellow' or Indian Corner trail that goes from West Shore Drive to Orchard Road. Would you have information on that? Maybe it connects to the camp site?

Who knows about the "Hewitt to Butler" trail?

Note: I'm overdue on documenting the Hemlock Trail -- which is a gem of a hike!

Technorati Tags: Tags:

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Corrado's in Wayne, NJ -- Foodie Destination

So we went to Corrado's in Wayne this past Monday, President's Day. Wow!

We do not have anything like it near us.

It is a big store, especially by specialty food standards, and so has a breadth and depth of ethnic, unusual, gourmet, and "urban" foods you would be likely to find only in the city, and then, at a number of different places. 

The products are nicely displayed and lighted, and there is enough room in the store so you do not feel crowded.

And -- the prices! They are low. 

Top quality Reggiano Parmesan cheese at $12 per lb. ($22 per lb at Pathmark). Lemon sole at $7 per lb. Cold pressed extra virgin olive oil at $17 for a 3 liter container ($20 to $22 at BJ's for example)

You can buy dry-aged prime beef at $12 per lb if you take an un-cut, un-trimmed piece. You can buy fresh rabbit. You've been looking for rabbit, right?

Milk is $2.79 per gal. for Tuscan brand ($4.19 at Pathmark and Stop and Shop), the same price as BJ's for their house brand. Plum tomatoes are $.79 per lb. (anywhere from $1.49 to $2.59 at Pathmark recently).

They do have prepared foods which we did not try. They looked good.

Tonight, I'm going to deep-fry the lemon sole fillets we bought, in a rice flour tempura batter, and drizzle them with lemon, salt and pepper.  It'll take about 4 minutes per fillet.We'll have that with cauliflower beurre noisette, and basmati rice. Sorry, only enough for us!

Yes, it's not as convenient as Pathmark or Stop and Shop, but it's not that far, either.

The bottom line is that you can get better food, different food, and cheaper food here than you can at any other nearby store.

It's fairly entertaining for younger ones as well; our 7 year old, who does not appreciate grocery shopping, was interested in the foods she had not heretofore seen, and did not fidget.

If you are doing a good size shopping, for produce, meat, fish, or many staples, you can shop at Corrado's and save, per my ballpark estimate, around $50 on $140 purchase as we did, and get better food and have more fun, too.

Corrado's in Wayne -- you've gotta go.

And, if -- I mean "when" -- you do go, let us know what you think -- drop us an email or post a comment.

~ Ted

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Kinnelon's Family Science Night

The second session of Family Science Night took place this past February 4th, 2009 at Kinnelon's Stonybrook school. We attended the first on December 3, 2008 from 6 to 8pm and had a blast.

A new program for Kinnelon NJ, Family Science Night is a "hands-on science learning experience for children in grades 1 through 5 and their parents. The program provides an opportunity for families to work together to conduct simple, inquiry based, age-appropriate science activities" made possible by a grant from KEHSA.

We started out in the gym where Science Supervisor Noreen LaFergola set the stage for the evening's activities - putting them into context for the parents and getting the kids pumped for some science.

Over the next hour and forty minutes, we rotated through 5 fifteen minute activities:
+ Float your boat where we designed a boat out of aluminum foil to hold the most weight before it sunk [we assumed 30 marbles would sink our ship; we were able to load 171]

+ I Spy consisted of 2 activities: a colored toothpick hunt and an animal/habitat matching game

+ Don't break the bridge during which we built a bridge to hold a cup filled with marbles using spaghetti... We lost our bridge at 47 marbles.

+ Roller Coaster Ride required that we create a looping track for a marble out of 2 half pieces of foam pipe insulation, masking tape and a piece of carpet.

+ Use the force had the kids pushing wheeled carts across the room with enough force to make it past certain distances, without slamming against the opposite wall.

Float your Boat was our favorite. Emma's next favorite was the Roller Coaster because she did that one completely on her own, rejecting parental assistance. By the time Don't Break the Bridge came, we were exhausted.

I've uploaded my photos of the evening's Family Science Night to Flickr.

Here is the pedagogical rationale behind these type of events [from Sandia National Labs]:

+ Children perform at higher levels when their parents are involved in their learning (McShane, 1999)
+ Parents pass on their attitudes along to their children (Gross, 1988; Hurd, 1994)
+ Women engineers and scientists indicate presence of strong parental support (Campbell, 1992)
+ Learning is enhanced through guided, scaffolded participation in real-world science activities (Campbell et al., 1989)
+ Works of Piaget and Vygotsky
+ NSTA goal of hands on experiences in science learning

Here are experiments to try at home as well as a list of Family Science Night activities for '07-'08 from Sandia National Labs. Pretty cool!

The brochure for the evening listed the names of many from Kiel and Stonybrook schools who took part in organizing the event: from principals, supervisors and educators, to parents and students.

It was intense. It was fun and we learned.

If you went, will you let us know what you thought? And, if you took photos, consider adding them to Flickr.

Technorati Tags: Tags:

Friday, February 6, 2009

Corrado's Market in Wayne, NJ

A reader emailed us to suggest Corrado's in Wayne, NJ, near the Preakness shopping center, as a possible high end, or expanded range, food store. I remember hearing that they were opening the store but I have not visited it yet, although I have visited the store in Clifton near the GSP.

This should be a fairly large store since it occupies the former King's Supermarket space at 201 Berdan Avenue.

One of my memories of Corrado's is buying huge quantites of fava beans, bag after bag of them, only to discover that they have to be peeled twice. Wow that was a lot of work! My wife was really tired... Good fava beans, though... [prepared with olive oil, lemon, manchego, black pepper, Italian parsley and garlic - although you'll want to reduce the lemon juice to 2-3 tablespoons. Yum.]

Corrado's website says that the new store has everything that the original store does, such as seafood, meats, cheeses, a wide range of produce, prepared foods, and esoteric ethnic foods, so I'm looking forward to going soon. Open 7 days a week, 7 AM to 9 PM.

Anyone who goes, send us an email and we'll post about it.

Still, for us, Corrado's is farther away than Zeytinia -- it takes me about 25 minutes to get to Trader Joe's, and Corrado's is right around the corner from there.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Zeytinia -- NY Specialty Foods in NJ

Do you know about Zeytinia?

World Class local food shopping. A contradiction in terms for us in Kinnelon, right? Well, no, if you accept 6 miles up 287 in Oakland, NJ as local.

We have the standard supermarket shopping options in Kinnelon, NJ -- Pathmark, Stop and Shop, A&P down Route 23, and King's in Boonton, NJ which is very good for seafood and meat but very expensive.

If we want something more, it's a hike. Whole Foods is in Montclair, NJ. Fairly expensive and a good 35 minutes away. It's true that we have access to Trader Joe's in Wayne at the Preakness shopping center, but that has quite a limited range of product to offer.

We really don't have anything else... except -- Zeytinia in Oakland, less than 15 minutes by car from Smoke Rise. Zeytinia is quite a store, not perfect perhaps, but excellent nevertheless. And outstanding in many ways.

They are committed to low prices for high end food, both fresh and prepared, and they have an excellent selection of branded products at equally low prices.

I have shopped more than half a dozen times at Zeytinia since it opened last year, and I have been very happy to discover that for price and quality, no other local store comes close.

You don't go there for paper towels, but you do go there for produce, imported and high end cheeses, meats, seafood, prepared food, oils and vinegars, and imported canned and boxed goods for both availability and price. De Cecco Pasta made with bronze dies. Dry-aged prime beef at less than half the price you would pay at King's in Boonton. The best selection of salumi -- that's cold-cuts to you non-Italians -- at very low prices. 6 different types of smoked salmon. A huge selection of hot prepared food that drops in price 30% after 6 PM.

Boy, this article reads like an ad for the store. But there is no affiliation with Zeytinia, except that of a happy customer and a good place to shop.

As I mentioned, it takes me 15 minutes to get there if I go out the North Gate, which is about the same time it takes me to get to King's.

Now if I can only find some more good restaurants.

We're going to the Thai place in West Milford this month, and I'll post about it after we've been.

~ Ted

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...