Friday, July 6, 2012

The Road I Rode in Rhode Island

I have to say that despite the high population density of the area, it is nice to be able to drive from one state to the next in 45 minutes.  In Texas, that wouldn't even get me from Dallas to Ft. Worth!

After the frustrations experienced in Connecticut, I was glad to get in my car and depart.  I can't say that I was sorry to leave.  Roads were clogged with holiday traffic as I made my way to Rhode Island. causing me to worry a bit about finding a place to stay.  Additionally, I planned to visit and stay in ritzy Newport; I had heard so much about this old and well-heeled town that I wanted to spend some time exploring it.  I did NOT have a reservation, but if it came down to it, I would camp.

Now, my idea of camping is opening the back of my SUV, pitching a tent over the tailgate and putting the bikes in a pup tent. They could spend the night on the ground, not me.  With dark rain clouds lurking on the horizon, camping was not an ideal option.  However, this was the consequence of not adhering to the PPPPPP theory, so I'd camp if I must.

Driving to the campground that Manny (from New Jersey) suggested, I passed a motel....yes, I said motel.....with a red vacancy sign flashing.  I stopped to check it out; after inspecting the room, which was old and worn, but sufficiently clean, I decided to stay. Upon exiting the motel office, I happened upon a tatted woman/child bouncing a baby on her knee; the baby had more teeth than she did....  She said she lived there all summer and it was 'real nice.'  Hmmmm......   If the cost reflected that proclamation, I would have been inclined to agree; I guess everyone has their own definition of  'real nice'. Expensive for what it was, I would be grateful for a roof over my head if the weather produced the storm the skies advertised.

A ride down into town offered an explanation for the exorbitant price for the motel room; the Tall Ships Festival was taking place.  I have to be honest....I wasn't sure what a Tall Ship was, but a ride around the wharves offered an explanation.  The ships were beautiful; the area was teaming with tourist.

The houses there....oh my!  They were all so old--1700's and preserved beautifully.  The looked like they could have been built yesterday.  It was such a treat to admire them, and so humbling to 'feel' their history.

I will add, here, that many of the big estates and summer homes were for sale.  Estate after estate had "For Sale' signs posted in their yards.  Surely as sign of the times.....

The next morning's ride was fairly uneventful, so I won't spend much time on it.  It was hot and humid, as usual. And, as usual, I got lost.

I don't know why I am so directionally challenged, especially with all the electronic aid I have.  I just can't seem to go the right way!  If the map says, left, I always turn the wrong direction........(that would be right, which isn't right).  I just don't get it, and probably never will.

I was sitting at an old Grist Mill, that had been converted into a coffee shop, trying to figure out where I was and the route back, sweat pouring off me as it was another sweltering and humid day.  A motor scooter pulled up, ferrying a mother and her daughter.  They were kind enough to give me verbal directions, also adding 'don't turn here, don't turn there.'  After a long and pleasant visit, I was off and they went into the Mill for refreshment.  I had pedaled 10 miles or so, up some steep hills, when I realized I wasn't seeing the things they said I should pass.  Stopping, I was consulting my Garmin when I heard the 'putt-putt-putt' of an under-powered motor bike.  Turning, there they were, Frappucinos in hand.   My saviors...... they were checking on me, suspecting that I would miss the turn.  Laughing, they redirected me, leaving their phone number.....just in case.  I made it back to my start point, with no further detours.

I will leave you with pictures..........other than my constant 'detours', this was an uneventful, though beautiful ride.
Buzzer at the clam house where I ate a massive mound of fried clams....cute, huh!
Wait for it......
Geese, not ducks.....To-mae-to, to-maa-to...
Fields and fields of breathtaking hydrangea

A real well!
The ocean....knew it was there, somewhere

Proof that I did find the ocean~
Waving proudly.....

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