Monday, June 24, 2013

Flea market in Providence and a walk out to Napatree Point in Watch Hill

The weather this past weekend in Providence has been, in a word, gorgeous. Summer has officially arrived and with it lots of sun and plenty of heat.

While Susie spent most of Saturday in her kitchen teaching and working on special orders I hunkered down in front of the computer. On Sunday the two of us sought escape from being indoors and under the weight of air conditioning. We decided to risk feeling the heat of being outside in search of  the cool breezes along the ocean coastline.

We started our search along the water to be sure but right in downtown Providence almost where the Providence River hits the hurricane barrier. Located along Water Street, just across the river from where I used to work, you can find a small but very well-organized flea market on Sunday mornings in the summer. Reminiscent of the fascinating marche aux puces in Paris but with more food trucks, you can spend a half hour or so browsing and chatting with vendors and other like-minded folk about the value of things used.

From downtown Providence it was two minutes to get on to I-95 south heading in the direction of Florida although we got off before leaving Rhode Island. In fact, we took exit 1 just before the Connecticut state line and then meandered our way south just inside the protection of the Ocean State in search of the ocean or rather the sound, Block Island Sound to be exact.

We skirted the border town of Westerly and continued moving south ending our journey just about noon in Watch Hill where we joined the crawl of cars and trucks through this beach community all of us in search of just one thing: parking.

Making a quick u-turn I pulled into a parking spot along the street (and avoided paying $30 for parking),  right across from the entrance to where we wanted to go: the beach to Napatree  Point. At about three miles out and back, Napatree Point is as far west as you can go in Rhode Island and is farther south than any other mainland point. Exciting, eh? We tried once before to go out to the point back in September of 2010 but the winds were incredibly powerful that day so we never made it.

Well, this past Sunday was grand day for a stroll along the beach: the wind was perfect, just the right amount of cool breeze and not too many other sunseekers. In fact,  the farther out we went the fewer there were until we reached the point itself and we were virtually alone, just the two of us.
toward Napatree Point from the entrance to the beach

toward Napatree Point

toward Napatree Point

toward Napatree Point

paddle boaters

toward Napatree Point

toward Watch Hill

it appears these died preventing some type of invasion as they wer facing the ocean

looking back toward Watch Hill from Napatree Point

looking toward Watch Hill with the entrance on the rise to the left

looking down into Watch Hill from the entrance to the beach
Oh, and if you go, steer clear of the osprey nesting poles but do keep an eye out for the few remains of Fort Mansfield at the very tip. (We didn't see any ruins but didn't learn of the fort until we came home -- and there had been serious damage along this part of the point from the last hurricane.)

Since you can only park for two hours along the street we had about 15 minutes to get into our car and hit the road. And so we did.

From Watch Hill we really started our serious meandering up and down, sideways and backways, along the various coastal routes in search of someplace to sit outside and have something to eat. Well we ended up settling for a fairly tasteless milkshake at Sticki Fins in Matunick. Skip this place unless you're interested in watching overworked teenagers scoop out mediocre ice cream drinks.

Still,  it had been a perfect day to be out and steel oneself for the heat to come -- in the mid-90s by Tuesday. Napatree Point: put it on your list of places to see in Rhode Island.

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