Yesterday Nancy and I grabbed our bikes and took a ferry ride over to Block
Block Island is about thirteen miles from the mainland -- a 55 minute ferry
ride from Point Judith (or half an hour on the high speed ferry -- but
what's the rush?). The photograph is of what you might call the urban area
of Block Island: the row of shops and hotels along Water Street (all on
inland side of the street, all with a view of the harbor). I took the picture
from the ferry as we were coming in to dock at Old Harbor. (Old Harbor
is protected by two long stone breakwaters. New Harbor is in the shelter
of Great Salt Pond, that inlet that almost separates the northern part
of the island from the south. Just to give you an idea of scale, that dotted
line shows the approximate route we took on our bikes and is about six
and a half or seven miles long. Block Island is not very big.
We left town on Spring Street, going up a long hill to the south until
we came to Southeast Light. (This is the lighthouse that was jacked up and moved back the length
of a football field from the edge of a cliff that was crumbling away.)
||The morning fog had mostly burned off by the time we boarded the ferry
but it moved back in (or had never left) the south shore of the island.
That blob in the photo below is a three story house -- the blob in the
middle is a fog horn -- a very large and loud fog horn.
|We left the lighthouse and went a bit further along Mohegan Trail until
we came to the access area for the stairs that descend down towards the
beach. I have been told that there are two hundred fifty stairs taking
you down one hundred and sixty-three feet. That still leaves you about
thirty feet above the beach, and that last part is a bit of a scramble.
By this time (almost two o'clock) we were hot (the sun was bright once
we left the foggy southern coast) and tired and thirsty and hungry. We
found a place we had eaten once before, but decided it was too crowded
and noisy, so we went a bit further along that road and found a delightful
restaurant. Very good food... delicious crab cakes (with roasted red peppers
and served with a basil mayonaise) -- I had fish and chips (fresh cooked
fresh flounder and hand cut potatoes) and Nancy had a chicken wrap that
she pronounced to be delicious. She of course had her traditional Block
Island summer drink, a mudslide (equal parts vodka, Kahlua, Bailey's Irish
Cream with crushed ice). I discovered that this place had a very good beer
menu, lots of small New England breweries. I was very pleased to see they
carried Offshore Ale, a brewery I just recently discovered (We hope to visit their brew pub
if we make it over to Martha's Vineyard later this month.)... so I had
a pint of their Amber Ale... and it tasted so good I just had to have another.
The restaurant was just across the street from the beach that begins at
the Old Harbor jetty and sweeps northward seemingly forever, so after lunch
we wandered up and down the beach for a bit.
|The stairs continue out of sight around the bend.
||A bit of a scramble...
|Looking along the shore to the east.
||Looking along the shore to the west.
|We climbed back up the stairs to the top of the bluffs and continued along
Mohegan Trail and then turned onto Lakeside Drive, passing some of the
fresh water ponds on the island highlands, and then down Center Road past
the airport toward New Harbor on the Great Salt Pond, and then back towards
We wandered about Old Harbor, looking in various shops. Took a break in a coffee shop that featured organic coffee. Had a Del's Lemonade (there is nothing like genuine Del's, frozen lemonade and slushies and
slurppies are not the same). Finally we said goodbye to Block Island and
caught a ferry back home.
|Oh my, that is tasty!
||Looking down the beach towards Old Harbor, with a view of the old Victorian
era hotels and a ferry docked in the harbor.
We're looking forward to another visit to the island, maybe in the autumn,
maybe bike out to the northern tip of the island to see North Light, maybe
wander down some of the side roads on the main part of the island.
I had been thinking about the Run Around the Block 15k race (even though
it is supposed to be an extremely difficult race due to hills), about trying
it if I survive the Blessing of the Fleet... but then I looked at the calendar
and realized that this year it comes the day before the CVS Downtown 5k
in Providence and I don't want to miss that, so I guess I'll file the Rund
Around the Block for consideration in some future year.