Sometimes I just want to escape, forget the human world, and go hide in the woods and smell the roses. This is exactly what I did in June when I visited the John H. Chafee Nature Preserve. There were some other people there, but mostly they were out of sight. The main trail will take you right out onto Rome Point, a tiny peninsula that juts out into Narragansett Bay, so to avoid people I ran down a side path bordered by ferns.
Unfortunately, the first path ran into a stone wall on the other side of which was a swamp. I backtracked and took a second side path.
Both of these paths were narrow due to the thick vegetation on either side. Numerous vines and branches crossed them. There were also highly visible thorns which I knew would discourage the average person. At last I was starting to feel isolated.
Before long, I entered an open area where the trail split and there was a giant rock with a tree sticking out of it. This place was clearly frequented by humans, but I did not see any yet. I bore left and reentered the jungle. This is when I finally found the best place ever.
The path shrunk to almost nothing, crushed between walls of roses and other vegetation nine feet high. The smell was intoxicating. The bees were few and left me alone. The thorns did not catch. I was slow and careful and as I later discovered the thorns of one species were soft! It went on like this for quite a way around several tight turns before beginning to open up just a little. This is where I found the ruins.
I didn’t know what to make of the wall. I went down a side trail and back, finding three deep holes in the ground. I half-expected them to be full of skulls and gold coins, but instead they just contained bottles and cans.
Back on the trail of roses, I was feeling pretty good. I often stopped and looked up. The trees were covered in vines and expertly shaded the forest floor. The path was smooth and mostly free of sticks. I felt that I had found my own private paradise where I could do whatever I wanted, hidden from my enemies. Nobody else came down the path. I wanted to stay, but alas, I had to keep exploring. What existed further down the path?
Eventually, the underbrush cleared up so I could see where I was going and several almost indiscernible paths joined the one I was on. I came to what appeared to be a major intersection. The remains of a car were parked there. I had reached the end of uninhabited territory.
I followed the main trail and soon came to a grassy area of many small trails leading to the beach. This is when I first saw humans, but they were far away and paid me no notice.
The tide rushed in between the peninsula and this nearby island:
On the other side of the peninsula, the beach was all stones and lady slipper shells, nothing else. This is where I saw the “rabbit stone.” Straight ahead is a little island with two houses on it. There were also some flowers:
Having seen enough, I returned the way I came. I could not get enough of the roses. I wanted to stay the night. I was going to move in. That is when the humans arrived. Two humans and a dog passed me from behind. I squeezed past another human and a dog going the other way once the trail narrowed. The thorns had not deterred them one bit. I lingered for a while among the bees and had to move over for yet another human. The illusion was broken. This was not going to work out the way I hoped, but nothing could break the good mood I was in.
Nope, not even that.
My name is Dan. I am an author, artist, explorer, and contemplator of subjects large and small.