Forest, hiking, castle ruins and a gorgeous green dress all in a day! Who would have thought that was possible. I just came back from a wonderful trip to New Jersey where I also attended a beautiful wedding for a lovely couple who met on Ok Cupid. Apparently, those sites do work (but not for me :-(). More about that and my experience with match.com in my next post.
While in NJ, I researched a few parks I wanted to visit and came across beautiful pictures of Van Slyke Castle Ruins. Of course, I thought this looked like a perfect spot for some great pictures. I was determined to find out where they were located. After a little research, I was able to get the location of the castle which was located at Ramapo Mountain State Forest. The forest is located in Bergen and Passaic Counties and it’s absolutely gorgeous. In order to get to the ruins, I would have to do some hiking.
This was a very impromptu and very badly planned hiking trip, even got lost a few times. But I was determined to make it there, all for the love of fashion (and great pictures)! First off, the castle is about a 45-minute hike. I love hiking so this was not a big deal for me, but I was so unprepared. I barely had water (it was an extremely hot day), or a backpack with essentials in case anything were to happen. There was poison Ivy all over and signs to beware of bears! So yes, I like to be well prepared.
Before I even started the hike, I had to figure out how to carry the clothes and heels I wanted to shoot at the castle. This was not a professional photo shoot, with hair, makeup, and lighting assistants. Luckily, we had a plastic bag in the trunk. Next, crossed my fingers and hoped the dress would not get wrinkled on the way there. lastly, how do I change into the gorgeous green Ivy Dress, from hiking clothes, messy hair and all sweaty?
I used my t-shirt as a towel, let the light breeze dry my sweat and changed into the green dress behind some trees. Oh yes! I then threw on some lipstick and my heels. Yep, I made it work! What do you think?
Before you go hiking, make sure to plan it properly and carry some essentials (unlike me 🙂 ):
- Hiking shoes or boots
- Sunscreen and insect repellent
- Extra clothing (just in case)
- First aid kit
- Firestarter and matches
- Knife or Multi-tool
- Emergency Numbers
- Common Sense