Once again, my favorite yearly mini-vacation was full of movement and exploration! Block Island is the perfect place for Active Relaxation! In fact,! I hope to organize some retreats there next summer! It’s only 10 miles into the Atlantic yet you feel detached from the real world and can explore your wild side! Here’s a recap of this trip’s activities:
- The 1st Annual Blueberry 5k! This was an impromptu family event led by yours truly after reading about the “high bush blueberries” being in season in July. The trail was about 1/2 mile long and was about 1 mile away from our house. I loaded up my camelbak with a couple empty containers and we ran out to the trail with visions of blueberries as far as our eyes could see…and we got just that! Except, they were probably a week or two from being ripe. Unfortunately we saw more mating beetles than ripe blueberries. However, we were grateful for the ones we picked and we did harvest a decent amount of blackberries. Overall it was a success! Next year we’ll aim for later in the season…
- One lap around the Block, any way, for time (kinda)! The following day I set out for the big one of the trip. Every year I look for new areas to explore, but this year I figured I’d try to go all the way around the island. Plus, I wanted to go for my annual mountain bike ride so I eased my soft undercarriage onto that awful seat and set out from the house on High St. I took the scenic route via Snake Hole and Block Rock Roads to the Coast Guard House.
After a short run to the beach, and looking both ways, I swam across the channel. This took 2 minutes but for some reason I lost my cool for a second out there. I’m blaming it on the fact that it was my first open water swim of 2014. For some reason I thought I was being pulled by the current, but I ended up right where I hoped. Oh well, I made it. In case you didn’t know, open water swimming is definitely mental!
After hitting land on the other side I attempted to run the beach but it was way too rocky. Although I am confident in my “fast feet” technique, I didn’t feel it was worth turning an ankle this early in the adventure, with about 7 miles of beach running to go. So I walked and took in the scene where I’d never been before, and ran when the beach allowed. At times, I tried not to touch any sand by balancing on driftwood and jumping from rock to rock:
The plan was to swim across Sachem Pond near the end of the Western beaches but I’m pretty sure it was fenced off and there were so many seagulls around the area that I just kept running until I passed the North light. I came across a make-shift nautical monument and decided to climb:
After reaching the top end of the Island I hit pavement for a little while before getting on the Clay Head trail. On my way to the trail was a decent hill that always seems to take people off their bicycles. Since I’m no stranger to hills, I ate it up! Running on sure footing up a steady hill was so easy that I passed a guy on his bike. “This is a good incline, eh?” he observed. “Yeah, pretty good.” I didn’t want to make him feel bad and didn’t have the time nor desire to give him directions to Neuty.
The Clay Head trail took me to Pots & Kettles beach. From there I headed South to the Pavilion, about 2 miles of sandy beach running, to my checkpoint at the Town Beach Pavilion. The 16 mile journey took me 2:25.After meeting up with my family and taking Luke into the Atlantic, I got kinda bored and decided to make this a full lap of the Island. So, after about an hour break, I ran down the rest of the beach before hopping back onto pavement and took it back to the house (about 1.25 miles). Gear for this adventure: vivobarefoot ultra pures (best summer shoes ever!), camelback, mountain bike, goggles, GoPro. I wore the vivos on the bike, on the really rocky beach sections, and the pavement. They were perfect for this journey!
- Grilling! We did lots of this activity out there! Here is the highlight of the meals we prepared:
Swordfish, Tuna, Kale with Onions & Garlic
- Last day for a swim! I felt the need to redeem myself from the ugly channel swim and get out there again. As I did last year, I swam from the breakwater to the Town Beach Pavilion (about 2/3 mi.). After landing on the beach I ran down to Mansion Beach to meet up with my family (about 1.3mi). The water was perfect and the swim was redeeming! The run felt great on my tight ankles and feet from the previous day’s journey. A great way to cap off a few solid days of activity!
I already miss RI’s own paradise! Two days later and the only memento is the soreness in my shoulders and tender sits bones from those first swims and rides of the year. We’ll see you again next year!