The Pine Barrens

“The pork was delicious and almost crisp. Fred gave me a potato with it, and a pitcher of melted grease from the frying pan to pour over the potato. He also handed me a loaf of bread and a dish of margarine, saying, “Here’s your bread. You can have one piece or two. Whatever you want.”

Fred apologized for not having a phone, after I asked where I would have to go make a call, later on. He said, “I don’t have no phone because I don’t have no electric. If I had electric, I would have had a phone in here a long time ago.” He uses a kerosene lamp, a propane lamp, and two flashlights.

He asked where I was going, and I said that I had no particular destination, explaining that I was in the pines because I found it hard to believe that so much unbroken forest could still exist so near the big Eastern cities, and I wanted to see while it was still there.”

- John McPhee, The Pine Barrens

MP3: Johnny Horton – Whispering Pines


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3 Responses to The Pine Barrens

  1. todd zalewski August 29, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    Hiking from Applepie hill towards Batsto on the Batona trail. After 2 hours I couldn’t get over the noise of the cars on the nearby roads. After awhile I realized it wasn’t cars whizzing by, but the sound of the wind blowing through the tall pine trees. And my map showed no roads at all in the forest.
    I was completely alone for the entire 5 hour hike except for one point when there was a flock of seagulls ( no fooling) very high in the sky squawking. They were so high up I really only heard them more than saw them. Never felt more alone or more peaceful. All within 45 minutes of Phila, deep in the heart of the most densely populated state-NJ.

  2. The Wild Wood August 29, 2011 at 6:40 pm #

    One of my favorite books of his. Also probably one of the better pictures of him out there on internet, used the same one once.

  3. Steve S August 31, 2011 at 11:36 am #

    one of the best books and best places in NJ

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