Sunday, March 13, 2016

Lincoln Woods - a busy Sunday - 3/13/16

Nana at Shanna's Country Kitchen 10:40 am
Today started off like most Sunday mornings, I was up first while Nana slept in making up for the lost hour last night (the daylight savings thing). Soon, though, Nana was up and she always takes her coffee and sits outside to reflect and read some meditations. I on the other hand was reading news on my phone and just as I was just starting my second cup of coffee my older brother called. We chatted for quite come time covering hobbies, politics (a very confusing subject these days) family and speculated about the future... a lot of 'what ifs'.

We got a few chores done after we both had our fill of coffee, as today was to be action packed and time was getting compressed rapidly. We new our hike today had to be nearby because in the afternoon we had an art opening to attend, and today is my daughters birthday. Even knowing all of that, we got a late start. I had chosen a diner called Shanna's Country Kitchen in Lincoln, Rhode Island, solely on it proximity to Lincoln Woods, our chosen spot to hide today. It's near by and always a fun place to hike.

As we were approaching the diner, my younger brother called and we ended up sitting in the parking lot for 20 minutes chatting before entering the diner. Nana and I both agree that it best feature is the proximity to Lincoln Woods... service was slow and we finally had to flag down a passing server to inquire on the status of our breakfast. It shouldn't take a half an hour to cook an egg no matter how busy you are. Once the food arrived, it was pretty obvious that it had been sitting for a while.

Let's get walking
The entrance to the woods was only 5 minutes from the diner and we were off on a walk on a wonderful early spring day with temps in the 60s. If you have never been to Lincoln Woods you are missing one of the easy to reach wonders of Rhode Island. This is one of those State Parks where you really cannot get lost and there are many many trails to follow. Having said that, the scenery here is pretty spectacular, not on the wide vista out west kind of way, but in a way that gives you pause about what it must have been like for the early colonists when they first saw the land. A land so full of rocks and hills that they likely wondered aloud how they would ever clear enough land to grow anything. The walking here is up and down with a great deal of topographical variety but can be done at an easy pace. The woods are mostly hardwoods, oak and maple with some pine stands. I can't wait to come back when things are starting to bloom.

Most of the trails are wide and easily navigated and we passed several spots where you can stop and eat at a picnic table. There are also may spots along side the trail that would do nicely for a lunch stop. We crossed a couple of streams and walked along the shore of Olney Pond, the main attraction in the summer. There is a great public beach here, and it has been utilized many times through the years as a summer destination for our kids and grandkids. It is a nice wide sandy freshwater beach, one of the few freshwater beached around, we are the Ocean State you know.

In total we only walked two miles today, in about an hour, as we really took our time. We saw lot of folks out enjoying the woods in their own way. There was a great number of dog walkers. We passed one group and that were being pulled along by golden retrievers, six golden retrievers. We saw lots of young folks on mountain bikes and many rock climbers either assaulting the rocks or hiking along with their huge pads on their backs.

It was a great walk, an easy walk, on a beautiful day with Nana, again taking the time to slow down and take a look at nature, the world and life. Lots of good conversation, some compelling and some mundane... even a bit of complaining about bad service at diners.

I would certainly recommend Lincoln Woods to anyone in the area to come and explore or rediscover this great spot that is so easy to get to, right off of Route 146 North... literally 10 minutes from Providence. You know you have no excuse. . .

Me and Walter
Later in the afternoon, after showers and a bit of clean-up, Nana and I went back into Providence to go to the opening of a show of my dear friend Walter Feldman's wonderful paintings. Walter became a very close friend when I was working at Brown University and remains so today. Walter is 91 and still paints for 5 hours a day. His show, 'Memorial' is a  visual representation of his emotions after returning from a trip to Normandy - Walter is a World War II veteran and his service has added meaning to his life as it does to all of us who have served. Thanks Walter for your service and thanks for years of friendship.

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