Thursday, September 19, 2013
Backwoods Bedminster Bass Pond Silted In
I wasn't sure how I would really feel. I'm not 16 anymore. I fight brambles in other places, so why not. But this place had limited parking. At least I had believed it did, discovered otherwise when I got there. I had to get there by bicycle. I hid my 4 piece Ugly Stik in a backpack in its original container--some of the total sticking out the top--so I would not look like a fool pedaling a bike with a fishing pole. I slung my camera bag too and certainly appeared interesting I'm sure in rush hour traffic on 202-206. I hid my bike in the woods and followed deer trails. I had to maneuver around a lot, but I finally came to a dam. First I heard the water and figured that's what it was. But when I made my way up top, I found that the guy who told me about this place--loaded with bass, which made sense since it's below private Sunset Lake (loaded with bass) on the same stream--was no liar, but had a very long memory. There's been no bass here for many years. The entire pond is silted in. Cattails everywhere, some big, lotus-like aquatic plants but no pond at all, although the dam betrays that at one time long ago, this was a pond back in the woods.
I hiked out, still feeling good. I had found that once I was in the woods, the boyish feeling of being alone on the trail of something--possibly--enlivened me and restored an acuteness of my senses. There are places back in the woods in New Jersey that do have bass. Some of them are many miles back. And it's not aversion at inconvenience and pain at pricker bushes if you have a mind and body that can respond to this land we share. What is America? Most think of the people and of course the American people comprise the nation, but America is also the land on which we live. It might be nice to get off the sidewalks on occasion.