East Beach, Charlestown, RI…

A friend of Julie’s mentioned a place not far from Point Judith and Galilee, a place called Charlestown, and the friend said how lovely the beaches are. So with the boys firmly ensconced at their Dad’s, we decided to get up early and head on out. (One of these fine free mornings we will sleep in late. That would be wonderful!)

So after getting up at 5am, we made coffee, watched lame news and, while Julie showered, I packed stuff for our trip. We do have a master list for such excursions, but there always seems to be something missing. Usually we remember it en route. But I do believe this time we had everything. I think.

We drove down the Pike to 146, to 295, t0 95 and then route 4, and then found ourselves traveling along Route 1, awaiting instructions from our GPS navigator, Laura, a disembodied voice that definitely possesses an attitude. Especially when you ignore her commands to turn here or there and, if you do this too many times, she gets petulant and remains silent. Usually when you need her the most.

Finally we found East Beach Road and traveled along its length, passing quaint little beach houses, knowing soon the ocean would appear. We stopped at what we thought was East Beach but it was Blue Shutters Town Beach. The young lad directed us on further down the road, along a bumpy, dirt lane that passed for a road. Terrible road, but I suppose it dissuades drivers with heavy feet.

We paid our $20 entrance fee, which is rare for us, as we usually try to find a parking spot far removed from the beach proper. In retrospect, we should have parked at Blue Shutters, as it was five dollars cheaper, and it was joined to East Beach! Who knew?

We parked–perfectly*–and proceeded to check out the beach. It was already packed, with plenty of exposed skin lying about (sometimes too much skin…) and since the tide was too high, we decided to walk/run along a sandy lane, parallel to the beach. It is reserved for SUV’s, campers, or ATV’s but the kind woman who inhabited a claustrophobic shed informed us that it was ok for us to walk there.

It was extremely slow going and tough on the calves, but we managed a half-mile or so, slogging through the shifting hot sand before opting to run the remainder on the beach. We cut through the dunes, and here few people were about so we walked along the water’s edge.

Our only complaint about this lovely stretch of land is that it is not conducive for walking or running, as the slope at water’s edge is just too steep. The walk was quite beautiful, and we walked its length, all three miles of sand that was edged with sea grass and, beyond,  billowy clouds straight out of a Monet painting. Quite ethereal.

Our journey back to the parking lot proved arduous, as the distant colorful umbrellas never seemed to get any closer, much like a mirage in the desert. We did not bring enough water for our jaunt and slightly parched, we marched on. Even after a mile or so, the umbrellas appeared still as mere pinpoints. (I know; tough to complain when surrounded by such beauty.)

We made it, got our belongings, and found a semi-secluded stretch to set up our chairs. And for the next four hours we soaked in the ambiance of East Beach. All in all, despite our trying trek, it was a fine experience. So much so, we will definitely make a return here at some point.

But next time we’ll park at Blue Shutters.

*I mention that my parking effort was perfect because of a note we found on our windshield when we returned. It read, verbatim: “Dear Tourist: Don’t come to our tiny parking lot and take up TWO spaces with your hideous vehicle! -A Local-” Yeah, a local idiot! I can only fathom that this ‘local’ could not possibly entertain the idea that other people do come and go, and other drivers are not as courteous as us.

Copyright, Paul Grignon, 2012, All Rights Reserved.

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