National Geographic : 1960 Jan
National Geographic, January, 1960 the hundreds of industries clustered along its banks as it winds to a quiet merger with the salt waters of Newark Bay to the south. But let's face it, a person quickly can get his fill of industry. We leave for the near-by Ramapo Mountains, scarcely less wild today than they were in the days when Revolu tionary War outcasts found a haven there. Halfway up from Oakland, the Skyline Drive takes a curve. Ahead, a raccoon leads her brood across the road, letting a mere autoist know that her kind was there first. Rattlers Roam the Ramapos I stop the car. Wilderness surrounds us. Off to the southeast, some 20 miles away, the skyscrapers of New York seem to grow out of the trees between. My guests scramble to pick the daisies among the boulders. That's not wise: I remember the advice of the guide who first took me through the Ramapos. "Place is full of rattlers and copperheads," he said. "Stick to the roads." We pick no daisies. Instead, our car rises to where the drive dips down to the west. Patches of deep blue in the valley below dot the hardwood forests. These wooded highlands, where streams run clear and cold, give water to several north Jersey cities. That closest patch is Wanaque Reservoir, seven miles long and capable of supplying 85 million gallons of water daily. Reservoirs are numerous because water is everywhere in these highlands. The very names of rivers make it evident that the Indians knew them, too: Musconetcong, Pas saic, Raritan, Pequannock, Pequest. Dozens of lakes snuggle in glacier-built pockets. The largest is called Hopatcong, loosely interpreted as "honey water of many coves." Lake Hopatcong, only six and a half miles long, has so many coves and inlets that the shoreline winds some 35 miles. In summer the white wings of sailboats dot the surface; in winter iceboats skim the frozen lake (page 38). Scores of ice fishermen cluster in River Styx cove. Dense woods close in on the lake; from the air it is a sapphire in a setting of green (page 14). Loftiest spot in New Jersey is High Point, close to where New York and New Jersey touch borders. At 1,803 feet, High Point per haps rates as little more than a foothill to a Coloradan, but it is rugged and steep enough to test neophyte mountain climbers. The Appalachian Trail runs down the back bone of the Kittatinny Mountains between High Point and Delaware Water Gap. At Sunrise Mountain, a craggy ledge easily reached by automobile, we hikers-on-wheels can park and, by walking a few paces, get a magnificent view. Sunrise Mountain looks eastward across the Kittatinny Valley, a region of lush dairy farms. Harry Dorer, retired Newark News photographer who talks about New Jersey the way really boastful Texans talk about Texas, first took me to Sunrise Mountain. "Wonderful, wonderful," Harry said, as he always does. "Look at those barns! You know, Sussex County has more cows than people-and that's good!" People at Last Outnumber Cows Whether it's good can be debated, but from Mr. Dorer's viewpoint, the county has slipped. The latest figures show more people than cows in Sussex, by several thousand head. Never theless, life still revolves around milking time. Often I've waited while sun-tanned farm boys or girls drove cows barnward across the road in late afternoon. Between the Kittatinnys and the Delaware is a land few outsiders visit-a fertile land of independent folk. There I go whenever I seek a leisurely pace and a measure of self sufficiency. There, near villages like Flat brookville and Wallpack Center, men still trap and hunt and gather in country stores to swap yarns beside wood-burning stoves. Joe Taylor, of Columbia, considered a kind of Paul Bunyan among trappers along Big Flat Brook, has led me through the area. Joe is Governor and Mrs. Meyner Cool Off After a Tennis Match Morven, the Governor's official residence, stands in Princeton, 10 miles from the State Capitol at Trenton. Robert B. Meyner, who was married in office in 1957, sips iced tea beneath a portrait of Richard Stockton, a descendant of the man who built the house in 1701. His wife Helen, a distant cousin of Adlai Stevenson, fondles a black poodle. Gladioli flare from the sterling silver bowl, a wedding gift. The antique plaster group beneath the lamp, appropriately entitled "Politics," shows a woman interceding in an argument between two whiskered men. KODACHROMEBY NATIONALGEOGRAPHICPHOTOGRAPHERVOLKMARWENTZEL© N.G.S.