Spotted! The Travelocity gnome kickin’ it in his country digs…

I had a fantastic celebrity sighting the other day while running down the Columbia trail in Hunterdon County, NJ, near where I grew up.

If you want to know why I was lame enough to have my phone / camera with me while running, it’s because I had already done my “out and back.” As far as possible on the “out,” I nearly tripped over this amazing turtle, or rather stegosaurus. It was huge and had a ridiculously long tail with tiny stegosaurus plates from its shell down to the tip of the tail. By the time I got all the way back out for a second time after having gone back to my car to get the phone, this stegosaurus was poof gone. I scoured the area for several minutes in vain hopes of getting a snapshot of the big kahuna, but alas, searching for a brownish green creature in the midst of brownish green foliage was not a very promising endeavor even from the outset.

Needless to say I didn’t find him again, and the turtle was so monstrously huge and prehistoric-looking that I wonder if the endorphins made me imagine the whole sighting. Here I perplexedly try to get my bearings; at least you can get a good view of how pretty and serene this trail is. The trees pretty much make a canopy over the path:

You ever get the feeling you’re being watched? Or even laughed at? That ever-smirking gnome from the Travelocity commercials was there the whole time cracking up in his perch watching me scuttle around in the middle of the woods kicking around leaves looking for some crazy turtle. Just sittin’ up there in his country house makin’ up opinions about the peons rushing back and forth jogging or biking or pushing bratty kids in strollers in front of his weekend retreat. Well the joke’s on him. It’s May, and you still haven’t taken down your Christmas decorations!

Don’t think for a second that the Travelocity gnome is the only dude with prime real estate. His brother and niece live a few doors down in a log cabin. If I thought the Christmas wreath was bad, this chick still thinks it’s Halloween.

On my way over to see them, I noticed the paparazzi were freaking out about an 1/8 of a mile away. Turns out Princess Jasmine had also invested in Hunterdon County.

I asked around, and no one seems to know who the frog is, but I was able to get an aerial view:

The Columbia Trail is dotted all over with little treasures like these. As you run along, you will notice little settlements nestled into the rocks along the edges, and you can go up and investigate at your leisure.

Adventures abound in this enchanted forest:

The trees even have doors! Alice called from her way down the rabbit hole– she says she’s moving in.

This section of the trail is closest to High Bridge, NJ, an adorable little town with ostensibly not much to see or do, but I’ve proven it’s a hot spot! More touristy Clinton with its historic old red mill and waterfall is a few miles away.

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3 Comments on “Spotted! The Travelocity gnome kickin’ it in his country digs…”

  1. Matt Kadosh May 21, 2012 at 00:15 #

    Hey Marisa, Great post! I’m always looking for new trails. I really enjoyed reading about your fun filled adventure on the Columbia Trail.

  2. Bill May 21, 2012 at 10:22 #

    A lovely adventure with an on-site trail by trail visual story guide. Whom is this Princess that you speak of? I’m not up to date on Gnomes so I presume she’s in the elite class of their society.

  3. Martha LaValette May 21, 2012 at 20:11 #

    Wow! Enchanted forest. I can’t wait to get over there. You didn’t see any evil queens did you?

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