After three whirlwind days in Manhattan, Cori and I took a train to New London, Connecticut for a few days. The slower pace was just what we needed to round out our trip. One of those slower paced days we opted to take a ferry over to Block Island, Rhode Island.
For $45 per person you can take the ferry to the island for the day. We opted to leave on the first ferry from New London and come back on the 4:55 ferry. There is one around 8PM as well, but after the day we had, we were ready to leave at 5.
So why were we so ready to come back after a mere five plus hours on the island? I think it can best be summed up by the four things not to do on Block Island.
- Don’t rent a bicycle.
Immediately after disembarking from the ferry, we headed to Island Moped and Bike Rentals a short walk from the ferry dock. Our destination for the day was going to be the Mohegan Bluffs, a mere mile and a half from the town area. We rented two beach bikes, hopped on, and started pedaling. I occasionally ride a bike at home, and while I knew that hills would be difficult, I thought I was ready for them. However, after starting up the first hill and having no gears to shift, I found the beach bike to be nearly impossible to maneuver. The handlebars were overly loose making it extremely difficult to keep balanced. On the verge of tears, I told Cori that this was not going to work. Being the greatest friend that she is, she suggested returning the bikes and trying out some mopeds. Which leads me to number two.
- Don’t rent a moped if you can’t sit on it with your feet resting on the ground.
Easily we were able to switch out our bicycle rental for a moped rental. Since neither Cori nor I had ever driven a moped, we were allowed to try it out on the street behind the rental company. I found the moped extremely easy to maneuver. I quickly found my balance and practiced turning left. But as I turned to head back in the direction I had just come from, I saw a moped on its side, wheels spinning, and the workers running to the scene. Cori was alright, but when trying to turn left, she wasn’t able to keep balance since she had to hop off the seat to reach the ground. Her moped drove into a pickup truck’s wheel well and fell over. I rode back to the rental place while Cori informed the owner of the truck. Luckily, the truck already looked like it had been in a wreck, and the owner just laughed the little mishap off. Needless to say, mopeds were not going to be the way we got to the Mohegan Bluffs. So we opted for our last option, a taxi.
- Don’t ask a taxi driver to take you to Mohegan Bluffs.
We hoped we could find a taxi driver to take us to the bluffs and pick us up in an hour or two. Well, no one was willing to do this. They would be more than happy to drop us off at the trail head though for a $15 fare. This seemed ridiculously high for a mile plus car ride, but we really wanted to go. Our driver dropped us off, and we headed down the 250 steps to the beach. The bottom of the staircase had been washed out so we had to climb over rocks that last few feet. We spent over an hour walking the coastline and taking in the beautiful scenery. We hoped that there would be a trail that led back up to the road at some point, but there never was, so we were forced to turn around and trek back to where we began. It was unseasonably hot this day with temperatures hovering around 90. After all this walking, I was dying for something to drink.
- Don’t walk back to town without a water bottle.
After ascending those 250 stairs my thirst was all I could think about. The sun was beating on us as we walked the road back to town. We took a little detour to check out a lighthouse. I was hopeful that there might be a water fountain or perhaps a vending machine, but instead we were met with a summer camp of children picnicking on the lawn. Each of them mocking me with their refreshing juice boxes. After what felt like hours, we finally found a place to eat and relax. It was then that we decided that we would be taking the earlier ferry back after our interesting day.
While our Block Island adventure did not go as planned, we did get to see the beauty of the Mohegan Bluffs, spend some time looking for shells on Crescent Beach, and get a great moped story for the future. While Block Island was no Marco Island, it will not be a trip I soon forget.