During the summer, I like nothing better than to ride my bike to the beach, about 5 miles away from home. I live in a town on the coast of Connecticut, and the beach is a beautiful sweep of land against which the Long Island Sound laps gently. Once there, I spread out my blanket, read my book, meditate and talk to friends and family on the phone. But the beauty of the experience is in the ride. Come along with me as I leave my house. It will only take about 25 minutes; here’s what we encounter along the way:
Aha! Just 2 blocks away, I find this misspelled sign below several mailboxes. Truth be told, about a month ago, I wrote a note in which I informed each resident that the word is spelled “trespass” and put it in each mailbox. You can see the effect my note had on the residents of the street.
Five minutes later, I reach the town library which recently put in a lovely walk around its perimeter. From the path, one has a view of the Saugatuck River. Recently, they added a “Story Walk” where, every 10 feet or so, one finds a page from a children’s book. Families stroll, read, and, at the end, sign the book indicating that they have participated in the activity. What a great idea!
Next, I encounter the Farmer’s Market, active on Thursdays from May through November. There, one can get local fresh veggies, fruit, healthful drinks, meat, fish, etc. And, of course, samples!
Part of my ride follows Jennings Trail, on which two dozen plaques annotate historical sites in Westport. Near the beach, I come upon a plaque denoting the home where F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda lived while he wrote “Great Gatsby.” Here, some claim, is where he stretched out his arms toward the water and saw a single green light, (East Egg?) that to Gatsby, might have been the end of the dock where Daisy lived.
A few miles more, and I’ve reached the town-owned Longshore Park containing a beautiful golf course, inn, restaurant, marina, tennis courts and swimming pool. Still on Jennings TraiI, I pass a plaque inside the park marking Gray’s Cemetery. It is clearly marked off from the 18 holes and presumably not trodden on by golfers.
The final historic site I pass commemorates the patriots who defended against the British who landed at the very beach I was headed for. It is the famous Minute Man Statue that actually had a featured role in an old “I Love Lucy” show! (Google it!) During the winter, one can find a scarf and hat on the statue to protect him from the elements.
I pass homes of many styles; on the left, is one I consider cute, homey and unpretentious. On the right is a more modern, lavish beach house.
At last, I round a turn and the boats moored at the beach come into view. The ever-present geese stop traffic as they march across the road to join their friends on the softball field. Batter up!
I finally settle myself on the beach during a mid-week cloudy day. Not many visitors, but that’s how I like it. The ride, the sights and the treat at the end all worth it! And only 25 minutes from my house.
Thank you for joining me in one of my favorite summer activities, hope you enjoyed the ride with me!