Hiking Block Island

Gazela Primeiro passing Block Island en route to Newport for the Ocean State Tall Ships Festival.

After a perfect day on Long Island Sound, we arrived at the Great Salt Pond in Block Island late in the afternoon on Tuesday,along with a bunch of other people.  The harbor was teeming with Fourth of July revelers and we had to search to find a spot big enough to anchor.  We took Chloë to a nearby shore to attend to her business and then it was back to the boat for dinner and a beer before the fireworks began.  We had been seriously questioning our judgement in arriving at such a popular destination just hours before the start of a big holiday weekend, but wrapped in a light blanket with a glass of wine in hand, watching the fireworks across the harbor, it all made a little more sense. Especially when it was all over and we just went back inside for another glass of wine before bed.

The doubts came flooding back the next morning when we went ashore to find the dinghy dock stacked four or five deep.  The annual July Fourth parade started right at the boat basin and an amazing number of people crowded the streets along the parade route into town.  The parade was the usual small town affair with a single fire truck, the local marching band and a couple of floats whose theme was unidentifiable.  In the afternoon, we were invited to what we were led to believe would be a cookout at the home of a business contact of Mark’s, who was in residence at his summer home for the holiday.  The house sits up on a hill overlooking the northwest coast of the island, an impressive view for sure.  A few minutes and half a beer after our arrival, our host asked us if we liked to walk.  We do, of course, it is one of our main reasons for visiting Block Island.  We set off down a mown path sloping away from the lawn into the overgrown briar thicket, for what we assumed would be a quick jaunt around the property.


Two hours and several miles later, we had traversed an old cow pasture, thick with poison ivy, more briars, about a mile of beach around the North Light, a dune crossing guarded by large, angry seagulls and back to the house by the shoulderless main road.  Perhaps the worse part, I had not had time to retrieve my camera before setting off on this odyssey.  Second worse part, I never did get that burger I was promised.

On a positive note, we did get some local knowledge that assisted us on our hike around Clay Head Trail the following day.  The clay bluffs along the northeast coast speak for themselves.  Our strenuous days on the trail have put me a bit behind and to make matters worse, the 3G internet connection is being overtaxed by the abundance of visitors and their multiple devices, making progress a little slower than usual.  Don’t those damn people know that we need to get on the internet with our multiple devices?  The nerve.

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5 thoughts on “Hiking Block Island

  1. Gorgeous pictures! We are roasting in Milford. In between severe thunderstorms, this week has been HOT HOT HOT.
    As you enjoy the water breezes up north, we will be baking in 102 degrees today! Would you mind a stowaway? smile
    Love, Rosie

  2. Kristie:

    I am a publisher in Duluth, Minnesota, putting together a book for next summer’s Tall Ships festival in conjunction with the event’s promoter, Visit Duluth. The Gazela is one of the vessels that may be participating. May we use your photograph of the Gazela in our publication and, if so, who should I credit? Thanks for your time.
    Tony Dierckins

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