Fitzgerald Marine Reserve

DSC02631

Welcome back to National Parks with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

DSC02627

The Fitzgerald Marine Reserve lies within the Montara State Marine Reserve. It is in Northern California, 20 miles south of San Francisco along the coast in Moss Beach and protects some endangered species of butterflies and plants as well as the marine life off the coast.

DSC02609

It is a popular location to explore tide-pools. We timed our visit to coincide with low tide and saw lots of anemones, hermits crabs and other marine life.

DSC02635

The tide-pools are at the base of a cliff with a steep staircase down to the beach. We saw a couple of seals hanging out on a rock in the surf as we wandered among the tide-pools.

DSC02633

Location: 200 Nevada Ave, Moss Beach, CA 94038

Designation: State Marine Reserve

Date designation declared: 8/5/1969

Date of my visit: August 13, 2012

DSC02639

Tropical Farms Macadamia Nut Farm

20190411_151110

Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

The macadamia nut tree is originally from Australia, but the macadamia industry was born in Hawaii. Most of the world’s macadamia nuts are produced in Hawaii on small farms.

20190411_150920

While on our tour of Oahu’s North shore, we stopped at Tropical Farms. This began as a roadside stand in 1987 with a husband-wife team shelling the nuts at night and selling them by day. It takes 300 pounds of pressure to crack the macadamia’s shell.

20190411_151155

Now it’s a tourist attraction with a farm tour, demonstrations and a gift shop with lots of free samples. In the shadow of the Koʻolau Mountains with wild chickens running around the property, it is a lovely place to stop.

20190411_150911

Oahu Posts:

Location: 49-227 Kamehameha Hwy # A, Kaneohe, HI 96744

Designation: Farm

Date established/designated: circa 1987

Date of my visit: April 11, 2019

20190411_151100

Hamilton Grange National Memorial: Eliza Tour

IMG_4131

Welcome back to National Parks and other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

IMG_4123

Hamilton Grange National Memorial preserves the mansion of Alexander Hamilton. Built in 1802 on Hamilton’s land in Harlem, Hamilton would live there with his family for only two years before his fateful duel with Aaron Burr.

20190324_131621

Upon his death, Hamilton’s political rivals sought to dismiss or take credit for his accomplishments. But Hamilton’s widow, Eliza, who survived Alexander by 50 years, spent the rest of her life ensuring that Alexander Hamilton’s legacy would not be forgotten. For women’s history month, we took a special tour of The Grange with the AHA society, which focused on Eliza.

IMG_4104

Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton was born into a wealthy family in upstate New York. Her father was general in George Washington’s army. She met Alexander Hamilton in Morristown, when the army was encamped there. They were married at her father’s home in 1780. Her marriage survived the nation’s first sex scandal (Alexander publicly admitted to adultery to clear up suspicion of financial impropriety while he was Secretary of the Treasury) and produced eight children.

IMG_4115

Alexander Hamilton died in debt. Eliza was able to re-purchase the Grange after it had been sold off at auction with some help from her connections and her inheritance from her father. She lived there with some of her grown children for 30 years before selling it to move into a townhouse downtown.

IMG_4114
Eliza sat for this portrait while the artist was in debtors prison so that he could earn some money towards his release.

She threw herself into charity work, helping to found the first orphanage in New York City and was the director of the organization for 27 years. She also, along with the widows of James Madison and John Adams, helped to raise the money for the construction of the Washington Monument.

IMG_4109

Eliza tirelessly promoted Alexander’s legacy after his death and persisted in having his papers organized and published as a biography. She demanded an apology from President Monroe for the accusations he’d made against Hamilton and defended Hamilton’s authorship of Washington’s Farewell Address.

20190324_132012
This piano was a gift from Eliza’s sister Angelica.

A week before the duel, Alexander wrote to Eliza: “With my last idea; I shall cherish the sweet hope of meeting you in a better world. Adieu best of wives and best of women. Embrace all my darling children for me. Ever yours, A H.”

IMG_4099

Hamilton Grange Posts:

Location: 414 W 141st St, New York, NY 10031

Designation: National Memorial

Date designated or established: April 27, 1962

Date of my visit: August 23, 2014

20190324_130711
Eliza’s father gave lumber from his Albany estate to Alexander for the Grange. These moldings are original and were hand-carved

Rockaway Beach, Pacifica

DSC02642

Welcome back to National Parks with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

DSC02650

We stopped at Rockaway Beach in Pacifica because we’d heard there was a black sand beach there. When we got there, we saw brownish, ordinary sand. We needed to go a little farther North to Sharp Park Beach for the black sand.

DSC02643

But what we saw at Rockaway was a beach with hardly anyone else on it. We climbed down to the beach, watched a couple of surfers catch a wave and walked out to some cool rock formations with a colony of sea birds on them.

DSC02663

Location: Cabrillo Hwy and Rockaway Beach Ave, Pacifica, CA

Designation: City Beach

Date of my visit: August 13, 2012

DSC02653

Island Beach State Park

img_3706

Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

img_3738

Island Beach State Park in New Jersey is a ten-mile long barrier island between Barnegat Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The State purchased the land from entrepreneur Henry Phipps Jr to preserve the natural environment as a park.

img_3707

The State also maintains the Phipps mansion as a summer residence for the governor. This became infamous when Governor Christie was photographed vacationing there in the summer of 2017 amidst a state government shutdown (beach-chair Christie memes were very popular that year.)

img_3712

Island Beach is one of few undeveloped patches of Jersey Shore. In the summer, visitors can enjoy the pristine beaches without all the commercialism of the surrounding boardwalk communities.

img_3720

In the off-season, its a nice place for short hikes, fishing and dune buggying. The bayside has a network of water trails for kayaking.

img_3725

Island Beach is also a diverse wildlife habitat. Foxes are often seen playing here and occasionally snowy owls are photographed in the dunes. There had been recent sightings of two owls in the park when we visited, but we weren’t lucky enough to see one that day.

img_3761

The Interpretive Center is about 7 miles from the entry gate. We parked there first…the restrooms were open, but the nature center was not. We picked up the Johnny Allen’s Cove Trail behind the building.

img_3757

First we took the fork to the right, through the maritime forest with its holly trees and on out to the dunes and the beach beyond. Even though it was mid-morning, the sky still had the pinkish glow of sunrise.

img_3713

Then we backtracked and took the trail out to the bay side. We had to cross the park road to do this, but it was pretty quiet in the park.  We walked through the salt marsh, past some vacant osprey platforms to the bay.

img_3755

We drove down to the last parking lot at the southernmost tip of the island. This is where people with dune buggies can off road on the beach.  Just over the dunes, we could see Barnegat Light on neighboring Long Beach Island.

img_3743

Location: Central Ave, Seaside Park, NJ 08752

Designation: State Park

Date designated or established: 1953

Date of my visit: January 6, 2019

img_3342
View of Island Beach State Park from Barnegat Lighthouse

Ramapo County Reservation: Falls

IMG_5737

Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

IMG_5753

We frequently visit Ramapo County Reservation. It’s a great green space in the midst of densely populated suburbia, has plenty of well-maintained trails and it’s dog friendly. Scroll down for the link to my previous post about this park.

IMG_5719

We were late getting there to celebrate the arrival of spring this year because Lily had been sick in April and required surgery.  Finally, by Memorial Day Weekend, everyone was healthy enough to get out to the park.

IMG_5705

We crossed the bridge past the turtle bog and headed straight to the section of the Yellow Vista Loop Trail that heads towards the park’s waterfall.

In May, there was still a decent amount of water flowing. By late summer, it slows to a trickle.

IMG_5751

After resting at the falls, we headed back to the car, satisfied with a short hike for this day. Little did we know that this would be Monkey’s last hike. She fell ill and died only three weeks after these photos were taken.

IMG_5746

Ramapo Reservation Posts:

IMG_5714

Location: 608 Ramapo Valley Rd, Mahwah, NJ 07430

Designation: County Park

Date designated or established: 1972

Date of my visit: 5/25/2019

IMG_5729

Hau’ula Beach Park

20190411_141914

Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

20190411_141730

As part of our North Shore tour, we stopped at Hau’ula beach to take a dip in the ocean. All beaches in Hawaii are public and this one has a parking lot, restrooms and showers.  Hau’ula translates to ‘red hibiscus.’

20190411_141717

Hau’ula Beach Park is on Oahu’s windward coast and is popular with the locals for picnicking. It was quiet when we were there and we were the only tourists.

20190411_141047

The beach itself is narrow…our shoes almost got washed away when we didn’t leave them high enough up the bank. I also noticed an unfortunate problem with plastic garbage washing up on the shore. But it was peaceful…some of the other beaches along that section of the highway were packed with no available parking, so it was nice to be away from the crowds.

20190411_140121

Location: 54-135 Kamehameha Hwy, Hauula, HI 96717

Designation: Public Beach

Date of my visit: April 11, 2019

20190411_141739