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Cliff Walk

October 22, 2012

Rhode Island – Thursday, October 18

I checked out of the centrally-located motel I’d been staying at in Providence and started to make my way down the other side of the bay to Newport. But first we stopped for a 5 mile walk along the bay on part of a 14 mile trail that goes from Providence to Bristol. It was a beautiful day and there were lots if walkers, joggers and bikers out. In many places the trail was right along the water, and the bay was quite industrious on the other side – heavy machinery moving up and down mountains of coal, smoke coming out of smokestacks, docks and piers (didn’t see much boat traffic), etc – lots of activity doing I don’t know what! My side if the bay was quiet (this was another trail on old train tracks) and although it may not have been the most scenic of walks, it does give me appreciation for all the work that goes on to provide services (light and heat maybe?) that I take for granted.

I had already done my homework for my donations for the next couple of days, because I didn’t want to waste time researching things when Taryn is here for the weekend. Today I was going to make a donation to Lucy’s Hearth, a shelter for women and their children if they’ve fallen on hard times or need to get away from an abusive relationship. When I talked with them, they mentioned they were in need if size 5 diapers for a family that had just moved in, and could also use some baby feeding supplies like little bowls and spoons. And they could always use things like Kleenex and that sort of stuff. So that’s the sort of thing I shopped for, and then I found the house tucked away on some extensive church grounds, and dropped off the supplies.

Then I headed to the outskirts of Newport, where I’d be for the next couple of nights and got checked in. I drove into Newport itself to get familiar with the town, and aside from all the enormous mansions one reads about, it’s a cute little town with a riverfront district and all kinds if sailboats and other boats and piers with shops and restaurants and all. It will be fun to explore. The part of town I wanted to walk in today, since the weather was still nice, was the Cliff Walk, which is a 3 1/2 mile path – sometimes very rough walking on the tops of boulders – between the shore (steep and rocky) and 64 of the mansions that the town is known for. There are several locations to access the path, and ours happened to be alongside The Breakers, one of the best known “summer cottages” built by the Vanderbilts around the turn of the century. I simply cannot imagine designing, building, living in, or maintaining a place like that! The Cliff Walk was wonderful – I could get occasional glimpses of the mansions and their extensive landscaped grounds, and occasionally the path would be across the tops of boulders, but it was still negotiable for both Tula and I. We passed a Chinese Tea House that I thought was a restaurant, and later learned a wealthy lady had had it built on her property to enjoy tea, and it’s available to rent out. We had to go through a couple of tunnels, and the sea was getting more rough against the rocks, and when I could no longer see a clear path along the tops of the boulders and the going got a little more questionable, we turned around even though we had not arrived at the end of that side of the trail. We got back to where we had started and then walked a bit in the other direction where the mansions seemed bigger, and the path was paved the whole way. When it started to get dark, we turned around again, but we got in 4 miles, which gives me another extra mile to save for a rainy/busy day.

It was then laundromat time, and I also went to a couple shoe stores – gonna have to replace one of my pair of shoes soon even though I really like them. Tomorrow will be an early morning to meet Taryn’s train!

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