A piece of history known as the “ghost tracks” have returned to the Higbee Beach area along the Delaware River in Cape May. Beach erosion and storms have continued to unearth the tracks from time to time, most recently in the last 10 days. My daughter and I visited that area yesterday.
The century-old tracks were built by the Cape May Sand Company who in 1905 began sand mining and dredging sand from the beach to be processed for glass and cement.
During the World War I period (1916-1919) this area served as a munitions testing ground performed by the Bethlehem Steel Loading Company. The tracks were used to move cannons and massive munitions along the coastline that were then fired into the beach and sand dunes to test their strength for the US and its allies, including Russia, France, and England.
Fortunately, sand mining operations were suspended in 1936 when Cape May became concerned about depleting sand from nearby bathing beaches.
Those of you who have followed me for a while know that one of my favorite local places is Riverwinds, in West Deptford, NJ. It’s a place where I go to relax, think and renew my spirit as I stare at the Delaware River flowing by.
Across the river is the busy Philadelphia airport, far enough away that only occasionally are my thoughts interrupted by the sounds of a jet engine. In the last photo, the warm glow of sunset has faded, and night is descending on the city of Philadelphia as the lights begin to come on.
It’s important to have a go-to place when we need a little clarity in our lives. There’s nothing like sitting by the water to give life a little perspective (for me at least).
It’s where I go to think things over and sometimes to write. For me, it’s a nearby place of inspiration and gentle breezes that stir the soul. Located in Thorofare, New Jersey, Riverwinds Community is bordered by the mighty Delaware River.
Behaving as a writer and not a photographer, I grabbed my writing pad rather than my camera, when my daughter unexpectedly suggested a visit during a recent day of Indian summer. I would have preferred that these photos came from a camera, but I have to admit that my cell phone did a half-decent job.
Early signs of Fall
On a clear, warm day like this, I was reminded how good it felt to be alive as I glanced out over the river. At times, the soft sounds of the waves lapping at the shore were lost int the roar of the planes landing across the river at Philadelphia International Airport. Nonetheless, there seemed a strange sense of harmony between the solitude of nature and the intrusive sounds of a busy world.
Plane landing across the Deleware River at Philadelphia International Airport
Maybe harmony is the key here. Perhaps those times in the past when I came here for confirmation of an important decision or comfort for a troubling situation, it was harmony I sought and received.
A powerhouse of humanity – the Philadelphia Skyline seen faintly in the distance to the right.
Of course, some people still throw trash into the river. I was reminded of my post, Sad Signs of Spring from early 2012 as I looked down at the bottles on the beach.
Trash on the shores of the Delaware River
So how about you? What do you do or where do you go when you want to think things over or need to relax and get away from the everyday hassles of life?
Last week I went to one of my favorite places along the Delaware River to look for signs of spring. There was little evidence that spring had reached the shores of the Delaware in southern New Jersey, but sadly many signs that the trash of the Delaware River had.
These are not pretty pictures; they are a statement of society’s lack of concern for our world and the quality of life for future generations. If we continue to trash our planet, we will no longer be able to enjoy the peaceful flow of our beautiful rivers.