A Travellerspoint blog

Sunday Funday in the rain

Excursions to the beach, pond, wildlife refuge, and breweries

rain 42 °F
View Burlingame State Park on baecation2016's travel map.

Breakfast
We woke up Sunday morning to the sound of faint bird calls accompanied by the pattering of rain on the roof of our tent. Thankfully this new tent has a tarp built into the flooring, which kept us pretty dry overnight. We were equally as thankful too have packed away the inflatable kayak and the remainder of camp gear last night.

I recalled that the arcade had a covered shelter and picnic table so we drove over there to make breakfast. We had our French pressed brewed coffee and kale and Havarti cheese omelette sandwiches on Portuguese muffins (think English muffins but BIGGER).
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However, the park rangers on patrol weren’t too happy with our use of the propane grill outside the confines of our campsite so we retreated back there to enjoy our meal away from the company of some narcs (just kidding, park rangers serve a vital role in protecting these sacred spaces for all to enjoy).

Beaches and Breachways
We headed first to the sandy trails and beaches of Weekapaug, where we looked for birds along the breachway and Quonochontaug salt pond. However, there weren't too many birds so we moved on to the next stop.
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Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge
At the Kettle Pond Visitor Center (apparently the referenced kettle pond IS Watchaug Pond), we perused exhibits and a short film on the origins of wildlife refuges.
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There was a pretty sweet mosaic at the entry and a thematic map demonstrating the regional terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
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Due to the rain, we opted for the shorter Ocean View Trail, which had a handicap accessible observation deck and a rainy view of the Atlantic.
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During our walk we saw the following bird species: Black-capped Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Baltimore Oriole, Red-winged Blackbird, and a couple more life list firsts, Yellow Warbler and Northern Parula!

Breweries and Brunch
Our next stop was Grey Sail Brewing of Rhode Island, which was quite the treat! The taproom was so cool; it was in a house from the 1930s owned by family that ran a macaroni company next door (now the brewery). We had a couple of flights and wished our mom's Happy Mother's Day.
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We attempted a boozy brunch at 84 Aleworks Brewing & Tavern. However, the totchos were so plentiful, they had us satiated and that was a wrap!
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Bye bye Burlingame!
We drove back to the campsite to furiously breakdown our tent and rack our bikes onto the car.
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The wind and rain made the temperature seem more like in the low 30s, so we were a bit relieve to head home and forgo the last night of our reservation.
After an hour drive back home, we rewarded ourselves from the mad dash of unloading the car in the rain with a tasty treat that had been waiting for us all weekend. . . a fruit tart from Pastiche and home brewed espresso!
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Happy birthday Heidi, I love you so much!

Claudia & Heidi

Posted by baecation2016 13:01 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Banner day on Watchaug Pond

Two kayak trips, birding, and tasty meals

sunny 73 °F
View Burlingame State Park on baecation2016's travel map.

From our tent, we woke up to a beautiful sunrise, the sound of singing catbirds competing to announce the start of a new day, and the smell of campfire and nature.

Both Heidi and I only had one thing on our minds. . . blow up our tandem kayak and head onto the water!
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Once we noted a small leak, the Burlingame camp store came in clutch yet again. Here we found both air stop glue AND Gorilla Tape. And just to be sure, we bought and used both on that hole! For breakfast we had Greek Yogurt with whipped honey and fresh blueberries and strawberries Mason jar parfaits and coffee from our French press coffee mugs.

Watchaug Pond
We loaded our tandem into the water and were off! The water was perfect; calm, clean, and crisp.
Other campers were out on the pond, mostly fishing off of canoes and speedboats.
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A solitary double crested cormorant was the first bird we encountered on the water, followed by fish crows searching for a snack.
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The view from the pond was incredible; we paddled to the center and it was impressive to take in the size of it.
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On the north side of the water's edge was a patchwork of marshland. As marshes are a transition between the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, we figured this would be an ideal spot to stop and do some birdwatching.
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Birds
We encountered the following species: Osprey, Eastern Kingbird, Fish Crow, Gray Catbird, Chipping Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Common Grackle, Yellow Warbler, Double-crested Cormorant, and a life list first. . . American Redstart.

Eastern Kingbird
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Red-winged Blackbird
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By the time we headed back to our campsite, we were ready for lunch.
Heidi whipped up double-stack black bean burgers, which we polished off with a side of pickles and Hot & Spicy Cheddar Cheez-It Grooves.
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After a bike ride around the campgrounds of the state park, we played a round of Guitar Hero at the camp arcade and ate ice cream sundaes from the camp store. Back at our campsite we relaxed with some beers and enjoyed the view of the pond while I practiced my photography skills on a waxing crescent moon (visible in the daylight) and a Canada goose.
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Amazingly, an osprey carrying a huge fish in its talons flew overhead! I was so scared and excited, I fumbled with my camera but unfortunately did not capture the shot.

For dinner, I made crab cake sandwiches and campfire grilled corn on the cob. Yum!
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Sunset Kayak ride
The opportunity to capture sunset over the water could not be missed so we headed back on the water after dinner. I got to try out the "sunset mode" on my mirrorless digital camera, which was wise choice. Here are some of our favorites:
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We spent the final hours of this surreal day by our campfire, bracing ourselves for the coming rain. . .
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Posted by baecation2016 09:46 Archived in USA Comments (0)

First night at the lakeside campsite

Providence to Charlestown

overcast 63 °F
View Burlingame State Park on baecation2016's travel map.

Our drive from Providence to Charlestown was uneventful and took around an hour. We arrived at the Burlingame State Park check-in around the same time as another lady couple who also seemed excited to be starting off their camping season this weekend.

The drive up Fish Camp road really gave us insight on the large size of the state park, which apparently dedicates a lot of campsites to RV/trailers.
The surroundings were a beautiful mix of pines, maples, and Rhode Island wildflowers.

Our site (110) was pretty sweet! It was located adjacent to Watchaug Pond, a kettle pond the size of a lake, and had a boat launch ideal for our inflatable kayak.
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Needless to say, we were pumped about this feature. Despite the initial setbacks of bringing along a new tent that was missing parts and forgetting our air mattress, we pushed through by getting a replacement tent and memory foam at the camp store. This camp store was incredible; it literally met all our needs and anticipated ones we were about to experience (see day 2 post). After we set up camp, we had a yummy dinner of foil bag red snapper marinated in lemons and onions along with sautéed kale.

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A couple kayaking after sunset passed by our campsite, and we had serious FOMO for not pulling out ours that evening.
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We chose to defer our inaugural voyage until the next day when the weather forecast would be perfect.

Posted by baecation2016 05:46 Archived in USA Tagged nature travel island kayaking tent road camping spring trip cooking outdoors ri rhode Comments (0)

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