a long cold winter walk

It was 4°F when I got up this morning. A year ago in January it wasn’t this cold when we had visitors for a weekend, Tim’s youngest cousin and her three children. Allegra is 18 years younger than Tim, who is the oldest in that group of cousins. (The span between the oldest – Nate – and the youngest – Lizzie – second cousins is even greater – 30 years! But they are not part of this particular story.) I hadn’t started By the Sea yet, so I’m remembering this wonderful day here now.

So… on one day of the visit we decided that taking a long cold walk at Bluff Point would be an invigorating way to release some pent-up energy…

January 2010 ~ Groton, Connecticut
Bluff Point ~ January 2010 ~ Groton, Connecticut

Bluff Point is a 1½ mile long peninsula here in Groton which juts out into Long Island Sound. It is part Connecticut State Park and part Coastal Reserve. The trails meander through the woods and open areas and finally lead to the bluff. The main trail is a four mile loop.

Winter is an etching…
~ Stanley Horowitz

January 2010 ~ Groton, Connecticut
January 2010 ~ Groton, Connecticut

The Poquonnock River (above) is on the west side of the peninsula, and on this day we followed the river. Cold as it was there were lots of people out and about, walking dogs, riding horses, and jogging, as well as walking like we were.

January 2010 ~ Groton, Connecticut
January 2010 ~ Groton, Connecticut

The winter sun is striking… Families who come outdoors find some satisfaction for the hunger to connect with nature and with each other, in any season.

January 2010 ~ Groton, Connecticut
January 2010 ~ Groton, Connecticut

A glimpse of a beach in the distance helps to encourage us forward, in spite of very rosy cheeks!

January 2010 ~ Groton, Connecticut
January 2010 ~ Groton, Connecticut

We didn’t make it to the bluff because we took a detour to Bluff Point Beach, which faces the sound and stretches into a barrier between the sound and the river, Bushy Point Beach. The Great Hurricane of 1938 (aka the Great New England Hurricane) washed away more than a hundred cottages here, which were never rebuilt. (Mother Nature doesn’t have to tell the typical New Englander twice when rebuilding would be a bad idea!) The storm surge also breached Bushy Point Beach which created an island at its western end.

January 2010 ~ Groton, Connecticut
January 2010 ~ Groton, Connecticut

We endured the wind a little while to explore the beach, and Allegra found a whelk egg case.

January 2010 ~ Groton, Connecticut
January 2010 ~ Groton, Connecticut

We were so cold by then that we decided to retrace our steps back to the car. So in the end we walked almost four miles, according to the pedometers. We came home to a round or two of hot cocoa…

January 2010 ~ Groton, Connecticut
Blake, Ariana and Clarice ~ Bluff Point State Park ~ January 2010 ~ Groton, Connecticut

Maybe our family will come see us again in a different season, and perhaps then we’ll make it to the bluff – we were so close! – and finish the loop on the other, eastern side of the peninsula!

January 2010 ~ Groton, Connecticut
January 2010 ~ Groton, Connecticut

Each of our lives is a path. To know this requires intuition and trust. If we are true to the steps we take, the travel makes sense and the journey confirms itself.
~ Lin Jensen

10 thoughts on “a long cold winter walk”

  1. I’m so envious of your winter walk by the sea – or a walk by the sea at any time of the year for that matter! It sounds like you had a wonderful time. I’d never seen a whelk egg case before, it looks like quite a find.

    1. Cait, some day you will have to come visit us and take a few walks with us by the sea. I think with your special camera lens you would find many tiny wonders around here that we’ve never noticed before. 🙂

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Jeff! If I’m still cooped up here by these bitterly cold temperatures and unrelenting snowstorms I might go through some more pre-blogging era photos and see what other days I can re-create… 🙂

  2. I stumbled across your beautiful blog while searching for information about the 1938 hurricane… it’s so interesting where those searches end up!

    I discovered family photos of the hurricane aftermath (in Rhode Island I think) and wanted more information about it. I live in Michigan and we do our winter walks by Lake Michigan for the same reasons… Lovely site, thanks for sharing!

    LM

    1. Laura, thank you for stopping by and for leaving your kind words, too! We’ve never been to Michigan, but some day hope to make a research trip there to trace my husband’s ancestors. It must have been exciting discovering your family photos of the hurricane aftermath – it’s rewarding to be able to picture one’s ancestors in the context of history.

      My father was 17 years old and walking home from high school when the hurricane made landfall in Connecticut. Trees and branches were crashing down around him. There was no warning. When he got home his mother wasn’t there because she decided it would be safer to stay at a neighboring farm, where she happened to be visiting when the storm arrived. But my dad and his father and siblings had no way of knowing if she was all right. We’ve had nothing like it here since…

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