Cool Places in America~ Whiting NJ Serial Killer, Jersey Devil, Nudist, Nuclear Accidents, and the Hindenburg in the Pines!

Its your favorite child travel adviser, Tyler,  once again bringing you the best in last minute vacations. Your road trip planner for the weekend getaway to the coolest and strangest places in America. How do I know about them all? My parents are contract workers in the software industry and keep moving the family every 6 months….

The town we stay in while my parents are working on several of the contracts for the “Mad Inventor” in the Pines is called Whiting. A sleepy little town filled with more old codgers, than Florida, has many secrets.

First developed as part of the property owned by General Lacey. One of the General’s serving under George Washington. Lacey had owned Lacey Iron Forge and needed miles of woods and ponds to fire his various pig iron stoves and forge. Part of his property was in what is now the Fox Hollow section of Whiting. 21 Lakes, Boy Scout Pond, and Doctor’s Pond were used to collect bog iron from. These ponds could be mined for a period of time until you had to let them rest for three years till the bacteria under the peat moss in the ponds could grow new bog iron. So you had to acquire large tracts with several ponds on it to keep mining the bog iron continuously without interruption. This iron was used for household goods and ammunition during the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.

Later Fox Hollow would become a poultry farm, produce farm, and the location of a clay mining business. The clay mining business ran a donkey engine track off a spur of a railroad turnstile where Civil War soldiers traveling south had to disembark to enter trains utilizing the narrow gauge rails of the south versus the cattle gauge rails we still use today. A donkey engine is a steam powered winch that pulled a copper wire attached to mining carts. One was placed on either end to pull the carts to and fro.

Then in the 1920’s Joseph Parisi would acquire the property. He had dreams of creating a city to rival New York City in which he lived outside of in Brooklyn. This city was to have a grand avenue named after Roosevelt with fountains on it (today it remains the only unpaved road in the development). On the original map he laid out places for factories, churches, schools, train stations, homes for the working poor, and the wealthy. He cut out all of the roads and the service roads that would run behind them to be used for deliveries and such. Unfortunately he only sold a few handful of properties and had only three roads lit by gas lamps. One of the few people who purchased 20 acres from him were a couple who were masseuses. They built a resort called Nature’s Rest which would serve the nudists that would of disembarked from Lakehurst on the Zeppelins or off the trains from Philadelphia and New York. Many silent film stars would head to the Pines to enjoy its many resorts.  Joe Sullivan even had a Title Bout at Ong’s Hat which is 15 minutes away deeper in the woods. They had a hotel, a barn, a waterwheel powered spa, and nature trail for their patrons to enjoy. Many of the ruins still remain. They were neighbors of Parisi in Brooklyn. They also bought shares in the old Manchester Iron Forge.

The Manchester Iron Forge was created in the 1800’s and sat on Lake Horicon in what is now Lakehurst. Now Lakehurst is an independent borough siting in the middle of Manchester Twp. Which is funny that the location that the township is named after is no longer called Manchester, but only a 1 mile square doughnut hole within it. The other strange thing about Lakehurst is that it has a naval base which is 40 minutes from any ocean. This is the base in which the Hindenburg exploded. Any lovers of Led Zeppelin will know of this base indirectly from their first album cover. The local myth of how it exploded says that moonshiners shot the zeppelin down thinking it was revenue agents trying to find their stills… Now another funny thing about Lakehurst Naval and Air Engineering Base is that it is not in Lakehurst, but in Manchester Twp. Just like Portsmouth Naval Yard is in Kittery MN. No naval base seems to be ever in the town its named after. Today Whiting is part of Manchester Twp.

This Iron Forge was part owned by the masseuses and Parisi and about 20 others. Today its called Heritage Minerals (one of many of mineral pits), but most locals call it Asarco. It was closed eventually because of the radioactive mining of monazite-(Ce). In the middle of it has this man made lake that is a square mile long that people jet ski on. It also has this beached barge that is fun to play on. Every weekend you have hundreds of people partying on the lake and 4x4ing throughout its property. Now kids have mysteriously have died in the lake over the years. Supposedly dragged under by undertows?

See Parisi was one of the founders of the NYC mafia. He was the head of the mafia that ran the garbage trucks. Which explains the Hess landfill that has been used as an illegal dumping ground for all the toxins NYC did not want within their city. In Chinese culture those who knew how to heal also knew how to kill using martial arts. Did the masseuses act in the same manner for the mob. Only the next town over Al Capone had a hotel which was this pink castle with escape tunnels running under the driveway to the lake in front of it. Behind the castle up the river was a hut in which he would take people out to and kill them. As you all have seen on the Soprano’s the Pine Barrens have long been a dumping ground for dead bodies. Now Asarco/ Manchester Iron Forge was one of many locations in the Pines. The locals used to joke about a road called Bone Hill Road that led to it. They thought it was named after all the teens who would drive up it to smoke joints. More likely it was named after all of the dead bodies that were hidden within it. This might explain all of the dead children floating in the lake. They might of seen something they should of never seen. Anyway who has ever heard of undertows in a freshwater lake…

Now on the edge of Asarco is Crow’s Hill. It commands a view of where the Hindenburg blew up and the massive Hanger 1, Fort Dix machine gun fire and tracers, and the disposal ground for the mafia. One evening as locals were partying on top of it a serial killer had deposited a body in several Hefty bags on that old rail that would carry soldiers off to their deaths in the Civil War. At first it was assumed to be a mafia hit, but the body still had its ID which most hit men take to get paid by their employers. Nearly 20 years later they caught the man. He was a gay nurse from Philadelphia who would go to NYC to pick up men to dismember them and deposit them in several locations on the Garden State Parkway. This time he dropped the body at the bottom of this hill.

Now the mafia is quite quiet, but in the 80’s it was right out of Donny Brasco. Lisante Foods had owned every pizza restaurant in NJ. This mob run organization also built the local pizza shop that was ran by one of the local Sicilian families. See Whiting is where several highways intersect making a perfect distribution point for Atlantic City, New York City, and Philadelphia. In the 80’s the owner was busted with the chief of police’s son who was a detective on the police force. A month after the bust was buried the owner of the restaurant placed a sticker on his fridge that said A.D.A.M. (Against Drug Abuse Member). Also he bought the old bar that mysteriously burned down when a Harley kick started in the planter next to the building caught fire. To this day strange smoke comes from the sewer across the street at 2 A.M.

How can all of this go on unnoticed? See back during Prohibition a Harry Wright ran for mayor. He won because he promised the local Pineys that their families would be employed by the road department forever and he had a flatbed truck full of free moonshine. Remember those guys who shot the Hindenburg… Then form the 50’s to the 80’s a man from Hague’s corrupt political machine in Jersey City became mayor of Manchester Twp. Joe Portash would only be mayor for a short time, but would run all of the future mayor’s for 30 years. After being caught as a bag man for the mafia, he became the evil vizier running the scenes through a string of Alzheimer patients. Right before getting caught Portash faked his death in Maine. The town veterinarian signed his death certificate, he had a closed casket funeral, and his twin brother showed up in his mansion off the lake in Maine with the view of his yacht from his dinning room table that sat 20. So anything could happen with him running the town and an illiterate chief of police who took the job for a free Harley and dry cleaning for life. See the police rack up money on all of those intersecting state highways issuing illegal traffic tickets. So much so they have 75 police officers for a town that has under 16,000 people to collect them and a colonel.Now after Portash’s death… all of those mayors could not stand trial because they could not remember anything. This was at the same time that the Oliver North Trial in which Reagan could not remember anything too.

Now on most nights and days these woods in which the Jersey Devil is said to roam through, nothing ever, ever happens. It is so boring. Real boring. I mean boring. Surrounded by Fort Dix that caught a UFO and shot an escaping alien, has the main communication center for the military, and a leaking nuclear warhead the town is real boring. It is just that when something happens within this Senior Citizen Haven, it really happens with a bang.

The “Mad Inventor” had chosen a really strange place to put up our family while they worked on software for him…

~Tyler

To find out more about Tyler visit Salem House Press and buy Tyler’s latest book “Tyler Moves to Gibsonton Florida” on Amazon.com. Keep checking back often for great cheap vacation ideas that might end up surprising you and becoming the best vacation you ever had! Red proved to be always full of surprises…

Cool Places in America~ Badlands Guardian, Eh!

This was our first trip north to the land of the friendly. The people were great there outside Alberta. My father once said that the role of the Canadians is to keep the us American’s safe. He believes no one would nuke us because they would be afraid to hurt the Canadians. So on Wikipedia I was looking for the strange and wonderful in the area when I found this cool rock formation.

The Badlands Guardian which is also known as Indian Head is considered to be a geomorphological feature which is situated near Medicine Hat, south east of Alberta, Canada. It is a  rock formation when viewed from the air looks like a Native American wearing a headdress.

Supergranny, Lynn Hickox, found it in 2006 while  surfing Google Earth. She found it while navigating for directions to a dinosaur museum.

It even seems to be wearing earphones where a road and an oil well were recently installed. It is  larger than Mount Rushmore. The image can be traced on 50° 0’38.20”N 110° 6’48.32”W with the use of Google Earth. We typed in the coordinates and I took a helicopter ride with my parents and their boss for that month, Red from Fargo. Red, surprised us though when he jumped out of the helicopter with his phone in his hand. He snapped pictures every 10 seconds to create a study on scale. Red proved throughout the years to be full of surprises…

~Tyler

To find out more about Tyler visit Salem House Press and buy Tyler’s latest book “Tyler Moves to Gibsonton Florida” on Amazon.com. Keep checking back often for great cheap vacation ideas that might end up surprising you and becoming the best vacation you ever had! Red proved to be always full of surprises…

Cool Places in America~ Salem MA and the Westford Knight

Its your favorite child travel adviser, Tyler,  once again bringing you the best in last minute vacations. Your road trip planner for the weekend getaway to the coolest and strangest places in America. How do I know about them all? My parents are contract workers in the software industry and keep moving the family every 6 months….

My parents get lots of contracts on the Informational Highway outside of Boston on Rt. 128. One of our favorite places to reside while on the North Shore is Salem. We learned years ago to avoid the witches, they fight among themselves too much. The true magic in the town is the cool Harry Potter Shop and Wynot’s Wandsthe smuggling tunnelsMr. Zac, and the story about the Vikings who landed there in 1398!

In 1784, Prince Henry Sinclair was identified by Johann Reinhold Forster[7] as possibly being the Prince Zichmni described in letters allegedly written around the year 1400 by the Zeno brothers of Venice, in which they describe a voyage throughout the North Atlantic under the command of Zichmni.

Zichmni had sailed to America after meeting a sailor who got lost in a storm and ended up in a land far to the west of the Orkney. In this land he told about the various kingdoms of natives, the book written in Latin they had from a previous adventurer, and how the tribes fought over his knowledge of the fishing net. These tails from the sailor inspired Sinclair to sail west with some Vikings and the two Venetian brothers who wrote about the journey.

Prince Henry Sinclair had numerous titles including Roslyn in Scotland. His son William built the fabled Roslyn chapel from the Da’Vinci Code. His family were the hereditary masters of the Templars in Scotland. Haakon V, King of Norway, had bestowed the Earldom of Orkney to Sinclair. By 1401 he disappears from Scottish History. There is no history of his death. Stories of him can be found in Arkham:Tales from the Flipside in the Sinclair Narratives. In the tales he is described as an immortal who has brought the Holy Grail to Salem which later gets stolen by the mysterious Salem East India Museum who has built tunnels throughout the town. Now the true story does not seem any less mysterious…

In 1398 Henry Sinclair sails a fleet of Knarrs and Longships with a crew of Norse and Norse Scottish Vikings. They are sailing with the two Zeno brothers who write down their tale as they search for the fabled Vinland. Vinland was described to have two rivers and two islands in the harbor. First they drop anchor on Oak Island in Nova Scotia and then sail further south to Salem, creating the myths of the great treasure in the Money Pit. Salem also fits the description with the two Misery Island and the North and South Rivers entering into to the hinterland. This was their second venture through the continent. From here they will travel further west to Westford. This is where the knight Sir James Gunn dies, the details lost to history. Today you can still see the stone inscription dedicated to him on Depot Street. His effigy lies on a granite slab.

Just one of many tales of Vikings within New England. Provincetown and Boston also have tales. These tales have inspired the Salem Normal School (Salem State University) to have a Viking as their mascot. I bet you always wondered why they chose that mascot…

Westford Knight:

Address:

17 Depot St., Westford, MA

Directions:I-495 exit 32. Drive west on Boston Rd. When you reach the Westford Common, turn right onto Lincoln St. and continue straight onto Main St. Just past the Roudenbush Community Center bear left onto Depot St. The knight is about a quarter-mile up the street, on the right as the road bends right. It’s right on the road, so drive a little further, turn right, and park at the high school.

 

~Tyler

To find out more about Tyler visit Salem House Press and buy Tyler’s latest book “Tyler Moves to Gibsonton Florida” on Amazon.com. Keep checking back often for great cheap vacation ideas that might end up surprising you and becoming the best vacation you ever had! Red proved to be always full of surprises…

Cool Places in America~ The Only State Highway in the Country that Bans Cars!

Yep, my parents moved me again.. This month we are on Lake Huron. On one of its island we found this peculiar road. It is the only state highway in the country that bans cars.

M-185 is a state trunkline highwayin the U.S. state of Michigan that circles Mackinac Island, a popular tourist destination on the Lake Huron side of the Straits of Mackinac, along the island’s shoreline.

The first city ordinances banning all motorized vehicles from the island were passed on July 6, 1898, with similar state park rules coming in 1901. The residents complained after a doctor’s car scared their horses and caused carriage accidents, and these complaints prompted the ban. They even have a horse drawn carriage ride the road to pick up all of the liter. I want to know who picks up after the horses?

One of the main attractions on the road is the Devil’ Kitchen.  Local stories allege that the Native Americans of the Straits of Mackinac considered the cave to be a numinous location inhabited by bad spirits. Allegedly, the spirits were cannibals who would capture and eat victims who ventured too close to the ill-omened location. The cave is blackened with soot to this day, allegedly from the evil spirits’ cooking fires; hence the name, ‘Devil’s Kitchen.’ Me and my parents snuck in at night and roasted marshmallows over a camp fire and made some smores. The governor was vacationing here at his mansion at the time and he even joined us. I will never know why he insisted on burning his marshmallows before he made his smores…

~Tyler

To find out more about Tyler visit Salem House Press and buy Tyler’s latest book “Tyler Moves to Gibsonton Florida” on Amazon.com. Keep checking back often for great cheap vacation ideas that might end up surprising you and becoming the best vacation you ever had! Red proved to be always full of surprises…

Cool Places in America~ Point Breeze N.J. and Napoleon’s Brother?

Its your favorite child travel adviser, Tyler, once again bringing you the best in last minute vacations. Your road trip planner for the weekend getaway to the coolest and strangest places in America. How do I know about them all? My parents are contract workers in the software industry and keep moving the family every 6 months….

Yep, another visit to N.J. The Mad Scientist of the Pines had hired my parents again to develop some software around 2002. On one of our voyages northwest we heard myths of Napoleon escaping to visit his brother in Bordentown.

First you ask, Joseph Bonaparte lived in N.J. The once and not so future king of Spain? Yes. He had a mansion called Point Breeze in Bordentown where the Crosswicks Creek and the Delaware River meet. After the defeat of his little brother, no pun intended, he abdicated the Spanish Throne and returned to France.Three years later a French decree banished all Bonapartes from France, so Joseph went from NYC to Philadelphia and then settled across the river in NJ. He had sailed incognito aboard the American brig “Commerce” to New York.In Philadelphia Henry Clay had put him up in a hotel suite. Joseph then bought 211 acres from a sale of some of the Spanish crown jewels he stole. In time his estate would enlarge to 1,800 acres. Good king Joseph would entertain locals and prominent Americans equally amidst his fine collection of books, artifacts, and art from Europe. Guests would be delivered to his estate by a 16 oar barge. An excellent estate with a man made lake with a bridge over it, trees, gardens, several bridal trails, and 12 miles of carriage ways. Plus several tunnels to escape through! John Quincy Adams and Daniel Webster had visited him, these men used to walk the smuggler tunnels in Salem, MA also.

In 1820 a fire burned down the original mansion. Locals rushed in and saved most of his artifacts while he was away. Joseph arrived in time to see his roof fall in. It was rumored a Russian lady set it aflame. Then he built an even grander mansion. This one he decorated with paintings by Velasquez, Rubens, Canaletto, Murillo, Rembrandt and DaVinci. In addition, there was a ‘Statuary Room’ containing antique bronze castings from Pompeii. The library, the largest in the country, numbered some eight thousand volumes at a time when the Library of Congress contained only sixty-five hundred volumes.Above the entrance to the new mansion he had inscribed: “Non ignara mali, miseris succurere” (Not unaware of misfortune, I know to help the unfortunate).

Joseph took at least one mistress (whatever that means) named Annette Savage who bore him a daughter. In 1832, Joseph, now the Bonapartist pretender, moved to London to be closer to France. In 1844 Joseph died in Florence. Then Point Breeze was inherited by his grandson Joseph Lucien Charles Napoleon who held two spectacular auctions of the furnishings before selling the property in 1847. He sold it to who sold it in 1847 to a Thomas Richards. Afterwards Point Breeze was purchased by the son of a former British consul at Philadelphia who had the house razed and replaced by an Italianate villa. A son of a British consul endowed him to hate all things French. He was dubbed “Beckett the Destroyer” by local residents.There were several other houses on the estate, one that housed daughter Zenaide and her husband Prince Charles Lucien. (Daughter Charlotte also stayed on the estate at times, but there is no record of her having her own house). Another housed Bonaparte’s trusted secretary Maillard and served as a gatehouse. In 1958 Becket’s mansion burned down. In 1970, the property was bought by the Divine World Seminary who had built the current building on the site.

So that was another weird location I had found when once again my parents were working for the weird scientist of the Pines…

~Tyler

To find out more about Tyler visit Salem House Press and buy Tyler’s latest book “Tyler Moves to Gibsonton Florida” on Amazon.com. Keep checking back often for great cheap vacation ideas that might end up surprising you and becoming the best vacation you ever had! Red proved to be always full of surprises…

Cool Places in America~ The Wave Organ

Over this summer, my parents have moved us to San Francisco. They thought they were getting a good salary, till they calculated the cost of living in the city… but while I was there I got to listen to this amazing organ played by Njord.

~Tyler

To find out more about Tyler visit Salem House Press and buy Tyler’s latest book “Tyler Moves to Gibsonton Florida” on Amazon.com. Keep checking back often for great cheap vacation ideas that might end up surprising you and becoming the best vacation you ever had! Red proved to be always full of surprises…

Cool Places in America~ Hamilton Pool

Heading out of Austin this summer on the way back to the Pines to have my parents work for the Mad Scientist  again. We stopped to cool off and take this swim in a cave right out of James Bond. I kept looking for tattoo…

Just 23 miles west of Austin, Texas, is a breathtaking emerald pool and cave. It was Awesome. I kept looking for the secret laser hidden under the water.  Our host in Austin reserved our day there. We had an amazing time.

To get there it is 23 miles west of Austin, on Highway 71. Surrounded by the Hamilton Nature Preserve. They require reservations from May 15 to September 30. So book early.

~Tyler

To find out more about Tyler visit Salem House Press and buy Tyler’s latest book “Tyler Moves to Gibsonton Florida” on Amazon.com. Keep checking back often for great cheap vacation ideas that might end up surprising you and becoming the best vacation you ever had! Red proved to be always full of surprises…

Cool Places in America~ The Dream House and the Sound of Motion

We were just stopping in NYC (Tribeca) on our way back from the Mad Scientist of the Pines when we stopped to check this out. I got to dance to my own band…

 

Created in 1993 by modern composer La Monte Young and visual artist Marian Zazeela; they welcome you come in and become your own composer to the soundtrack of your life. You can be just as bad as Samuel Jackson walking down the street with his own theme playing. Or stand still like Clint Eastwood in the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly and have your own cool song play.

Then just give up and dance from corner to corner and the light changes to the same frequency of your movements.  Whirl like a Dervish and make some paisley…

Young and Zazeela, the creators,  invite you to dive into their dream world, Wednesday through Saturday from 2PM-Midnight. Check them out and prepare to dance…

~Tyler

To find out more about Tyler visit Salem House Press and buy Tyler’s latest book “Tyler Moves to Gibsonton Florida” on Amazon.com. Keep checking back often for great cheap vacation ideas that might end up surprising you and becoming the best vacation you ever had! Red proved to be always full of surprises…

Cool Places in America~ Thor’s Well

At the beginning of the summer my parents had a contract in Oregon where the Goonies were from. It was such a cool town. On the way to points unknown which their software engineer lives bring them; we found Thor’s Well.

I kept looking inside looking for the Kraken…but I did not see him. Kraken, he is not Greek you silly fools. Good Norwegians like myself know this. I also expected Jack Sparrow to swim out of it. I started to walk out on the stones till my Dad called me back. Oh well.

Its just South of the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center in Cook’s Chasm, Oregon. Park on the West side of Highway 101.

~Tyler

To find out more about Tyler visit Salem House Press and buy Tyler’s latest book “Tyler Moves to Gibsonton Florida” on Amazon.com. Keep checking back often for great cheap vacation ideas that might end up surprising you and becoming the best vacation you ever had! Red proved to be always full of surprises…

Cool Places in America~ Bishop Castle Rye Colorado.

Its your favorite child travel adviser, Tyler,  once again bringing you the best in last minute vacations. Your road trip planner for the weekend getaway to the coolest and strangest places in America. How do I know about them all? My parents are contract workers in the software industry and keep moving the family every 6 months….

My parents had taken us back to Colorado a second time. This time we went to Pueblo and not Durango. The people were friendlier in Pueblo. I even went looking for the place that prints that catalog on how to get free stuff from the government, but the coolest thing I found was the castle.

South of Pueblo is the city of Rye. This is where the Bishop Castle is built. Jim Bishop bought the land when he was 15 for $450. Then in 1969 began construction of the castle. It started out a s a one room stone cottage for him and his new wife when he was 25. Neighbors told him what he was building looked like a castle, so he just went along with the idea…  To this day he is still building new additions to the castle on the weekends. He even has a fire breathing dragon attached to it. The fire powered from an old hot air balloon burner. The castle is free to visit, but you can donate for its continued construction and a local charity that supports heart operations on newborn children.

Here are the directions:

The easiest way to get to Bishop Castle is from I-25. Take exit #74 at Colorado City and head towards the mountains. (right off the exit ramp from the north and left off the exit ramp from the south) This puts you on Colorado state highway 165 and it’s 24 miles without a turn to the Castle. You will see signs for the castle as you come upon it, and there’s usually many cars out front.

~Tyler

To find out more about Tyler visit Salem House Press and buy Tyler’s latest book “Tyler Moves to Gibsonton Florida” on Amazon.com. Keep checking back often for great cheap vacation ideas that might end up surprising you and becoming the best vacation you ever had! Red proved to be always full of surprises…