Saturday with Kris on Block Island

Kris and I met at Point Judith for the 12:30 ferry, with our bikes ready to go. The weather was gorgeous! Just perfect for a fall bike ride. I'd only been to Block Island when I was in high school, back with my mom and sister. Kris had never been. Off we went! We hopped on the ferry and it was one of the roughest rides I'd had in a catamaran! The ferry was actually catching air many times. The teenagers behind us were cocky at first and quickly turned green. Two students on the other side were reading books. One, reading a book on Arab History, asked us what a "Despotic Imaum" was. Well, we knew what despotic meant, but had no idea on imaum. Turns out it means "Among the Mohammedans, a minister or priest who performs the regular service of the mosque." at least according to

The GPS screen is neat and shows us approaching the island. We see the first lighthouse which looks like a schoolhouse, all alone on the beach. Then as we come into the cove, we pass a second one right at the mouth of the harbor. The harbor is full of all sorts of boats and sailboats, and quiet houses in grey Nantucket style.

OK, now off the ferry and we get our bikes. We bike up the short hill to the crossroads, and take a left. There are low rolling hills, lots of grass, a few trees. Shortly we've hit the other side of the island and the giant long beach. We take a right and stop at the seafood restaurant there. It'll be 20 minutes before we can be seated, so we cross the street and wander the beach a bit, taking some photos. Soon we're seated and drinking lemonade and iced tea.

The meal was fine, fish and chips and lots of water. But service was really slow so we were still there at 3. We started looking at the map to see where to go next. An older couple was next to us, in their 40s, and we asked the guy where we were. We got into a conversation with them and it turns out that the woman's ex was building a house on the Mohegan Bluff area, and they gave us directions to go to the house and see its private beach, since it was being rebuilt. An adventure!

We headed down the road. A quick left to follow the coast and we were on the "strip" - a line of tourist shops by the old harbour where the big ferries come in. We went through, past the theater and up the hill. And what a hill! The first part wasn't too bad, tho we stopped to take photos of various intersting spots. The road curved by a big hotel where a wedding party was in full tilt. Then it was along the beach and up a BIG hill that went on and on for a while. Finally at the top was the third lighthouse on the island - a big brick one that had been moved 100 feet away from the ocean! Unfortunately we got there at 3:45 and their last tour was supposedly at 3:30. Actually several people were complaining because they were here at 3:20 waiting, but the tour guide just decided not to do the last tour.

It was really falling down inside, but they're planning on renovating it. We did get to look up inside it from the gift shop and peer in at the peeling paint and warping walls of the other parts of the house. Then it was off to find this secret beach.

We were told to look for a certain marker, and we biked past the tourist spot for the bluffs. A while down the road we spotted the marker and turned in. Yup, there was the large house under construction, and behind it was a set of stairs heading down the long bluffs to the beach. The beach was GORGEOUS! Rippled sand, super smooth, the waves rolling in, the bluffs behind it. Hardly anyone was down on the beach - very secluded. We took some photos, enjoyed the ocean, then headed back up the tall wooden stairs.

Time to head back. We rode back down the hill into town, and wandered in the shops a bit. They were pretty expensive and didn't have a large selection of sizes. All the shirts we wanted weren't available or were but not in a good size. Maybe that was due to the end of season. Soon we were back on our bikes and headed the short distance to the other side of the island where our ferry would be.

It was only 5:30, so we stopped in the restaurant there to grab some drinks and a snack. Biking is thirsty work! I had a Long Island Iced Tea and she went for a mudslide. Plus we got a bunch of shrimp. Quite tasty! Then we headed for the ferry, and grabbed a comfy spot to rest and relax on the way home. We did see that schoolhouse lighthouse on the way out again in the dusk.

What a great time!! Definitely something I'd like to do again!

Weekend of Block Island and Newport

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