Sunday, October 9, 2016

ROADTRIP: Rhode Island Circle

Soundtrack for this roadtrip: America's Test Kitchen

Because my commute in Nevada was as long as the whole state of Rhode Island, I tend to think getting anywhere doesn't take long. But yesterday I had several fun choices, and decided to make a roadtrip out of the day. And because of the way Rhode Island is shaped, I went through two other states.

My original plan was to head to a park in Westerly, and then stop by Newport on my way to a presentation in Bristol. I didn't realize how much longer it takes to go south to north by way of the peninsula, so my route was altered somewhat, but I still ended up making a big circle and hitting everywhere I wanted to go, and seeing most of Rhode Island. The trip ended up being almost exactly 100 miles. My original probably would have been fewer miles, but again, I didn't look at the times before I left. Ignorant.

The first stop was Wilcox Park in Westerly, one of the southernmost towns in Rhode Island. The town is gorgeous, and in the middle is the Westerly Public Library and Wilcox Park. The University of Rhode Island Master Gardeners host tours of the gardens and arboretum pretty regularly, and this particular tour was a look at the Champion Trees. I should have been taking notes, but of course I was too busy taking photos, so I know some of these and none of the flowers (that's later in the month).

So, going up and around the Bay through Providence and back down to Bristol, I attended a meeting of the New England Carnivorous Plant Society, and a presentation by a wonderful young man from Harvard who is researching the coloration of pitcher plants. I have often wondered why pitchers or traps are different colors, often on the same plant -- research is ongoing. I also came home with a new baby -- Drosera spatulata -- whose name cracks me up. Whoever named it is my kind of literal. The meeting was held at the Rhode Island Audubon Society, a beautiful facility that's now on the list for whenever my mom visits. I'll probably be tired of seeing wild turkeys by then, but maybe not. They're pretty funny.

The drive from Bristol to Newport was the most beautiful, leaving me with some notes about where to hit again, including Wyatt Road and the Common Burial Ground -- a network of graveyards in Newport that seem to be segregated by religion (something I hadn't really realized about graveyards until my grandmother's funeral a couple of months ago). There are graveyards everywhere here, and I can't wait to start documenting the ones I see -- and figuring out how to take better photos of them.

Getting home from Newport, another beautiful old town I need to explore more, included crossing the Newport Bridge and lighthouse sightings -- another relic in abundance here, which I can't wait to explore more.


Route map