Apple Pie Hill Tower Smashed Again

Teegate

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I visited APH today for a very short time and there is a large gate at the top of the road.



The tower is not fenced off. There was 6 inches of rain yesterday and the roads are somewhat washed out. I almost got stuck turning around at the bottom of the hill when I went into a large rut.

Guy
 

PINEY MIKE

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Jan 30, 2009
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Stopped by APH yesterday and for the second time in a few weeks, I was happy to see it was pretty darn clean. Of course the broken glass is still there, but the area has been a lot cleaner than Im used to seeing it. :D
 

Teegate

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Stopped by APH yesterday and for the second time in a few weeks, I was happy to see it was pretty darn clean. Of course the broken glass is still there, but the area has been a lot cleaner than Im used to seeing it. :D
Was the gate up when you were there the last time?

Guy
 

Pan

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Jul 4, 2011
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They only have someone in them when the risk of fire reaches a certain point. They are all still used.

Guy
Interesting, on NY fire towers, including misconceptions, like my own. I thought that fire towers were no longer used. I remember climbing one in the Catskills way back in the 1960's and chatting with the friendly tower man who had majored in forestry in college.

http://firetowerradio.net/Fire_Tower_List_3-14-11.pdf
 
Aug 6, 2010
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I made the mistake of walking to the tower on a day it might rain. Turns out it did rain. The fifteen minute walk back to my car in the rain left us soaked. Then the drive back home my seat absorbed all the water from our clothes and my car was left smelling like a dead animal for about three days.
 

Teegate

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I made the mistake of walking to the tower on a day it might rain. Turns out it did rain. The fifteen minute walk back to my car in the rain left us soaked. Then the drive back home my seat absorbed all the water from our clothes and my car was left smelling like a dead animal for about three days.
You can drive your car there. The easiest and best way in a car if you don't want to take the main road, is to go in at the Bordentown Gun club on 532 and drive to this link. Then walk the 600 easy feet to the tower.

http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.8073904266038&lng=-74.59275841712952&z=17&type=h&gpx=

Guy
 

Espo55

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Mar 24, 2011
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I visited APH today for a very short time and there is a large gate at the top of the road.



The tower is not fenced off. There was 6 inches of rain yesterday and the roads are somewhat washed out. I almost got stuck turning around at the bottom of the hill when I went into a large rut.

Guy
i noticed you posted this a few days ago, just saying, that gate has been there for a while...i hiked a 31 mile portion of the batona trail with a friend in march (big mistake haha) and went by the tower, there was no gate there...then i went offroading with a friend three days later and when we stopped at the tower this gate was freshly there, with the sand all ripped up around it cause the state just put it in...so it went up somewhere between march 16th and 19th...
 

Teegate

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...so it went up somewhere between march 16th and 19th...
Thanks! it is nice to know the date this occured. I have not been there in a while ... I try to stay away from there. Too depressing.

Guy
 

Kevinhooa

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Mar 12, 2008
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Yeah, I stopped sometime in late April and saw it. I think it's a good thing, and there was definitely less trash around when I stopped there. The view, as always, was great from the top. I just parked right in front of the gate when I went. I noticed the tower looked like it had been painted over in some spots as well. There were also two guys from NY looking for snakes there when I went.
 

Demolition_x

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Feb 16, 2011
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I was at the tower on Saturday. Parked at the bottom of the hill and walked up. I was amazed how much less trash was there compared to last time I was there. There was still minimal normal trash of bottles, cans and food products but no TV's printers and refrigerators. The road from applejack was easily navigable by any car if your interested.

It was also unmanned on Saturday.
 

vagabondforbeauty

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Sep 17, 2011
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It looks like this thread has died down recently, especially regarding people's motives for vandalising and disrespecting the natural world. BUT, as a man who grew up exploring the Pines in more recent years (late 90s - early 00s), I'd like to weigh in.

I'm 28 years old, born and raised in lower Camden County very near the southwest fringes of Wharton State Forest. My first job ever was as a member of the Clean Communities Program in Wharton (summer '99 and summer '00), which brought teenagers out to the State Forest to work 40 hrs a week for the summer months cleaning up litter from popular and not-so popular locations. It was basically license to drive around in the woods for 8 hours a day, and through that as well as a family that took frequent trips into the woods, I developed a serious connection to the natural world. I've spent the last 3 years travelling around the country as a member of the Student Conservation Association (SCA), doing environmental education, restoration, and maintaining trails in National Forests, National Parks, and BLM lands in New Hampshire, California, Oregon, Alaska, and now Virginia.

As a teen, I was definitely quite at odds with my peers who saw the vast Pine Barrens as a place to do seedy things because of the lack of authority figures there. Once I got my driver's license, it was interesting to see how different my idea of a drive in the woods was compared with other large truck owners at my high school: I was one to take my topos, a few cds, maybe some herbal remedy (I was no saint), and enjoy a mostly quiet communing with the forest. I'd like to keep the music down to hear the sound of the sand under the tires. Others were more inclined to blast their music while plowing through mud holes and throwing trash on the side of dirt roads.

I've had a lot of chances to observe how the natural world is treated in quite a few diverse places. It may be a severe generalization, but I think New Jersey is succeptible to ignorance in particular because of such a lack of blatant wildness in places where most of the trouble makers (presumably) grow up. I was lucky to have grown up in Blue Anchor, where there are thankfully still large open tracts of woods and fields, and to see and explore things like that every day as a child probably had something to do with my lifelong appreciation for such things. Of course, having parents who would identify birds in the yard and take us on drives in the woods was probably even more beneficial to an awareness of the wilderness. I don't believe the disrespect for the Pines is wanton, but rather fueled by a lack of knowledge of what such openness means and what it can provide. When you grow up surrounded by pavement, fences, houses, cars, buildings, etc, I suppose it isn't a stretch to see open land as an opportunity to throw off everyday shackles, and for most kids that translates into doing pointless things like throwing televisions off of fire towers.

Having 3 years of experience with a conservation nonprofit, I have a small pipe dream of one day starting up a New Jersey Conservation Corps, with a focus on advocacy and education, especially in the Pine Barrens. I was a member of SCA's New Hampshire Conservation Corps in 2009, which included 9 weeks of environmental education in fourth grade classrooms in Manchester, NH's largest city, with a focus on place-based education centered around the Merrimack River which flows right through the middle of Manchester. It was amazing to see how the kids responded so warmly when we informed them of the ecological treasures right outside their homes, not in the Amazon or the Sahara, but right there in southern New Hampshire. Most classes even got to go on a field trip to the State Park where our corps was based, so they could see some of the plants and animals they learned about up close. Sounds rather lofty, especially considering the financial backing needed for such a program, but I think it is a possibility for the Garden State. I guess I just need to finally come home and get started on it!

This has been my novel for the day...thanks for reading, if you've made it this far. I look forward to visiting this site often now that I know about it.

-Marko
 
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Teegate

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Very nice post! Thanks for sharing your memories and idea's.

Guy
 
Jul 12, 2006
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Nice post. I enjoyed reading it, but let me give an opinion concerning this statement.

"It may be a severe generalization, but I think New Jersey is succeptible to ignorance in particular because of such a lack of blatant wildness in places where most of the trouble makers (presumably) grow up."

Although this may be partially true, I chaulk it up to this current generation of those in there teens and throughout their early twenties. Just look around at society in general. These people have no respect for no one or no thing. Yes, another generalization, but certainly true to an extent. These are the same people that tell there parents to go "F" themselves and young parents that don't do anything to correct that behavior. The scarey part about all of this, is that it will only get worse with each and every generation going forward. It will be worse next year, even worse the following year, etc.
 

Teegate

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The scarey part about all of this, is that it will only get worse with each and every generation going forward. It will be worse next year, even worse the following year, etc.
Unless something changes you are so true.

Guy
 

vagabondforbeauty

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Sep 17, 2011
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I'm only 28 so I can't comment on societal norms prior to the 90s, but I do get your drift.

From my perspective, I feel like a sort of suburban consciousness has permeated Southern New Jersey very strongly in my lifetime. Which is not to say suburban living is evil or inherently destructive to people. Heck, where I grew up, though still somewhat rural, you go outside on any weekday morning and you'll hear the AC Expressway and Rt 73 humming with morning rush hour commuters (ostensibly the suburbs). It's just a sort of mentality that I can't quite pinpoint but I know the feeling. Like, when I visit home in NJ I like to go for long walks or bike rides. And I'm the only person out there not stuck in a car. Most times I could go for a 20 mile bike ride on a pristine autumn day and count on one hand the amount of people I see outdoors. When I'm walking down the road I get car horns honking at me, presumably to mock my audacity for even being outside. Its this strange culture of being hemmed in by walls all the time, be it car, office, shopping center, or house. Call me an idealist, but I truly believe a solid connection to the world outside manmade walls to be integral to human social health. The more separate we are from our roots, with our feet on the earth and the wind on our skin, the worse off we are. The sad thing is, if I were to tell 95% of Americans that exact thought, they'd think I was the one who was losing my mind. When I'd say it is the exact opposite. We cannot divorce ourselves from the brutal truths that the wilderness has to teach us, like: it will be cold sometimes, you will get wet when it rains, you might have to walk a mile to get your water. Maybe it would do most of the population well to dig a hole and crap in it and wipe with leaves for a week (something I'm pretty familiar with).
 

woodjin

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Nov 8, 2004
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Nice posts Vagabond, and welcome to the forum. There are kindred spirits here. I agree that education is key, perhaps the single most important tool in the quest to preserve and maintain our open space.