22nd Annual Halloween Pine Barrens Overnight Camping Trip
by Martin W.
Saturday & Sunday, October 29-30, 2016
Once again we celebrated All-Hallows-Eve with our 21st annual trip on the mighty Mullica River in the mysterious Joisey Pine Barrens. Alas, no blizzards or hurricanes this time around. No plague, pestilence or locusts. No Berserkers in Speedos or the All Knowing Larry. And mercifully, no signs of any Kardashians. Now, that would scare even the Joisey Devil away.
Attendance was a little light this year with nine members participating. Those folks who went on this extravaganza were Monica O., Barbara P., Dave M., Alan R., Jim M., Harris R., Rico P., Mike I. and myself - in 5 canoes and three kayaks. After the usual somewhat long shuttle through the vast blueberry country, we were on the river at last. Water levels were very low but passable with a bit of stumps and bumps along the way, but rarely having to get out of the boats.
We stopped at the usual lunch stop where Harris had a run in with some secondhand dog food... but we will not dwell on that. The weather was great for all (except me) with a temperature in the upper 60's on Saturday and 76 degrees on Sunday - even Saturday night it still was plenty warm. We had a nice campfire going with Barbara and Monica having cooked up some impressive batches of vittles. The only mishap was the steak that Harris broiled up on the fire.... he dropped it in the dirt just when he took it off the fire. Oh, well, a fast dip in the river and back on the fire saved the day. Monica, Jim and I played around with some creative photography with the appearance of ghostly apparitions of lost souls of past victims of the Joisey Devil. Strangely we heard some rapid gunfire not too far in the distance too later on.
Sunday was the shorter paddle to the takeout at Pleasant Mills arriving at our destination a little after noon. Walking back to the cars at Batsto Village we encountered hoards of costumed people celebrating Halloween at the village. On the way home I stopped by the Columbus Farmer's/Flea Market about 25 miles further north on Rt. 206. What... no freakin' blueberries or cranberries available! Youse gots ta be kiddin'... in the middle of blueberry and cranberry country! I should have stopped at one of those roadside stands further south.
Anyway... I hope to make 2017 our 22nd Annual All Hallow Eve. trip again. Links to some photos of the trip below.