Block Island Hikes: Part IV

Two extras before I share this morning’s hike to the beach.

Tim’s post about our visit to the transfer station (aka dump), featured the clouds above the weighing station. This is what you see if you look to the right.

 

At the Wednesday Farmer’s Market I bought a large container of kale salad and a bag of spinach. I couldn’t get a good picture of the spinach, so I took one of fresh kale instead. Both the kale salad and the spinach are excellent!

 

This morning I took this year’s first hike to an actual beach. I walked down Beacon Road and then to the beach via Grace’s Cove Road. I walked along the beach to Dories Cove, and then returned to the Schneider house the same way I came. The walk was under five miles.

 


On Beacon Road I stopped to sit and take a picture of the farm. The bench is available for weary travelers, both on the road and those passing through on the Greenway trail.

 

The entrance to the beach reminded me of Tuckernuck, except that along with the rocks there were broken pieces of pavement.

 

Perfect conditions for pictures (using Pro HDR on the iPhone) of my hand. It took me over a half hour to make it to the beach.

 

 

It was almost 10am but no one was there. What a treasure!

 

There are signs that it isn’t always this empty, but there is very little trash.

 

In spite of the bright sunshine (not my favorite) I found many backgrounds for my hand that worked. I can’t imagine how wonderful this would be if I returned on a cloudy day.

 

 

On my way back to Beacon Hill Road I passed this sign. Must be true because I saw a deer just down the road.

Tim is playing the shakuhachi flute on the front porch. It’s time I posted this so we can have our dinner date at the National Hotel.

 

Block Island Hikes: Part III

Hiking isn’t all I do on Block Island. Tim and I take tandem rides, go to the grocery store and the farmers’ market, find Block Island treasures to take home, and sometimes even eat out. I have been reading and napping, but a day doesn’t feel complete without a hike or two.

 

 

Before I start the saga of my last two hikes, I will note that I finished The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. The link here is from the publisher. I also read the New York Times book review and found out why I shouldn’t like it so much. But I did. The book had an obvious message and I loved it anyway. I said in an earlier post that to me, chicory means hope. In the flower dictionary at the end of The Language of Flowers it says it means frugality. As I walk on the trails I’ve been thinking about this. I think it means hope because it grows in such impossible places. There is hope that it will live. I agree that frugality also fits. It makes do with very little and survives. I’ve enjoyed putting the two ideas together.

 

 

I also solved the problem of having no hat by buying one at the Block Island Health & General Store—just the hat I wanted at a reasonable price. This time I’m going to leave it with Sheila so I don’t have to once again remember that I need a hat to hike in the sun. Also required is the tripod we packed and pulled 360 miles to get here. I have to admit that I never used it on the bicycle journey. Next year I think I’ll send it ahead with my hiking shoes and backpack. Instead, I’ll carry my old SLR Canon camera. I miss the zoom lens for travel shooting.

 

 

The last two hikes required no cyclilng to get started. I walked up the street to the greenway entrance just south of the airport. I took the blue walk yesterday and the orange walk this morning.

 

 

After leaving the road and walking downhill for a while, there is a steep hill to ascend. There is an incredible set of stairs with nets over the two trails on either side to prevent erosion. I tried climbing the stairs the first day, but sneaked up the trails the second day. They are steeper than they look! My hands were very relieved to make it to the top.

 

 

As I traveled along the path, trying to find the Enchanted Forest, I met beside the trail. . .

 

another hand! My hand made contact and perhaps found a new friend in the forest. I’m not sure how well they got on. We didn’t talk about it.

 

After leaving the Turnip Farm and the Enchanted Forest I walked out to the ocean via Black Rock Road. Most of the Greenway trails are for hikers only. No bicycles or horses are allowed. Black Rock Road is Block Island’s answer to the freeway. On this road ONLY pedestrians, bicycles, and horses are allowed.

 

The short hike this morning was up the stairs again and around the Loffredo loop. Here is the description on the back of my map:

Robert Loffredo helped purchase this majestic property adjacent to the Turnip Farm in memory of his wife Elaine, who lost her life in the tragic TWA flight 800 crash. Some of the highest land on the Island, it has commanding views . . . and contains a wonderful mix of shrubs and meadows, which harbors numberous breeding birds.

The walk was well worth the climb.

 

Block Island Hikes: Part I

The Friday after Andy and Anneke left it was too hot to do much of anything. I expect we could have baked on the beach, but it didn’t appeal. Instead, with a forecast for cooler weather, we mostly waited. I took a short walk in the evening and just made it back to the house before it started to rain. Saturday was much cooler and I decided it was time for a longer hike. There are thirty miles of walking trails (the Greenway) on Block Island, and I have favorites to revisit each year. With little training for long hikes, I packed my knapsack with water, a map, and my tripod. The iPhone (camera) was in my pocket.

I turned on the MotionX-GPS in my iPhone before I left and recorded the hike. In the end it was 6.5 miles and took me three and a half hours. I also neglected to pack a hat and the sun was blazing. Other than the fact that I thought my feet might fall off when I was finished, I had a good time.

This shows the road just up from the Schneiders’ house. The walk up the hill to the trail isn’t very long.

The trail leaves the road and circles Fresh Pond.

After the trail reaches the shore, I turn left and follow a private road back out to the main road. I didn’t know it was a private road until I reached the two stone towers on my way out. So in theory I still don’t know it’s a private road until I leave it. I love those two towers. I spend extra time each year circling them and looking for close-ups.

 

They are a wonderful combination of stone, lichens (I think), metal, and rust.

This is when I wish my friend and fellow photographer Mary Kelsey were with me.

 

When I reached the road, I met a lovely family selling lemonade to weary travelers. But alas, I forgot to bring any money. I scraped the bottom of my knapsack and found eleven cents. I had water, but lemonade sounded like a wonderful treat. With a bit of advice from their mom, the girls decided to give me a cup for eleven cents. Their mom told them they were spreading good karma, and that it would be my job to pass the favor forward. I will definitely keep that in mind. Thank you!!

I circled Sands Pond while walking back via Payne Road. I followed the clouds as I walked. Some of them were magnificent.

I have photographs ready for two more trips, but I hope to get up early tomorrow for another walk. I’ll continue the story later.

 

Norfolk, CT to Cromwell, CT

The trip (at least our version of it) from Norfolk to Cromwell involved a little bit of ascent and a whole lot of descent. It was fun, but I had a hard time finding something interesting to photograph.

 

There were stretches of road with little traffic and towns with lots of traffic.

I tried using PRO HDR to make picture of ghost traffic, but the cars wouldn’t cooperate. I got a picture of a ghost Tim instead.

I tried a couple pictures of cell towers, but they were no match for Robert Voit’s “New Trees” which I saw in the current show of “Untold Stories” at the George Eastman House in Rochester.

I thought about pictures for Tim’s comments, such as the above for “Why don’t we plop down our credit card for two brand new shiny red motorcycles and take off?”

I thought about finding links to triglycerides and the health problems with too much sugar, but decided against it. I’ll let this picture stand for itself. We visited the same Carvel store on our way through last year. Great store and nice people.

Earlier in the day, when Tim sent a blog about me being somewhere taking pictures, this is what I was working on. The vine tendril begged to be photographed – but not with my iPhone (at least without the tripod that was packed deep in the Yak Sak). Alas it was not to be my next great grape vine picture.

I”m afraid this photograph has to represent our entire trip through New Britain and Berlin—Tim’s home town. Rain threatened when were making this passage and my iPhone went back into its plastic bag. Instead of taking pictures, I watched Tim’s excitement build as he approached “home.” It reminded of me of my recent trip to Rochester with my friend Sandy. We took a detour through Irondequoit and were given a tour of the Crane’s house at 468 Oakridge Drive. What a treat. There is a feeling about seeing home again, that for Tim and me at least, remains special.

We arrived safely through (I’d be tempted to call it) gobs of traffic to the Crowne Plaze Hotel with plenty of time to check in and enjoy an early dinner. Totally different from earlier stops, but I enjoy it. I like seeing the differences in the various places we stay.

After a good night’s sleep and excellent breakfast I started our rest day with a trip to the washing machine on the first floor. On my way I stopped to photograph what I think it a very interesting way of including a ramp as part of the decor. The short stairway goes down one side of the “terrarium” and the ramp encircles the other. I couldn’t quite fit the whole ramp in my view so I decided to try my Olloclip Wide angle lens. I had inadvertently washed the lens a few days before, and I’m happy to report it showed no ill effects. But in placing the lens on my phone I had to remove my xshot iPhone case, and in doing so discovered that I had neglected to remove the protecting film from the back of my replacement iPhone. No wonder so many pictures looked foggy! The above collage shows the film I removed from the back of the iPhone. The pictures on the right show the same shot (forgot about the Olloclip for this pair) before and after I removed the film.

Another lesson as we continue our adventure.

Tonight we’re greeting friends and family for dinner at the Crowne Plaza. Tomorrow we set off for Old Saybrook for a quick overnight before pressing on to Mystic. The end of our journey is almost in sight.

 

Brooktondale to Oneonta: June 7 and 8

You’ve read of Tim’s trials while waiting for me to be ready to leave, so I will spare you further details.

 

 

 

I planned to give all sorts of other details of our trip—first to Afton (55 miles) and the next day to Oneonta (33 miles). I experimented with the iPhone camera.

Pictures of friends’ houses

Pictures of strangers’ houses

Pictures of friends! We met Dan and Linda Finlay while having lunch in Whitney Point.

Points of interest along the road

Experiments with my iPhone lenses:

Details of wonderful meals along the way. If you stop here for lunch, you can listen to a lesson in Italian while using the restroom.

But hours of pedaling, and relearning the blog program, and reviewing the editing program, and finding a new resizing program, and uploading methods have taken their toll.

 

We had two excellent days of riding:

Saturday promises rain (but not all the time). Our hope is to skip between the showers which means we once again make an effort to start early—breakfast at Denny’s in Oneonta and off before the showers begin. I’ll let you know how we make out.

Thanks to all for your kind words and encouragement!

 

Time to try a new camera

When we started this blog I discussed my camera dilemma—the Canon D50 with lenses and tripod were too heavy to take with us on the tricycle. I settled instead for Tim’s Lumix G1, two lenses, and a GorillaPod. Almost all the photographs I’ve shared so far have been taken with the Lumix. Three days ago I decided to repeat the new-camera experience—this time with my iPhone. I downloaded three applications: Pro HDR, ClearCam, and ProCamera. I have been using all three interchangeably, depending on what I thought was called for. Most of the post-processing was done with PhotoGene—the same application I’ve been using on the iPad for most of the trip.

Without further explanation here is a record of a few more island forays—
Block Island journeys with an iPhone.

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