Brian is our blogger today.....
Rhode Island has an abundance of natural spaces by the water, and North Kingstown’s coastline includes some beautiful coastline. We started our North Kingstown visit by driving down to the John H. Chafee Nature Preserve. A nice long walk to the beach on a wide path in perfect weather is about as good as it gets. Aemilia is no fan of beaches because she hates sand, but this beach seems like it was made just for her since it is covered in small stones rather than sand, and she enjoyed hanging out with Aoife at the water’s edge. Tarynn wasted no time in going to search for living creatures. She was able to find snails, small rock crabs, even tinier crabs, and fish in the water.
Heidi wanted to find a geocache that we had searched for unsuccessfully five years ago. In the previous attempt we spent a great deal of time crawling over a large rock out in the water but the geocache was not there. When you're into geocaching as much as Heidi is, a failed attempt like this (called a DNF for did-not-find) is something that haunts you in your dreams and drives you to "avenge" it when you have a chance. So Heidi and I left the kids on the beach to play while we walked a half mile north along the rocky shore to find the geocache that had eluded us years ago. I am not nearly as driven in geocaching as Heidi is but I enjoyed the walk and the company and I was the one who found the geocache in the end.
Returning back to the girls, Tarynn excitedly showed us the crabs she had found. We all picked up stones to bring home to paint, and we left a “smile” painted stone in a tree. On the way back Tarynn was very excited to find blackberries and proceeded to graze on the flora all the way back to the parking lot.
Also in North Kingstown is the birthplace of Gilbert Stuart, colonial America's foremost portrait painter. Although this historic site is closed for tours due to COVID-19, we were able to see the beauty of the house and restored water wheels from the side of the road. (Side trip down memory lane by Heidi - The last time I visited Gilbert Stuart’s birthplace was when I was on a fourth grade field trip back in the 1980’s. My mom was a chaperone and needed to use the restroom, which was an outhouse with a lock on the outside of the door. She asked me to stand guard while she used the facilities, and of course I agreed to do so. Well, 10-year-old me got distracted and ran off to play tag with my friends, leaving my mom locked in the outhouse! She had to shout and bang on the door for someone to let her out - Yikes!!!!)
We followed our view of Gilbert Stewart's birthplace with a walk through the village of Wickford. Wickford is a quaint waterside village and we enjoyed walking down the docks to the water and strolling through the historic streets. Wickford, established in the early 1700's, still has many Colonial and Federal period homes as well as the oldest Anglican Meeting House in the northeast. It's like taking a journey into in the past.
Wickford is also home to the mysterious "Narragansett rune stone". This large stone was found in Narragansett Bay, and was probably unearthed as a result of the 1938 hurricane. Early in the century people noticed runes carved in the stone but to this day no one knows for sure who did them. Some have suggested Vikings or the Knights Templar, but they could also be more recent. No one knows! We found out about the stone because there's also a geocache there and now one of our painted rocks is nestled in the stones surrounding the rune stone.
The trip to North Kingstown would not be complete without a visit to one of Rhode Island’s fine ice cream shops, The Inside Scoop. Aoife was especially delighted because she was able to get chocolate dairy-free ice cream (many places just offer sorbet as a dairy-free option). Nothing beats locally made ice cream and smiles on a beautiful RI summer day!
Other places we've enjoyed in North Kingstown:
We are a family who loves to travel and explore. Covid-19 has changed our plans for summer 2020, but we are making the best out of the situation by exploring our beautiful home state of Rhode Island. During the summer of 2020, we are hoping to visit every town in Rhode Island. Thank you for joining us on our journey!