Welcome to the wilds! New Jersey for me was like crossing the border into Tijuana. Sure, the new lifestyle was crazy, but no one would ever admit to living there. When my husband’s job was relocated here in August 2010, we both were frightened. Now we’re learning about life, love, and marriage in this strange new culture. Feel free to tag along for the adventure.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Bushkill Falls

Main Falls on Brochure

Over the weekend, my husband and I took a day-trip to Bushkill Falls. It involves driving an hour from the Wilds of New Jersey into the Wilds of PA. As we turned onto 209 north, we recognized that we had left civilization behind us as we saw billboards with the words, “Bushkill Falls 9 miles. Left at blinking light.” There were many flashing lights on 209 including those from construction, where entire lanes were blocked by two friendly PennDot workers who started and stopped traffic. It seemed an eternity, but at last we saw the actual blinking light (with a tiny sign directing us toward the falls) and turned left toward “the Niagara of Pennsylvania."

As we climbed and hiked across wooden paths that dropped in and out of gorges overlooking the Main Falls and the Bridal Falls; we laughed and enjoyed the scenic excursion. However, the drought had lessened the majesty of the water some: where usually gallons cascaded over the rocks, tiny streams had replaced them. I mention it not to suggest avoiding The Falls; rather as a precaution before driving there.

Main Falls in a Drought
We intend to go back as the leaves change or perhaps when more rain has drenched the Poconos to see it in all its splendor! Yet I would be remiss to say the day’s adventure was found in the rocky, rough terrain of the mountain or the steep stairs out of the largest ravine. No, as with most things in life, the journey was not where we expected it. It was on the drive home.

The Shawnee Indian Reservation Visitor Center has a mini-golf course. Most adults presumably those without children would ignore that sign. Not me. Not my husband. While the majority of my friends gush over lying on beaches and being pampered on their honeymoons, I discuss the mini-golf, mini-battle. Everyday for a week in the Canary Islands, we met on the greens in spirited competition that turned into rivalry: male versus female, husband versus wife. Only one of us could rise victorious. I claimed that initial trophy, and won a dinner out... but rematches have often given the manly victor his spoils.

Mentally preparing for another fierce campaign, our eyes roved along 209 south searching for the elusive battle field. We passed a  dingy van with two rugs draped over its gaping doors. These were high class floor covers: Betty Boop with a motorcycle and four connected portraits of the Disney princesses. A little sign in front of it read, “Rug Super Sale.” Like the yard sale incidence, I ignored the sign, but before I knew it my husband was doing a u-turn.

“They could have something we want,” He explained, “we really need a rug for our living room.”

“O-okay,” I stuttered as we entered the gravel lot with no cars other than our own.

“If we find something,” he continued, “You gotta help me bargain them down.”

“I can play the frightened, panicked wife; who doesn’t want to be here?” I suggested…and he laughed at me.

As we got out of the car, a man dressed in a stained gray outfit stepped out of the building directly behind the van.

“Lookin to buy a carpet?” He asked. “I’ve got more in the building,” he nodded toward the cement block that looked about as inviting as a serial killers lair, and what I heard was, “Come into this abandoned warehouse, won’t you? No one can hear you scream.”

My eyes shifted nervously back and forth as my husband leaned down and carefully lifted and separated individual carpets.

“You like this one?” He asked. I shook my head, no, in tiny head jerks afraid of attracting attention.

“This one?” His voice had a twinkle to it, and actually, I did like it.

“Mm…hmmm,” I answered another minuscule head movement. We pulled it out, and it truly was perfect for our living room. It brought in the bright colors that we needed to lighten the room.

I pointed to a fray at the end though; unwilling to vocalize that it was a little damaged.

My husband fearlessly inspected the other side and said, “It’s damaged.” Bringing a lighter the man burned and folded the frays back into the carpet, fixing a little stitch, and promising to cut twenty dollars off the price.

Then, my husband found a little cement like dust, and no embellishment included here, the guy actually said, “Did you take my knife?”

“Excuse me?!” I asked. 

“Did you take my knife?” He repeated louder and all I could think was ‘We’re gonna be mugged!'

You may be laughing, but I tell you… the caliber of this rug store left something to be desired.

“Okay,” my husband said at last, “we’ll take it! Is there an ATM around here?”

“Just next door in the gas station,” the man delighted already brimming from his sale.

“I’ll be right back,” My husband replied. There is the royal “we” in literature, and there is the royal “I” in marriage. “I” meant “we;” especially in this case. I trailed him matching my pace to his as we hurried toward the gas station.

While I waited for him to procure funds, I perused brochures. It’s a fun past time especially when you’re near strange and backward attractions. For example, if you visit Bushkill Falls you can also go to the World’s Largest General Store. For your enjoyment I scanned in a pieces of the brochure for you. Please note, not only does it have a creamery but a movie theater. It has not just a pet store, but a dog restaurant. And most importantly, dogs are permitted to urinate on the premises. Notice how the Clipart dog appears both on the front cover with his leg lifted as well as the centerfold, filling the fish bowel and surrounding area with his blue pee.
Front and Middle pieces of pamphlet 

Or if that doesn’t strike your fancy, you can go to the Pocono’s Snake and Animal Farm where you’re children can commune with nature and feed the wildlife.
*snake included by yours truly to demonstrate exactly how children can nurse mammals and reptiles!

 As soon as we make our return excursion to The Falls, I’ll be checking these places out!

And in the meantime, I have learned a valuable lesson:

“Even sketchy vans sometimes have good deals.” The rug is now in front of our fire place and looks great!

But, always remember if you intend to bargain shop in an abandoned warehouse:
  • Never go in alone
  • Know your exits
  • Ensure your knife is bigger than the merchant's 
  • And be practiced in the martial arts

Until next time!


  1. 1) Angel Falls > Bushkill Falls, especially in winter!
    2) Make sure you clean that rug.
    3) This blog greatly exaggerates the machismo of The Husband.

  2. 1. You are absolutely right Angel Falls is great in winter. We are excited to see what Bushkill Falls is like too! Although perhaps another trip to Angel Falls is necessary?

    2. Rug is cleaned and the four legged devils roll constantly from one end to the other.

    3. The husband = complete machismo awesomeness