Only A Few Attractions and Lots of Hot, Humid Weather in Toms River NJ


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Published: September 8th 2019
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The drive from Colonial Meadows Campground near Ocean City NJ to Cedar Creek Campground in Bayville NJ was just over and hour and about 50 miles according to GoogleMaps. I negotiated the drive uneventfully. I spent the remainder of Wednesday and Thursday being Mr. Domestic as the air conditioner in the main living area had gone on strike somewhere along the line and the weekend was supposed to be a record-breaker, or at least nearly so, and the heat wave was forecast to continue through the following week. This isn’t any pity party because the air conditioner in the bedroom still worked so I could cool it off before retiring and at least get a good night’s sleep. I chose to be a tourist on Friday vs. Thursday because the only time the Dock Tour at Viking Villagein (not my fault, for some reason the traveblog word editor won't allow the space) Barnegat Light NJ is offered is Friday at 10 AM (only in July and August) and reservations are required. The first order of business on Friday was a stop at Viking Village.

Here, it’s time for a confession of sorts. Typically, I download my pictures upon my return to
The Buildings Adjacent to the Inlet Are Part of the Museum ComplexThe Buildings Adjacent to the Inlet Are Part of the Museum ComplexThe Buildings Adjacent to the Inlet Are Part of the Museum Complex

Tuckerton Seaport, Baymen's Museum & Replica Lighthouse - Tuckerton NJ
the Bighorn after a busy tourism day and make a few notes in the Word document earmarked for that specific blog entry. I don’t want to shatter anybody’s bubble, but not all of those facts and figures come from my memory. Many of them come from photographs I have taken of placards documenting an artifact or providing the visitor with relevant information. Reviewing those pictures jogs my memory so I can make more copious notes from the day’s travels. Then, the blog merely needs some polishing, some transitional work between attractions and days and the addition of the pictures. Half way through my fourth stop of the day, my old phone (which I had been using as a primary camera so as to keep my new phone charged and serviceable) just plain died. It wouldn’t turn on. I tried every trick I knew, but nothing worked. Not only are there no pictures to jog my memory, there are only 1/8th of the pictures I took over the course of the day for me to share with you.

At Viking Village, the group of 50-75 visitors was met by a handful of Viking Village employees, including the grandson of the fishery founder, a Norwegian immigrant. We were told about adversities faced by modern fishermen and how those restraints impact the price of “American-caught” seafood. I learned the difference between a flounder and a fluke. A fluke is one of five types of flatfish that belongs to the flounder family. Therefore, a fluke is a flounder, but not all flounders are flukes. In terms of appearance, a fluke's eyes are on the left side of its body, whereas a flounder's eyes are on the right side of its body. A fluke has a large mouth and visible, well-developed teeth, while a flounder has a small mouth with no visible teeth. A scallop boat was offloading its harvest only a handful of yards from where the presentation was being offered so we could listen with one ear and look with the other eye. Here is a link to an article I found about the tour at Viking Village – “Tour Viking Village's fishy world.” Okay, yeah, sometimes I augment my info with Internet resources as well.

I got a breakfast recommendation at Viking Village and was told I couldn’t go wrong at Mustache Bill's Diner. Since it was on the way to my next two attractions, I couldn’t go wrong on that account either! Bill’s has been featured on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” as one of the Best Barbecue Restaurants. You couldn’t swear by me because I had breakfast which was a couple of notches above average. After I finished breakfast and was driving to Barnegat Lighthouse, also in Barnegat Light, I noticed the instrument panel indicated the temperature was already in the low 90s. After arrival, I walked to the lighthouse, made the decision that a lighthouse climb was not prudent for an old fart on a hot, humid day, took a few pictures of the exterior and returned to the Ram for a ¼-mile drive to my next stop, the Barnegat Light Historical Society Museum also in Barnegat Light. The museum, located in a former one-room schoolhouse, has some interesting local history but nothing that was earth-shattering, in my opinion, for the out-of-town visitor. That’s probably a good thing because photography is not allowed. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I suppose THAT restriction couldn’t have happened on a better day.

My final stop of the day was the Tuckerton Seaport & Baymen's Museum in Tuckerton NJ which is also home to Tucker's Beach Replica Lighthouse. I had made my way through the
The Decoy Shop Was Interesting – I Wish a Carver Had Been WorkingThe Decoy Shop Was Interesting – I Wish a Carver Had Been WorkingThe Decoy Shop Was Interesting – I Wish a Carver Had Been Working

Tuckerton Seaport, Baymen's Museum & Replica Lighthouse - Tuckerton NJ
museum, had visited 2 or 3 outbuildings and was about half way through the lighthouse when my camera (the old smart phone) quit. I tried to get it to restart to no avail. I thought the battery was exhausted and switched to the new phone for the remainder of the day. Near the end of my self-guided tour, preparation was underway for some event. Signs proclaiming, “Welcome ABC High School Grads” and the apparent ages of those feverishly making last-minute adjustments led me to believe this would be a 50th or 60th high school reunion party. Regardless, tables obstructed the view of many of the artifacts and forbade the reading of most of the placards. All in all, this was one of the most frustrating and least productive days I have had over the ten summers of The Great Adventure.

Saturday and Sunday, July 20 and 21, 2019 were even hotter and just as humid. I had plans to go to a Wooden Boat Festival in Toms River but decided to stay put rather than engage in outdoor activities. While listening to the local break from a morning news program on Sunday morning, I learned the heat index was
The Art of Harvesting Clams, The Art of Opening Clams and The Art of Cooking Clams All on One PlacardThe Art of Harvesting Clams, The Art of Opening Clams and The Art of Cooking Clams All on One PlacardThe Art of Harvesting Clams, The Art of Opening Clams and The Art of Cooking Clams All on One Placard

Tuckerton Seaport, Baymen's Museum & Replica Lighthouse - Tuckerton NJ
108 at Toms River at 9 AM and was expected to climb to 115 before days end!!! I stayed home both days and checked the current conditions at 4:30 PM – actual temperature, 98 degrees; Temperature Humidity Index, 112. I probably missed the highest readings. Monday and Tuesday were much like Thursday and Friday, so I stayed home for two more days although I did have to venture out to the grocery store or go hungry.

If one doesn’t count the heat and humidity nor the death of my camera, I had an okay time along the central New Jersey coast. There were a couple of Revolutionary War sites I would have liked to have visited and a couple of lighthouses begging for my ascent. Perhaps those visits will happen after the RV park adventures have concluded and the sedan/motel adventures have begun. Time will tell. For now, it is what it is! After all, I didn’t wake up with dirt in my face.

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