Monday, April 11, 2011

I is for Island Beach State Park

While I could pick a different town in NJ for each letter of the alphabet and easily get through this A to Z challenge, I didn't think that would be fun. 
Today I'm making an exception to tell you about 

You could click on the link and learn all about the history of IBSP, but that's no fun.  Read my story! LOL 

Located at the very south end of the same barrier island as Seaside Heights, IBSP has about 10 miles of secluded beach.  Even though it's close to the boardwalk in Seaside, it's like being in another world.  On one of our trips in the fall I got this picture. 
I never knew there were fox on the island, but there are!  Lots of wildlife really.  Osprey, deer, etc.  

ISBP has been a big part of my family's history.  
It was where my dad liked to take my mom when they were dating.  Here she is in the summer of 1962

And it's also where my dad liked to go when we kids were little. 

It always makes me laugh when I think about going to ISBP instead of the beaches in Seaside.   You see, my maternal grandparents lived down near Seaside and they were friends with everyone, we always had free passes to get on the beach in Seaside. 

But that was not what my dad wanted to do, he wanted to go to IBSP!  Now to be fair, it's not like my dad was with us every time we went down to my grandparents house.  It was usually me, my mom and my brothers - usually we went to the beaches in Seaside.  And we packed food (a TON of food) so it wasn't cost that stopped us from going to IBSP, it was just a little bit further away. 

So if my dad was with us, and we made it out of the house in time, we'd go to IBSP. What do I mean by "made it out of the house in time"?  Well, once a certain number of cars pass through the gates, they close.  I don't know what the number is and they don't have it on their website either... hmmm.  But there is a sign on the Parkway when you're heading down this way & a sign when you get on the barrier island letting you know if the park is still open for visitors.  

While all the beaches in NJ charge you to get on the beach, IBSP charges by the carload.  This is good if everyone in the car is over 12 years old!!!

IBSP also holds a special place in my heart for a completely different reason.  

It's where my dad scattered my mom's ashes when she died in 1994 at the young age of 51 (btw, we found out later that this is illegal, human ashes are considered hazardous waste, don't do it)

Most people get to visit their relatives that have passed on by going to a cemetery.  I get to visit with my mom every time I go to the beach.  I figure the tide & the wind scattered her all over the Jersey Shore, so no matter where I go, there she is!

"Say hi to gramma Gail" I tell the kids. LOL

So next time you're down in Seaside, or looking for a great place to take some wildlife pictures, head down to Island Beach State Park and enjoy a part of NJ that remains basically untouched since the Lenape Indians summered at the Jersey Shore.

Make sure you say Hi to my mom too!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, what a truly wonderful read. It brought both a tear and a smile. How wonderful the vintage pics and the fox pic too. Yes, 51 if far too young to have passed and happens to be the age I am now. Thanks so much for sharing. I love this post.