The Three Wise Guyz of Pepe’s Cove…

The Three Wise Guyz of Pepe’s Cove…

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I have a not so tall tale to tell, I can relate, at this point, looking back, not that far, a few day’s past last actually, at this point, present, I am not sure if perhaps I was riding through a vision, a south jersey spiritual calling or hallucination (or just plain old reality), that morning on that beach, the so named cove, that I happened upon, quite on purpose in fact, the beach should be abandoned this time of year, only the domain of the seagulls and wandering fools such as myself, so stumbling up the roughly hewn sandy path through the dunes, I was quite surprised, that I was not alone, and those three figures seemed equally surprised to receive a visitor, to this piece of particular real estate, their kingdom, their court, clearly their land and personal port on the atlantic sea, being from somewhat the surrounding area, and familiar with local customs (hopefully), I gave the old Jersey nod, almost like tipping your hat but with no hat, sort of a head bob, and the long time honored verbally thick greeting “how ya’ doin”, thankfully my attempt at basic communication was satisfactory with three “how ya’ doin”s sent back in my direction, I was through the gate, they slipped immediately back into their inter-casual ball busting banter, I take a quick survey of the crew trying not to look like I was taking a quick survey, so I pretended to scan the beach, like some desolate deserted desert on the ocean there is literally nothing around but sand, and the dunes to frame the borders between here and the water, and this must have been low tide, the lowest of low tide as the water’s edge seems miles away, almost a different country all together, the three wise guys see this as well, and surmise, “I’ve never seen the water out like this, too far, too far”, and then the leader (my assumption), from his throne of gleaming white plastic and matching too small table, remarked “this is what happens when you have one of those sunami things”, nods of approval from the other magistrates follow, I get a good glimpse of the three now, the king (the only one wearing a crown as it were) seated in the middle and slightly back, knitted wool hat adorned with yarn pom pom for circumstance and rank, his robe the jacket of the local football team, no not the eagles (thankfully), the giants (my team as well, he must be a wise king), he is flanked by what seem like his guards, filling in, perhaps filling out their member’s only jackets in faded blue and black respectively, old man sneakers, and white sox, very white sox, complemented by mom jeans, and all three with the official royal drink in hand, a bud light, the ‘sunami’ talk goes on for awhile, I am still a little off centered that I came across this unexpected fiefdom, I admit I am tempted to join in the ridiculous conversation, but I hold my tongue, until the next story is spun, “did you see those big shrimp the other day, there was like a pile of ‘um over there” (points southward to a certain spot on the shoreline), “yeah, the birds were going crazy, did you grab any of those things?”, “those are like gold man, you could have made a bundle!”, “how many were there, like 50, 2000 or what?”, “what are those things called anyways? them big shrimp, they got a name, like little lobsters or sumtin”, I could not refrain as the big shrimp little lobster debate raged for what seemed like ages, I turned, “Prawns…” I blurted out, trying to time my quip as to not disturb the natural order of this circle of friends, they rejoiced with the knowledge I laid down, “Prawns! Yeah, that’s the name, they were prawns Johnny” (or maybe it was Joey… or both, or something similar), now their attention was on me, I could see the look in their eyes ‘look at the smart guy, let’s see what else he knows’, and with that came the question “do you know how much those things go for a pound? did I really give up gold?”, “I honestly don’t know, I don’t see them too often in the stores” I answered, and in dropped a drop of true disappointment, as apparently my knowledge was not so vast to satisfy the veracity of this small crowd after I built up expectations with my prawn gambit, sensing this setting of my sun, I blurted out “hey, but forget about it, it won’t matter after that Tsunami washes us away anyway”, this garnered a wry smile and a couple of genuine laughs, they were satisfied, and I must say I was quite satisfied with myself for jumping out of the jackass fire, so without further adieu I bid farewell, and departed from their lands, might I see them some other day on some other enchanted sands…

notes:. the real story, well, this is really it, I explored a lot of beaches on this trip (the photo is legit mine), I was really really not expecting anyone to be there, this seemed literally in the middle of nowhere, sure, there are houses, but most are summer retreats, who was I to walk onto a beach with these three who come to escape their wives and lives for a short time, I entered near this beach many more times that day… not a soul in sight, so maybe this was something magical or mystical, who am I to know ?

Music? some ambient goodness to get you through… c’mon, trust me already… dig it…

Cape May NJ Travel Log (part 4) “A Tale of Two Beaches”

Cape May NJ Travel Log (part 4) “A Tale of Two Beaches”

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I think I might have had my fill of route 347 and 47, both roads unknown to me previously, and now, I think I have driven every paved inch of them, I knew, well, I looked online, that the weather was set to be the best for my endeavors today in terms of outdoor activity, so I woke up early, um, at least I tried, 10am on a vacation day might as well be first prize, so I was out and about by 10:20, grabbed a large latte at the local coffee joint, I was THAT guy making jokes about ‘beating the rush’ (there we no one within 10 miles of the place), so in retrospect, ugghh to me, but at least the coffee was good, that is the important thing, dialed in my destination, once again off into townships and towns I had only googled about, destination: Seabreeze Beach, I mean, with a name like that what could be off ?

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Most of the drive was an uneventful romp through alternating front yard scrap yards and vast tracts of farms, or something that resembles farms, and lots and lots of houses (some on wheels) with a pentacle symbol on them, the road to the beach was long and then became longer, oy does GPS boost the old confidence because there was a few times there I was convinced I was off the path, or lost, or both, but I stuck to my I-guns and followed along, seabreeze road just meanders for days though dotted by a house or two and turns that seem like streets but have menacing red emblazoned Private Property signs screaming along fences, some of them look electrified, maybe to keep in the livestock, livestock ? yeah, I think I left New Jersey at some point and was plowing through Nebraska or some other plains state, this is not my mother’s New Jersey, that is for sure, so, without a hitch, the GPS is dead on, 1 hour and some minutes, I find myself at a road closed sign (oh no, not again) but just to my right, seems like a path for cars, I take it, the road (as it were) abruptly ends and sand begins, granted I have four wheel drive, but there is no way I am testing it out here, wherever out here is, a sketchy road dotted with abandoned looking half houses or double shacks, I pop it into reverse and park up on what might be the side of the ‘road’, next to a pile of old tires stacked near an old tree, someone should film a horror movie here, but that is for another day, so onward to the beach, tale one…

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this area has an interesting history, I won’t go into it all now but if you like (read up here ), so this beach is rather unique in that there were houses here, there was a town (booming shore/summer town), now? eh, not so much, in fact if you look closely in can be a bit depressing, there are still a few residents hanging on but I didn’t not see any (the road to the collection of houses that people actually occupy is blocked off, I respected their boundaries, even if I was quite curious), as the beach unfurls in front of you, well, you can see how this looks like modern ruins, cinder blocks, metal rusting in the ocean wake, concrete jigsaw puzzle with no solution, nature growing grass between or barnacles on, the northern exposure is the resident’s land with a ‘No Trespassing’ sign as desolate and alone as the flag on the moon, this place looks more apocalyptic than what Heston was cursing in the original Planet of the Apes, except I had no one to yell at, so for an hour plus drive this seemed like a real bust, I gave it the full walk through, a whole eight minutes later the beach was over, except, that curiosity itch, had to push a little further right? so southward there were no warning signs, just this weird house up on blocks like a subaru brat your brother was working on, how do they even get in the door ? strange, creepy, I an definitely alone out here… aren’t I? so I walk along the sea wall which seems like a blanket of cinder blocks rolled up against the tides, there are some fresh tire marks on a semi-road, so… well, let’s just take a few steps I think…

the road less traveled, unfortunately not the case, there is nothing more disheartening than being in a wildlife preserve and seeing tons of human left garbage, for whatever reason the garbage of choice seems to be modelo beer cans and corona bottles, with a sunkist orange soda two liter or three thrown down, there seems to be some sort of construction taking place (underground pipes of some sort), so I am not sure what to think, my hopes sink but something carries me on, I suppose I just go until I hit a natural obstacle I can not overcome, I’m a stubborn one like that, I press on this logging road, well, not literally a logging road, the tracks kind of remind me of that, of course the ocean is off on my right the entire time, then there is this shack hidden in the brush, intact enough to be occupied and the door is open, damn that is creepy, again, I am trusting in being alone out here, I’m not armed, with a gun at least, we’ll leave that at that, so I press on along the road next to the cinder block wall, I pass a couple of camp sites, more like ‘we had beers here’ sites, campfires that remind me not of camping as a kid but sloppy drunk people burning most anything in a ring of rocks, suddenly, the whole thing opens up, I might have well passed into another realm, another place, another dimension, behind me to the left opens up a beautiful tidal marsh, in front of me this little island between and then a pristine beach on the other side of the channel, as is my rule, laid out earlier, I press forward, the water looks deeper than I am willing to go (knee deep is the limit today), but in actuality I can see the shoreline under the water, where the tide marsh and ocean are colliding, I can see the bottom and follow along, such a strange revelation, this almost feels like I am walking on the water, if I step a few feet in either direction I will surely be up to my waist, there was this little bridge, in essence, for me to take, to the little atoll in the middle of… well, wherever I am, I can not call this Seabreeze beach, this is something else, something in complete contrast, maybe what this place was before the hand of man, test the water to try and reach the far beach, not today, way too deep, damn, I will have to settle for a look, and come back when the weather is warmer and certainly the water, so I may explore further, but my nature battery is recharged, from the depth of the depression of recent ruins to pristine beauty and amazing views, I wonder how many have not come this far and stopped only in that sad spot near where I parked.

post script… on the drive back I encountered a flock of about twenty wild turkeys, and they were skittish and did not even allow me a photo ! I get it though, this time of year I would be nervous if I were as tasty as they are…

For those interested… I have been uploading a bunch of videos to my YouTube Channel, this has been a strange week but a good one, the wind has kicked up, I can hear it behind me, tomorrow is not going to be a fun day, a storm is coming off the water…