Tag Archives: beavertail

Narragansett Beach Revisited…

This past Labor Day weekend we found ourselves once again ensconced in the healing environs of Narragansett, where an abundance of sand, sea, and sky were to be had. It was a last summer respite, a day and a half spent at the beach, soaking up the simple beauty that exists within this enchanting littoral land.

The boys were at their Dad’s, and our dear friend Beth allowed us to stay at her lovely pink cottage in Saunderstown, a mere five miles from the beach. In order to access Narragansett Beach, one needs to arrive before 8:30am, as they start to charge people just to walk onto the sand! Preposterous, I know, but we managed to arrive prior to the dispensing of funds, and we then enjoyed the next seven hours immersing our souls in the splendor of the sea.

The above picture, however, is not of the beach. It is of Beavertail, located in Jamestown, and it is a fabulous place, replete with a rugged coastline, a constant and welcome breeze, and magnificent views. This photo was taken from our perch upon the rocks and nothing blocked our view save the incoming boisterous sea.

We stayed there for five hours, and then made our way to the house. We unpacked, and then wended our way to the beach. After 5:30pm, they stop charging walk-ons, so we were safe. It was great to run the length and pause at the end, where the confluence of tides meet and where deceiving currents tug and turn, a maelstrom that can pull an unsuspecting beachcomber into its rapid and rapacious swirl.

It would be difficult to top this picture of the beach. The sun’s rays pierce billowed clouds, and distant sparkles are visible in the churning sea.

Such unimaginable beauty awaits those whose souls are so attuned to the allure and essence of the sea, a constant flow of cascading waves, a timeless traverse upon ancient sand. What more could anyone possibly need? Julie and I reveled in this ethereal realm, a healing and comforting stretch of land that speaks to those who welcome such spectacles of grandeur.

This picture to the left was taken on our last day at the beach. Long, languid hours were spent reading, or napping, or simply gazing at the deafening surf as it rolled in along its endless grip upon the shore. It is a siren, rhythmically calling to your soul, yearning for your return to its pulsating and primordial depths.

Hypnotically, we all succumb to such roiling seas. It beckons, and we submit. We sit, transfixed, mesmerized by timeless beauty. But all too soon we pack our bags, and drag our belongings along the shore, to reluctantly leave this haven of heavenly delight.

We leave, content and complete, awash with the sea, sun, and sky upon our skin, and the ride home is met with silence, as each soul seeks to recall individual moments of sheer bliss experienced upon the shore.

Narragansett Beach is indeed a magical and wondrous place, a stretch of sand that will transport you to a world of comfort. Do walk its length. Revel in its welcoming presence. Become one with its eternal and infinite charm.

You will be transported. Your soul will be healed. The beach will, as you travel barefoot upon its cooling sands, be an instant balm.

Make the journey. It awaits you. What are you waiting for?

Copyright, Paul Grignon, 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Saunderstown and Beyond…

We stayed at the ‘Pink House’, as we affectionately call our friend Beth’s house. Julie and I, and the boys, stayed overnight with her and her husband, Jos, and in the morning we were gone. But it was very nice of them to allow all four of us to encroach upon their own getaway weekend to this special cottage by the sea.

We arrived on a Saturday afternoon, after taking in a nice bike ride along the East Bay Bike Path, from Colt State Park, to Barrington, where at ride’s conclusion we treated ourselves to a delicious ice cream at the Daily Scoop.

Well, it was only the first leg of our ride as we did have to return to the car at Colt State Park. The boys appeared to enjoy the scenery along the way, and after our morning trip we packed up the bikes and headed to Brenton Point in Newport, a place we are all fond of.

After fighting immense traffic on Bellevue Avenue, we found plenty of parking along the shore, and after securing the bikes we carried our lunches and chairs to a spot below the sea wall. We climbed down a ladder and sought a semblance of shelter from the wind, nestling behind a sea wall that jutted out briefly towards the ocean. It was much cooler here, closer to water’s edge, and we huddled on the rocks, with draped towels and blankets. We ate in silence, marveling at the expanse of ocean before us, with nothing but rugged rocks and waves and sky to see.  No one else was around.

But that was short-lived, as a bevy of folk deigned to descend the ladder; a family all wearing inappropriate footwear for the slippery rocks, a gaggle of teenagers (one with a bike!), and a Chinese couple who carried enormous cameras around their necks.

It was quiet at one point.

It never ceases to amaze me how people seem the need to yell and make noise while clambering along the rocks. What is wrong with just staring silently out into the blue beyond, soaking up the soothing scene in quietude?

After lunch I built a cairn and we tried knocking it over by tossing pebbles at it but I built it solidly and so we left it as it stood. It’s always a pleasure to witness smiles on the boys’ faces as we packed up to go, our next leg of the journey to Beavertail at the southern tip of Jamestown.

We crossed the Clairborne Pell Bridge (better known as the Newport Bridge) and after the tolls, wended our way through Jamestown Center and kept going along Conanicus Avenue until we took a right onto Hamilton Avenue, leading to Beavertail.

If you have never experienced this particular part of Rhode Island, you are in for a treat. Beavertail juts out into Rhode Island Sound, and as you circle around Beavertail Lighthouse, the scenery is expansive and spectacular; rugged coastline, similar to Maine, and tremendous swells and spray. Sailboats come and go and there is always a pleasant onshore breeze. We stayed a bit and then backtracked to Hamilton Ave., banged a right onto Walcott Ave to Fort Wetherill, yet another fabulous destination on Jamestown.

Here, we showed the boys the eerie, long-abandoned fort and after crawling about the grounds and cliffs, set up chairs near West Cove. I braved a swim and the water was incredibly frigid. But the sun was warm, we were sheltered from the breeze, and it made for a pleasant respite before the next leg of our journey.

Crossing the Verrazano Bridge (Jamestown Bridge) we took the Narragansett exit and traveled along Boston Neck Road, stopping for pizza at Kingstown Pizza, and then proceeded to see the sunset at Galilee. It suddenly became very chilly and as we sped along route 1, a dense fog started rolling in with tremendous speed. It reminded me of Stephen King’s horror novella, ‘The Mist’.  The visibility was practically nil.

We were laughing because just a few moments ago there was brilliant sunshine, and now the fog overtook everything in its path. Beth and Jos elected to watch the sunset from Beavertail, and we wondered if they, too, had the same fog bank enveloping them.

We finally arrived at Galilee, managed to find a parking space in the thicket of fog, and stood near the railing to the channel, valiantly searching the heavens for a mere glimpse of sun. It was not to be. We sat at the picnic table, ate our cooled pizza, and huddled against the coastal chill, marveling at how quickly the fog shrouded everything. The world simply disappeared. We took pictures anyway, and you can barely make out the boys in the photo, it was so pervasive.

We piled into the car, headed back home on Route 1, and as we approached 138, we noticed the fog had lifted and shreds of blue sky were visible. Once on the highway, sunglasses were again necessary, as a blinding sun appeared from behind the last vestiges of fog.

All in all a most enjoyable two days, and we managed to pack in quite a bit. These are the kind of summer days well spent, without any form of media to distract your senses. Even the boys didn’t seem to mind the lack of iPods or phones.

While I drove, the other three fell asleep, and I felt quite content, transporting loved ones back home in silence and fading sunlight.

Copyright, Paul Grignon, 2012, All Rights Reserved.


Beavertail Addendum…

In my past blog about the wonderful vistas to be had at Beavertail, in Jamestown, RI, I forgot to mention that after we departed there and left for Narragansett and then to Galilee, we did happen to stop by Roger Wheeler Beach, yet another fine place to watch the sun set in all its waning splendor.

How, then, did we end up in Galilee, eschewing the beauty of Roger Wheeler , you might ask? It certainly is a worthy query, so allow me to expound upon our decision.

As you can see by the above photo, when crowds are not teeming upon this pleasant stretch of sand, it is quite magical in its basic offerings; warm sand, perhaps a hint of moon behind diaphanous clouds, and a soft, gentle sea. The picture is, of course, not of the setting sun. Mind you, the brilliance of that star was quite lovely to behold, but unfortunately a photo was not possible.

You see, where we sat, directly in front of us was a picnic table. No one occupied it, and the only object nestled on top was a pair of sunglasses. Julie thought it would be best, from our supreme location, to move the picnic table a few yards to the right, thus enabling me to capture the allure of a sun setting along the shore.

Unfortunately, I did not move quickly enough. For as soon as I made the decision to get up out of my chair, a family swooped in from the parking lot, espied the empty table, and proceeded to unload bags of stuff on its surface.

And here I was thinking, prior to their arrival, that perhaps those errant sunglasses were Oakley’s, and that I could possibly fetch a decent price on eBay for them. But that was not to be.

The sun shed magnificent shafts upon the clouds and sea, but my eyes were fixed on the family that descended on the table. Two girls from the party frolicked in the shallows as the mother and father busily set up chairs and opened a myriad of containers. It was appalling and disgusting to witness the father rip open a Tupperware container and claw at some substance within and, without pause  shove the contents into his jowly maw. I averted my eyes, briefly, to scan the heavens for the golden glow of sunset, but my eyes returned to the offensive brute who continued to cram food into his mouth, chewing and reaching for yet another slab of god knows what high caloric fat-laden substance was within. It was like watching the after effects of a car accident; possibly gruesome, and yet your eyes remain transfixed.

We finally had had enough of this assault on food, and so we packed up and headed to Galilee. Here, we managed to find a more pleasant spot to watch the sun fade, marveling at its empyrean presence as it shed a twilight display of fireworks.

Copyright, Paul Grignon, 2012, All rights Reserved.

Bliss at Beavertail…

Back to back ventures this past weekend to the southern-most tip of Jamestown proved most healing for Julie and me. A resplendent sun greeted our mornings, and we lingered upon the rugged coast for the better part of both days, soaking up the enchanting vistas of sea and sky, an instant balm to inland souls.

It’s too bad that we could not find a cheap motel room, as we paid about the same in gas. The America’s Cup was in full swing, so no rooms were remotely available. Even in remote areas.

The first day we spent long hours on the rocks at Beavertail, admiring the advancing surf and the plentiful sailboats that plied the seas. Someone nearby told us that the Cup was starting at around 2pm, so we packed our bags and headed to Fort Wetherill, for a choice spot to witness the sport neither of us understood in the least.

It was good that we left when we did as hordes of avid boaters were trudging through the scrub to secure a good seat. A woman was kind enough to tell us to follow her, that she knew of a great place to watch the races. Dutifully, we followed and eventually were led to an open patch of grass, where many people had already set up chairs and tents for the event. The woman did tell us that there was a trail nearby, in case we wanted to watch it from the rocks. Which we preferred. We had no desire to sit amongst a mass of folk, all jabbering loudly, chittering on about who was favored, a lot of them just a different version of the armchair expert. Plus, it was hotter than hell on that patch of turf.

So with our bags and chairs we slipped and slid down a rather precipitous path, and carefully made our way upon the rocks. It proved to be a most wise choice indeed.

Nary a soul was there, and we managed to secure our chairs on the uneven rocks, plopped ourselves down, and popped open a cold Pepsi. Perfect. And then we scanned the channel and wondered what all the fuss was about. We had no idea what the racing boats even looked like!

Eventually though, we saw eight tall and sleek,  corporate icon-clad sailboats appear and surmised that those were the boats in question.  Once the races were in full swing, other folk clambered nearby, to gain a fine perch to witness the proceedings.

The wind shifted, and soon Julie had towels draped on her as well as a sweatshirt. It was amazing how suddenly cool it became. The water was quite choppy in the channel, and it appeared that the Oracle team was winning, under the fine guidance of Mr. Spithill.

Having had enough of racing that we did not comprehend, and since it was getting rather chilly, we departed the scene, making our way back to the car, escaping the crowds that would soon follow.

We then decided to partake in a walk/run along Narragansett Beach, something we are quite fond of, and something that we usually reserve for sunrises. But since it was late afternoon, and fast approaching the hour where one does not have to spend $20 to park nor $5 just to walk on the beach, we took our time getting there. In fact, since it was not quite 5:30, we pulled into Brickley’s, an ice cream emporium that is quite popular with the summer crowd. Navigating through the masses of ponderous people (perhaps they should refrain from the high-octane butterfat offerings) we purchased our ‘single’ cones and fled to the shady comfort of a tent outside. Dripping from the still intense heat, we hurriedly consumed our treats and resumed our venture south to the beach, to work off some of our high-carb dessert.

We parked and immediately had to use the facilities, to lighten ourselves before our jaunt near the waves. Many more obese folk were witnessed here, women who should not be wearing bikinis and some men that should be wearing bikini tops.

A tremendous crowd greeted our eyes as we wended our way upon the beach, more people now at this time of day than what we have seen in late August.  But the tide was agreeable, and there was ample room to maneuver around the colorful cabanas and umbrellas, weaving deftly around tiny kids who were oblivious to all around.

A pewter sea, with long graceful swells followed our footsteps, and it always remains a pleasure to stroll the length at first, and then upon our return to run. It was a perfect evening. Sometimes though, it’s best not to have a bellyful of decadent ice cream, for we had to curtail our run half way through because of a frozen ball of dairy in our tummies. But the remainder of the walk was quite nice, watching the lowering sun and seeing the Towers lit by last rays of sunlight.

Back in our car after switching to sandals, we again headed south, to Galilee, to watch the sunset there. Here then were we able to take some nice photos of the setting sun, replete with harbor scenes and magnificent cloud formations. Just a beautiful way to finish our day. One is reluctant to leave, but we did have to meander back to Sturbridge, for early bed and a return to such splendid vistas in the morn’.

We highly recommend such an outing, to park early at Beavertail, and enjoy the rugged coast and cool ocean breezes. Even if it is for only a few hours, your soul will be renewed.

Copyright, Paul Grignon, 2012, All Rights Reserved.