Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A Blissful day of Discovery

 There is something about this first photo that reminds me of old coastal postcards. Anyway, it was a longing to visit places from my past, as well as a conversation at work, that piqued my interest enough that to plan a day trip for LM (it was not a hard sell!) and myself last Saturday.  We set out early on what you can see was a glorious day - we've had a nice string of such days.  Making our way to New Bedford, we then traveled due south  and quickly were in an area of this beautiful state that we'd both never explored. As we turned the corner into the sweet village of Dartmouth, we knew it was special, as we spotted the architecturally quaint library, and many other very old but lovingly maintained structures housing little shops, galleries and cafes. Shortly, the next turn took us over the beautiful harbor at Padanarum, and a quick left off the bridge lead us to the Nonquit area.  We felt like we were in the English countryside, complete with artful and ancient stone walls, and rolling fields down to the ocean.  Seeing so many beautiful farms, and huge lots was amazing.  Huge old colonial era homes and farmhouses, farm stands, and livestock and wildlife were everywhere. Our imaginations were in a whirlwind as we looked longingly down many long and winding drives through woods and fields, the homes invisible, but that was half the fun.  Slowly we were making our way west on this lovely peninsula toward Westport and Horseneck Beach State Park. In the 1970's and 1980's, I spent many a day with my children at the beach in this area along Buzzards Bay. I also camped at the park near the beach.  This road leads down to the east side of the beach. At the end of this road on the left is a large plot of land that is now protected by the Audubohn Society and has lovely trails - we will be back another day to walk.  As we turned the corner at the beach, we were quite amazed to see the damage caused to the road along the beach by hurricane Sandy last year. Tons and tons of rock washed up and all they could do was make a road on the rocks....a rocky ride, it was for a bit! This entire area has been heavily damaged by many hurricanes through the years but none more than hurricane Carol in 1954. The few remaining houses are on pilings. There are still trailer homes, no doubt the precious summer spots of lucky owners. It sits in a very vulnerable area.  (click on any of these photos to enlarge)
As we rounded the corner to drive along the beach, we found quite a large group of fisherman and pulled in on the rocks to watch.  You know who was quite interested in what they might be catching.  Several seagulls thought we might have brought them treats.  In the distance here you can see a viaduct and Gooseberry Island. They extend off the west end of Horseneck Beach and are part of the Horseneck Beach State Park.  Years ago, we could park our camper there and stay the night while fishing.  A really beautiful place!
Piles and piles of rocks washed up by Sandy.

After sitting to watch the fisherman and take in the warm sunshine a bit, we began to make our drive along the beach toward the island causeway.  Years ago, on the right, at the beginning of the causeway was the most wonderful clam shack ,mmmmm, now it is a lovely home.  I could still smell and taste those friend clams and clamcakes we would share on a hot summer day as we sat on the rocks. 
Years ago there was a thriving little village on this island but then it was taken over, many of the houses moved to another area of Westport, and the island became part of the state park.

Looking back toward the main beach as I took a walk around the parking lot to take photos.


Sea grapes, goldenrod (so prevalent here) and rose hips seem to be holding this wild beauty in place.
One little aster
Water so blue this day.....

Butter and eggs in the sea grass

After walking along the beach for a while, we decided to walk the trail that goes around the island. It may have been a longer walk than usual for me, but we savored every second. We saw so many of these furry caterpillars....does that mean a long cold or short mild winter? I never can get that one straight.

The island was used for enemy submarine/boat observation during WW II, thus these two towers. The sky set the scene so artfully. The towers were close to 3/4  of a mile on to the island at the highest point. Along the way were many narrow paths leading to the beaches and, as voiced by my wonderful companion, perfect fishing spots in the rocky areas.
The graffitti may have been better somewhere else but we appreciated the talent, nonetheless.
All the fields were filled with wild asters amidst the roses.

My trusty fishing scout, and dearest love.
Saving this island from development was a "very good thing"

Hiking back I got a bit tired but in such a good way. 
We came upon the remains of an old bunker and drain, so I was able to sit for a few minutes and contemplate the beauty of the sun shining through the goldenrod blossoms.  They are related to the aster family and looking closely it was evident. Never would have seen that if I hadn't needed a break. Lovely!
LM hauled me up and we finally made it back to the car,  and drove  along the each to a sweet little restaurant we'd seen on the way in to Westport.....the magic will continue in a day or so.
So happy you could all join me on this jaunt.
Love to all. 

1 comment:

Judy said...

What a lovely adventure. Sometimes, we have to stop to really see what is right in front of us. Thanks for all the pictures--they calm me tonight.