Grills, Interrupted

Posted By on November 29, 2018

Grills, Interrupted

3.2 miles; Westerly, RI

Note to self: don’t try and hike the Grills when the Pawcatuck is at or above flood stage. Duh.

Fema Alert

Fema Alert

Yes, I get FEMA alerts on my phone. Yes, I saw this one. Yes, I didn’t read it.

Whoa!

Whoa!

I started this hike with the intention of doing at least 4 miles if not more. When I arrived at the parking lot, IT WAS JAMMED with cars. So I kind of expected at some point to cross paths with a very large group, and I was not disappointed. There had to be at least 25-30 people trooping my way when I made my return trip on the blue trail after my misadventures. They were with the Westerly Land Trust, the organization that oversees this property. THEY knew not to hike the blue trail at all.

Speaking of that return trip...

Speaking of that return trip…

Um, yeah. So I followed my usual route, which takes the first blue-blazed trail right turn down to the river. I got as far as the Polly Coon Bridge and saw this. “Huh,” I thought “That looks a little wet.” [I am nothing if not known for my comic understatements.] But I continued, edging along the side of the trail to avoid the water.

River Over Trail

River Over Trail

Till I got here I still thought I might be able to make it, but at this point it was obvious, even to me, that the actual Pawcatuck River was running over the trail and that going forward without a kayak was not an option. Sigh. Backtrack.

Blue Bowl on the Blue Trail

Blue Bowl on the Blue Trail

About a mile and a half later, after my encounter with the lovely folks of the Westerly Land Trust, I saw this neat blue enamel bowl (I’m assuming it was originally a bowl and not a funnel) perched on a rock trailside. I love enamelware, and I can imagine this was once the pride and joy of someone’s kitchen, and hosted uncounted batches of biscuits and cookies and pie dough. In many ways our tools define us. I like to imagine this was a tool once used by someone’s loving mom or grandma.

Inadequate Puncheon

Inadequate Puncheon

The technical term for a notched log used as a stream crossing is “puncheon,” and I’ve crossed this one many times. I’ve walked the dry streambed beside this one many times. I’ve never see it so pathetically inadequate. I got a TEENSY bit wet getting across here today.

You can find out more about the Westerly Grills property here (scroll down to The Grills; includes link to trail map). As always, click the image above for details about this hike and to download the gps track.

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