Day 45


Apologies to Karen.  I spoke too soon!

Storey and Diana led me on a wonderful walk through the South Mountain Reservation this morning, and not five minutes after we’d chuckled at the thought of needing bright orange reflective safety vests to protect ourselves and our dogs from hunters’ bullets — as IF there could be rifles in these parts of Jersey — we saw three dozen people in full camouflage carrying rifles and  running through the trees.

“Oh my God,” Diana said. “I think they’re aiming for us.”

“No,” Storey said. “They’re just running toward us.”

We turned and stood our ground. We whistled for our dogs. We watched in utter disappointment as the soldiers ran up the hill and disappeared into the trees before we could snap a picture.

Well, Diana snapped this picture on her I-Phone, but you really can’t see anything.


Fortunately, deeper along the path we saw another group of soldiers. If memory serves me, this pack of people with guns and provisions would be called a platoon.

Specifically, they were a platoon of ROTC students from Seton Hall University, out for their weekly exercises.

“Take me to your leader,” we said.

OK, not really.

“Can we take a picture?” we asked.

Anna McDonald, the adorable student/soldier in the photo above, complied.

Next week…or maybe the week after…I’m putting on my hiking boots, leaving the dog at home, and going into the woods again. To see just what kind of fun those NJ soldiers are having when nobody’s watching.

And Karen — our walker from upstate New York, who fears hunting season — let me say, loud and clear, I WAS WRONG about the guns.

But I still don’t know what a muzzle loader is.