Thursday, August 27, 2009
Block Island Day 4 - Thursday, August 20
I skipped Thursday's sunrise and woke about an hour later to go on a solo bike ride around the island. It was much foggier that morning and visibility decreased as I rode higher, up to the southern lighthouse and the bluffs. I found my way back to the northern tip of the island, which seemed almost otherworldly in the fog and early morning calm. I thought about the beach scenes in The Road and wondered if this gray quiet was what Cormac McCarthy had imagined for his post-apocalyptic world. Any further thoughts of a life after a cataclysm were shattered when a young family rode up on their bikes and set off on foot for the lighthouse.
I rode back to the hotel and we packed our things. We had just enough time to get breakfast at a local coffee shop and pick up some salt water taffy before getting on the ferry for the return trip to the mainland. The fog hadn't lifted yet, and every few minutes during the crossing our ferry let out a loud blast from its foghorn. Occasionally another passing ferry or boat would sound its own horn, and it was a little creepy to hear the horns but see no ships. It reminded me of the opening scene from "Master and Commander," and I half-expected to see cannon flashes in the mist. Even when we arrived at Point Judith just after noon, the docks and beaches were shrouded in dense fog.
Of course, this boat was just a ferry, and the experienced crew guided us around other boats and into the dock without so much as a wayward bump. Loading the car took much less time than it had on Monday morning, and a few hours later we were back in Brooklyn.
Our all-too-brief vacation had come to an end. But we could look forward to returning to Block Island next summer. I really enjoyed the entire trip. Block Island is quiet like the beach I used to visit in North Carolina, but it's a family destination like the New Jersey shore of my childhood. Since it's so small, we saw the same families and couples throughout our stay, and I got the impression that frequent visitors will be remembered for repeated stays. I'd love to make a long weekend or few days off at Block Island a permanent part of my summer plans. I liked the place that much.