The bridge itself is, unfortunately, covered in graffitti. That annoys me, but there is little I can do about it.
We drove down the trail and I loved it. The pine barrens are a place of mental refuge for me. It is one of the few places where I can drop the worries of daily life and just stop to admire the beauty in the world around me. There was a brush fire along part of the trail and it looks like it ate up a good portion of the undergrowth, but Mother Nature knows what she's doing. There's a lot of bright green growth coming up through the soot and ash.
Batsto was pretty, as always. I love it there, because it's very peaceful and I like looking around and learning about the places there. The mansion, I learned, closed earlier this month for at least a year for repairs. My tour shall have to wait even longer! The picture to the right is one of the additions made by Joseph Wharton when he moved in and renovated the mansion. Wharton was a Philadelphia business man who bought a large chunk of land in the area around Batsto. Thus we have the Wharton State Forest.
It's amazing to see this building from the outside because you think 'Wow, this is a mansion?'. It has thirty two rooms, fourteen of which are open for touring. But alas, I'll be waiting for a long time before I can actually make it inside.
A long time ago, Batsto was centered economically around the forge there. The entire area is rich with iron, and the abundance of bog ore (iron oxide chunks found on the bottom of the rivers) kept them well in business. They were especially popular during the Civil War, when iron products were in high demand. But after the war ended and the need for iron declined, they turned to glassmaking, which also failed them. Joseph Wharton came in around then, bought the mansion and a good deal of the land around there and tried to revive it. Obviously, he failed because Batsto is now a historic village and not an up-and-coming town. I bet the seclusion has something to do with it, though.