Saturday, October 13, 2018

Rhode Island - Day 8 - Wickford

Oak Leaf Family Campground
Monday, 8 October 2018
today's route
This is going to sound odd, but today I went in quest of a dress shop that I didn't remember the name of or where it was located.  But I was sure I could find it because I remembered what it looked like very well.  My great-aunt Alice used to buy us presents from there and, over the years, we grew used to seeing the logo on boxes she'd send us at Christmas.  My memory just couldn't see the name on the logo, unfortunately.

The last time I was in Rhode Island that Aunt Alice was still able to walk on her own, she took Momma and me there and I still have a shirt I bought then.  So I wanted to go back for the memories, as much as anything else.

I remembered the town started with a W, and though I hadn't see it in the parts of Warwick I'd been in so far, I figured there must be an old part of town it'd be in.  Today being a holiday, there was little traffic on the road, and I drove up and down the major streets without seeing anything familiar.

Pause for thought and conference with a map showed me Wickford not far down the road and I thought Wickford!  That could be it.  So off we went.  And it was it indeed.  And I found the store.  Just as well I remembered the outside so clearly because it didn't look like itself any more, because the dress shop had closed.  Renovations were in progress for another store to open in its place.  I was seriously disappointed.

By this time people had woken up and there was plenty of traffic around, both cars and pedestrians.  I wanted to walk the dogs a bit but kept seeing other dogs on the streets.

I remembered driving down toward the harbor when I was here before, driving through this historic village, so that's what we did today.  The harbor parking lot was big enough that we could easily park and walk around a bit.  It's clear Wickford is still a fishing village, in addition to its new guise as tourist destination.
miscellaneous fishing gear

more gear, boats, fishing company

a view of the harbor, both commercial and pleasure boats
I wanted to stop somewhere in the village to take photos because it's so picturesque - but part of the picturesqueness is its narrow streets and minimal parking so thought maybe I could come back before I leave the state.

Having my trusty Providence road map, I thought I'd try an alternate route heading back to northwestern RI to my previous campground.

Surprisingly, I passed a sign saying Rhode Island has a parrot rescue league.  I looked it up and it's real - I mean they really do have parrots they've rescued, just like for cats or dogs.

In pursuit of this alternate route I was once again confronted with RI's penchant for changing the names of the roads without warning, failing to put up enough street signs for drivers to know where they are, and just generally assuming everybody who drives around here knows where they're going.  Thank goodness for my map.  It got me out of being lost several times.

One of the places I stopped to consult the map turned out to be a business closed for the holiday, but I liked their sense of humor.
Roof! Roof!
Once I got out of the urban areas, I found all the roads to be heavily wooded and just beautiful.  Some places the leaves were turning yellow, some were still green, and in a few areas the reds and oranges were stunning.

I accidentally got stuck at the Scituate Art Festival.  It's an annual thing that takes place in the middle of Scituate which is where one highway intersects with another - both of them roads I wanted to be on.  So I was driving along, minding my own business, and started noticing a solid line of cars parked on either side of the road.  Well, I've seen plenty of those in New England - usually the overflow from some parking area or from a yard or estate sale.  But then I noticed not only the continuing lines of parked cars but also streams of people both coming and going.  Except I couldn't tell which direction was which, so I didn't know if I'd passed it or still had it ahead of me. 

And then the traffic came to a near standstill, and we just crept along, and it went on like that for ages and I finally rolled down my window and asked some pedestrians, who were likewise stopped by so many other pedestrians negotiating all the traffic, what the event was and they told me the Scituate Art Festival - like what planet had I come from that I didn't know this.  So I thumped my forehead and said of course! like I'd just forgotten instead of being just informed, not wanting to stand out any more than I already was in my RV.

By the time I got up to the intersection, I could see parked cars along all the other streets/highways and clocked the distance of parked cars on the next section, which was a mile.  I know there were more than that on the road I'd just come from.  Very popular festival, obviously.  I looked up their website and learned they have something for everyone: juried art, crafts, antiques, food court, live music.  This year was their 52nd, so they must be doing something right.

And so, back to my previous campground, where the dogs and I are getting known by the seasonals.  All very nice people, apparently.

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