Following the single digit rule (get out of the house before 10am), its not often that sleeping-in is ever worked into plans for the day. Typically waking up is closely followed by an hour long wave check, breakfast, and following the plan that was created the night prior.
Today was no different, except I didn’t set an alarm. Chaos.
The wave report was half-assed, eggs and milk were no where to be found, and the plan that was supposed to be in place never seemed to recreate itself.
I stared into the backyard for 2 hours before I decided to pick up my backpack and stuff it full of camera gear, overnight clothes, food, tools, and a bowdrill kit. I had no intention of staying over night, needing a fire, or even having a meal while exploring western Rhode Island; It just felt right to lug 50+ lbs of gear around for a few hours.
A 45 minute drive through Richmond, Hope Valley, and Arcadia Management area led me to Beach Pond where I hoped to hop on the Tippecanset Trail and follow it to the Stepstone Falls area and loop back, making it a good 10-12 mile hike. Perfect training for the move out to Utah.
Off I went, following a yellow/blue blazed trail, about a mile in the blue stopped, yellow went on, and white intersected. Without much attention to the map, I pushed on with the yellow, never taking into account the fact that I had no idea the color of the Tippecansett Trail. 4 Miles later I found myself walking across the Connecticut border, the yellow blazes no longer showing, along a double wide strewn with boulders. A Hyundai with Rhode Island plates sat in the bushes across from a big pond not shown on the map…
“Lost again,” I said to myself, thinking of the previous time this happened along a well marked trail in Vermont. So I did what any other person of today would do, I whipped out my phone and got the gps started. No service.
The fact that I brought enough gear and water for 3 nights felt reassuring as I took a seat on an Foundation to home that was no longer there. I cracked my victory soda and thought about how good it felt to have finally found somewhere in the metropolitan east that was far enough away from roads that it was impossible to hear the roar of passing cars or getting cell phone reception.
About an hour went by when I heard a few branches cracking and the hum of a motor approaching to the south. A young couple in a pickup rolled up along the trail I hiked in on, looking surprised to find a guy and his dog just sitting along the side of a unmarked and pretty rough trail. Turns out they were more surprised that I wasn’t going to bust them for trying to launch an unregistered canoe. They let me know where I was and proceeded on their way. No longer feeling lost I sat and looked off into the trees wondering how many miles it had been since I started, my feet were blistered, the dog was passed out, and the mosquitoes began their evening feast.
Being lost in the eastern US is usually nothing short of a let down, striving to get away from the hustle never seems to be easy, but yesterday I finally felt satisfied that Rhode Island had same to offer that all of its Northern Neighbors possess. I turned around and walked out with a feeling that I hadn’t experienced since I moved to New England, my mind was clear and most of all my longing for a simple adventure close to home satisfied.
It was a purely simple day.
On a side note: