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The Ocean State

October 19, 2012

Rhode Island – Tuesday, October 16

Rhode Island is the smallest state in the country, and it really is dinky! It’s only 48 miles long by 37 miles wide…but, despite that, it has 400 miles of coastline. And today I set out to see some of that coastline! The first stop of the day was East Greenwich, and Tula and I walked through town, a neighborhood and then down to the first of many marinas I’m sure to see. And there were a lot of boats – mostly sailboats there. I didn’t see anyone out sailing though. We got in almost 3 miles. Then I was just going to continue heading south, and ended up in a left-turn lane I didn’t mean to be in. But it didn’t really matter, so the unexpected turn led me to Wickford, and that was a wonderful old historic town – pretty old brick buildings in town and more homes right up by the sidewalk from the mid-1700s to early 1800s. I like all the shutters – some front doorways even have shutters too – and not one of those homes has a storm door – they would probably look really out of place. We enjoyed a very nice walk around town. My progress down to the south side of the state was not going fast, so I decided I needed to revise my donation plans for the day. After finishing my walk in Wickford, I called the North Kingstown United Methodist Church to see if there were any special needs for their food pantry. The lady I spoke with said anything would be fine, and then I saw a little reminder on their website reminding people not to forget things like toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, laundry soap etc. So I went shopping for non-food stuff and loaded up the cart, then found the church. One of the food pantry ladies was there, and when she saw my pile of shopping bags, she wondered if I was bringing things in on behalf of some organizations. I told her it was just from me, and pointed out the card I had attached to one of the bags, and that led to a conversation about what I was doing. They were very appreciative of the things I brought, and she showed me the food pantry. It looked fairly well stocked, and then she told me they help out upwards of 150 families a week! At this church, families bring in food donations on Sundays when they come to church, and they leave a shopping cart out for that purpose. And then anyone who needs a little assistance is welcome to visit the food pantry. It’s a nice way to try to keep a steady stream of things coming in – this church doesn’t rely on any other larger organizations to help stock items.

From there I headed south to Narragansett. There was a long beachfront walkway and Tula and I walked the whole length of that. It’s such a nice day – lots of people were out walking, biking, jogging and skateboarding. I still needed a couple miles of walking and just a little further on was Scarborough State Beach. There was hardly anyone out and about, and once again, we enjoyed a long walk on the sand while the tide was out, and finished the walking for the day. As I was figuring out which way to start heading back to Providence, I saw a sign pointing to Point Judith and a lighthouse. So I took another detour. The lighthouse is a working one that’s part of a Coast Guard station, and they were just locking up the gates for the day. But the lighthouse was pretty anyway, and I also caught the tail end of the sunset…

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  1. I’m curious if any states are more dog friendly than others?

  2. Hi Darrel – Your name is a blast from the past (and I still think of you being about 12 or 13 years old – ha!). I’ve been on the road for almost 8 weeks now with the dog, and overall it has been pretty easy traveling with her. There have only been a couple times when I had a little trouble finding a pet-friendly place to stay. The biggest disappointment to me was in Connecticut, where the state parks didn’t allow any pets in their campgrounds. I’m not quite sure why. I think in general it’s becoming a little easier to travel with dogs. I’ve been out walking in countless towns now, and have lost count of the businesses that set a water dish out for pets, and a couple times, even dog treats have been set out. And lots of communities and parks have doggie bag dispensers so people can easily clean up after their dog (I always have a couple in my pocket) which helps keep everything clean and pleasant for everyone. So I hope the rest of the country is as dog-friendly as the New England states have been. I also think it helps that Tula is pretty easy-going; rarely barks; and is friendly – she gets a lot of nice comments. Lots of motels charge $10 a night for pets; quite a few haven’t added an extra fee; but the highest I’ve run across is $35 for a pet fee so I didn’t stay there! The most I’ll pay is $15 extra, and that was only at one place. More often than not, I haven’t had to pay an extra fee – and of course there’s no extra charge at campgrounds. So it’s been a good experience – except for Connecticut, and they must have had their reasons for not allowing pets in the state park campgrounds.

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