Catching up - June 13,14,15
We made plans with friends to go to a local state park, The Fishermen's Memorial State Park in Narragansett, Rhode Island. This is a very nicely appointed state camping area and is only available to campers as there are no day use sites here. We made plans with our friends Rayna and Al who also have a travel trailer. Theirs is much larger and is fully self contained, so we were again the smallest little trailer on the block. Although one night a T@G (another teardrop brand) was in the campground. We arrived around and went through an extensive checkin process. I had to provide ID for both Carol and I and registration for the car and for the trailer. This was a first for us. In most places we have camped all anyone was interested was the fee and maybe what state you are from.
It took all of about 15 minutes to get our little camp set up as we hooked up electric and water. Using the water hook-up was a first for us as we normally just used the onboard tank. Having water hooked right into the system was very convenient, and you never run out. We also set up our Big Agnes shelter over the galley area of the camper which provides shade and shelter from rain, which was predicted. The shelter we got could be about six inches taller but it worked out OK, and we also got side curtains which helped with the wind and rain when it came. Carol decorated with some flowers she had picked up at a farm stand along the route down to the park. The park is less than an hour away from home, everything in Rhode Island is less than an hour away from home.
About an hour or so after we arrived Rayna and Al pulled in to the site right next to ours and got their rig all set up just as a misty rain came and went, came and went. We went for a hike to explore the park and check out all the RV's campers and tents. It is a great place to walk around. There are lots of old ammunition bunkers on the property left over from the WWII days. There was a misty fog rolling but it didn't dampen the walk or the evening. We had supper together and chatted well into the evening.
The following morning the day was much brighter and a bike ride was in order. We rode from the park down to Galilee and out and around Great Island. We stopped and admired the boats and rode down to the jetty at Salty Brine beach. It is always amazing when ever you ride how the smells of an area are so memorable. As we rode past the docks and the fish stores our senses were filled with the smells of the sea. Past the ferry dock and the smell of the diesel engines and the fresh smell of the ocean as we approached the jetty.
I love it down here. After watching the boats come and go we found our way over to Champlin's Seafood, a Rhode Island icon in this area and had fresh seafood for lunch. Clam cakes, fish and fries and cold beers, a real New England feast.
We passed Roger Wheeler Beach and the old beach cottages we stayed in when the kids were young. It was a very good ride. Later that day we took the car and drove down to the Point Judith lighthouse and the Fishermen's Memorial that overlooks the Atlantic. People have left coins and shells and other tokens on the memorial, tribute to those lost at sea.
The poem 'Sea Fever' was inscribed on the memorial.
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way, where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.
by John Masefield
Back at camp I built a fire and we all began the prep for the evening meal. I got some charcoal briquettes going as I was going to try my new cast iron Dutch Oven and bake some corn bread. This is really a learning experience for me. As you may know I have embraced bread making and have been somewhat successful with different kinds of breads, but they are all oven baked under well controlled conditions in my kitchen.
This is my first attempt at a 'campfire' bread. Once the coals were ready it was 8 coals beneath the oven and 14 coals on the lid, turning the lid every 10 minutes for the allotted 30 - 45 minutes. At one point I declared it baked and we attempted to remove it from the cast iron. It worked. The bread came out in one piece with out a single crumb stuck to the cast iron and it smelled a lot like corn bread.
We had supper at the table inside Rayna and Al's camper as a slight rain began to move into the area. We had a great supper and the bread was just fine, for a first attempt. We gathered outside once again under the shelter behind little Stella the camper and chatted for quite a while...finishing up the evening with a Klondike Bar.
In the morning we had a good breakfast, even had some left over corn bread, and began the process of packing away all of the camping gear. Everything folded up quite nicely, even if it was a bit damp, and in a short time we were ready to hit the road. This was a very nice mid-week escape, we will do this again.