Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sometimes a Walk is More Than a Walk

When on Block Island, I always walk the Clay Head Trail, one of Block Island's most lovely spots.  The Clay Head Trail is a few miles of pure beauty that leads you along the edge of the famous Clay Head cliffs and through gorgeous wetlands.

For many years, we've taken our Block Island vacation with our good friends, Kathy & Clint and their children.  Being friends with Kathy and Clint has had many wonderful benefits - the introduction to Block Island being only one of them.  Kathy is a walker just like me and when our boys were babies, we were known to meet up almost every day to walk our favorite Loop.  It wasn't just exercise we were getting - although, no doubt that helped get rid of my baby weight - we also used our daily hour to vent about life with babies, any problems we were having, our trials of first-time home ownership and good old-fashioned gossip.  I'm pretty sure that without Kathy, I wouldn't have survived early parenthood.

Looking back, we have to laugh about how hard-core we were about our walks.  We walked in the rain, the snow, the heat and through six pregnancies.  We made it through the years when the kids tried to climb out of the stroller, when they got too old to gossip in front of without embarassing consequences and the one month time period when Ethan (probably one and a half) refused to wear a winter coat, hat or mittens.  Kathy and I were motherhood foot-soldiers:  we pushed those heavy double joggers, we walked those hilly miles and we survived.

Now our schedules are busier and Kathy and I are down to one walk a week.  I'm stroller-free, but baby Lauren's arrival last summer has reintroduced the jog stroller to our party.   We still vent, discuss and gossip and frankly, I can't imagine life without our walks.

But back to Block Island because that is where this post is based.  In summers past, Kathy and I would take our walk to the Clay Head Trail.  This year, our friends were unable to join us on our Block Island vacation and I had to find someone else with whom to walk.

This year, the role of Kathy, will be played by Georgia Elliot.  (and don't think I didn't keep saying that phrase in an announcer voice over and over again in my head during the walk)  Maybe it was the years of being pushed in a stroller while listening to us talk, or maybe it's just that she's up for almost anything, but Georgia is a huge fan of a long walk.

And those of you with children will know how rare having an eight-year old who likes to walk long distances really is.

Here we are at the beginning of our journey.

The first quarter-mile or so is through wetlands.  We saw this heron.

.... and then we came out of the bushes and found ourselves on the precipice of a steep cliff.  Georgia's Granny wouldn't have been able to look down.

This photo makes the drop seem like a pleasant, sandy hike to the ocean, but it is really a rocky fall.

Georgia brought her camera and we did stop occasionally to take some photos together.  

This is Georgia's study of me, wet with sweat.  We walked at a brisk pace and I got a workout... which if you read my last post about the donuts, you'll know was a total necessity.

The end of the walk took us on the main road for about 2/3rds a mile.  This isn't the best part of the journey becuase you have to share the road with cars, mopeds and bicycles but you do get a good view of the Great Salt Pond and the Northeast Lighthouse.  See Granny!  If you could handle the ferry ride and the steep cliff, you would be rewarded with your favorite beach sight:  a lighthouse.  Block Island is so wonderful, it has TWO lighthouses.  

And so we arrived back at the start.  It was a wonderful walk.  Kathy was missed - very much - but she would have been impressed by her understudy.  


Granny said...

Good for Georgia! It looks like a wonderful walk!

Martha said...

It is/was a wonderful walk!

elisabethellington said...

Beautiful photos! Makes me miss the beach. How did I end up land-locked for 2000 miles?!

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