“Wheeling” Around Romantic Block Island

Enjoying Mopeds With My Favorite Guys

 

Pristine waters lapped against the numerous sailboats resting in the harbor of Block Island as a seagull floats gently to one of the masts, securing his majestic stance for all the other gulls to see. The taste of salt-water still lingers on our lips as we make our way from the ferry, docked in Old Harbor, to the center of town.

The ride from Galilee was quite relaxing on the new high-speed ferry, about half the time of the regular ferry. The high-speed ferry was a must because my husband is prone to seasickness, but the extra price was worth it. We decided to treat our youngest son, Craig, to a day at Block Island. Craig has always heard us talk about the simple, peaceful life at Block Island, where one can just kick back and appreciate the finer things in life, like a wondrous sunset, or the smell of “clean” air and ocean, or good old fashioned salt water taffy, the kind that pulls your fillings out! It was his first visit to ‘the island’ and we wanted to make it as memorable as possible.

A burst of laughter came from one of the surrounding restaurants, The Oar, while on lookers glanced at the crowds of people strolling along the docks. The weather was fantastic — hot, slightly humid, and a blazing sun overhead. Walking from Old Harbor to the center of town was quite challenging in this weather, so we opted for a taxi ride. When we arrived in town, we were in a quandary, rent a jeep, or moped. Of course, our son wanted to try his luck on the super deluxe mopeds so it made our decision easier. Ours was a flaming red moped, with matching red helmets. His was sky blue (he could care less about the color). Our son is 6 feet 5 inches tall, so it was quite a sight seeing him mount the ‘mighty’ moped.

The moped vendor gave us a great deal on one of their busiest days so far this summer. Helmets on our heads, feet on the bike, quick lesson in moped skills, and we were off. The 7 mile island, with its mix of wildlife preserves, 30 miles of criscrossing trails, silky, sandy beaches, gracious old Victorian hotels and weathered homes made us feel like we were on tour in the remote countryside of Scotland.

Our first visit was to the North Light where there is a museum. We walked the half mile from the park entrance, noticing rocking sailboats sitting idly on the crystal clear ocean. The walk seemed long, trudging through the sand and all, but in the end, we weren’t disappointed. The North Light tells a story of the lightkeepers struggle to keep the light functioning, through rapidly changing weather along the coast of Block Island. There was many a shipwreck along this coastline and there are detailed pictures in the museum that tell it all. The last lightkeeper left in the mid 1950’s, but didn’t regret a moment that he and his wife and daughter had experienced residing there.

Our next stop was lunch at “The Oar”, a ‘funtastic’ restaurant. Individuals donate oars, which are displayed dangling from the building rafters. We enjoyed some “really fine food” at this establishment. Both my son and I chose a scrumptious fish dish and my husband chose his standard….meat!

We grabbed our helmets and headed for another jaunt around the island, this time visiting Southeast Light and the Mohegan Bluffs. These beautiful cliffs are known to house one of the most beautiful shorelines in the United States.

Mother Nature was pretty rough on these beautiful cliffs since our last visit to the island. We were warned by the “yellow tape” declaring ‘do not pass’, not even at our own risk. As we made our way down the 180 stairs, we could see why. Rampant rainstorms and torrential winds have trimmed some parts of the cliffs to practically nothing. Overall, the cliffs have valiantly sustained Mother Nature’s wrath.

We soothed our tired feet in the cool ocean waters, wishing that we had brought our bathing suits. The sand sparkled in the gleaming sunlight, like diamonds in a mine. We knew we had to head back up the 180 stairs, but we weren’t in any hurry.

Time was running out on the moped rentals, so we decided to just ‘ride it out’. There’s something about riding a moped with someone you love, wind billowing through you hair and holding your sweetie tight as you speed swiftly along the bumpy, country roads… and watching your youngest kid have a ‘ball’ on the moped is priceless.

After returning the mopeds, we had an hour to spare before the high-speed ferry took us back to Galilee. Munching on the few pieces of salt-water taffy that we had left, we reviewed our day on the island. It was fantastic and we hated to go home, enjoying the peace and tranquility that the island had to offer. But, at last, it was time to go home and let our puppies lick our faces with love, and taste the last salty remains of the island on our faces.

Block Island can be reached from Point Judith on either the high speed and the regular ferry, New London, which has the high speed ferry and Montauk, New York, which has the regular ferry. Please check online at www.islandhighspeedferry.com and www.blockislandferry.com for schedules and pricing.

Enjoy!

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