Sonia and I are, at heart, outdoorsy types. Our favorite setting is a lonely scrub of trees encircled by winding dirt walks, the only audible sound a babbling brook, or the cry of a whippoorwill. We have traversed several California parks (Muir Woods, Pfefifer, Yosemite), as well as more local favorites (Bok Tower, Jonathan Dickinson). One recent crisp and sunny Saturday morning, we visited Pine Jog, a nature conservatory/park nestled out west on Summit Blvd. and Jog Rd. in West Palm Beach, FL. Having grown up here, I recalled many a field trip to PJ when I was in elementary school. Fond memories abound, as my classmmates and I sat on the ground in circles, passing around a snake, listening to the guide explain about the ecosystem.
The facility has expanded since then. For about 20 years, Pine Jog has been part of the Florida Atlantic University satellites for research and education. Pine Jog Elementary was erected on the site a few years back, sitting next to a new facility designed to educate students and the public on the importance of the preservation of wetlands. Hiking amongst the flatlands, you feel as if you've entirely left "civilization" behind. We savored the quiet, the purity of the land. We stated many times that we would be quite content to live in a tent out in some hammockland. Have a visit (and leave the iPhone behind).