Friday, May 23, 2014

Quonochontaug

aerial view
We stayed in Weekapaug at the head of Quonochontaug pond, just  a few miles past Misquamicut beach.

We drove down, passing through the town of Pawcatuck to get to Wawaloam Road on our way to find the inn.

I ate tautog (blackfish) and we watched men in chest high waders clamming for quahogs.

Place names and foods all up and down the Rhode Island coast are constant reminders of the Niantic Indians whose lands these were.

Now it's inns and beaches and restaurants, clam shacks and boat slips and the tasteful shingled summer homes of people who live somewhere else. We stayed at the old Weekapaug Inn, newly restored after 70 years.

We had the beach to ourselves. It was late May at the shore in Rhode Island, so of course it was cold and wet. It always is.

Beach plums were in abundant bloom all over. It is amazing what grows in pure sand. Storm Sandy picked up most of the sand on the ocean side and washed it into the salt ponds behind the beach in 2012. The grasses and beach roses and plums and poison ivy simply moved over and started growing where the sand got deposited.

The walk to the beach disorients --the sky and the sea are indistinguishable. Borders dissolve, the horizon wobbles. The air is fresh. There is always a salt tang to ocean air in New England that no other beach in the world has. Not Maui, not any Pacific beach, not Florida. Nothing smells as salty and sharp anywhere else.

We had a truly warm and lovely stay despite the brooding skies and cold damp.

Quonochontaug -- it's easier to say than it looks, even with a mouthful of fried quahogs and Narragansett beer.

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