I think one of the things I’ve begun to appreciate now that I fall into the frequent traveler category is the meaning of home sweet home. Because really there is no place like home. And for me, New England, but specifically Connecticut, is home. Growing up in the interior of the state, we’d day trip down to the shore. Now I live literal minutes from the coastline – and sometimes you just need to ignore your laundry, dirty dishes, dust, and whatever else is on your “to-do” list and get outside. Or inside, if museums and aquariums are more your speed.
Yesterday, work consisted of demobe-ing (demobilizing) the boat I was on for my recent trip to Norwalk-New Rochelle. With multiple hands and a fork-lift it was a swift process, so I was let out early. That in and of itself would’ve been a sweet start to the week, but to put some icing on that cake, I decided to swing by Bluff Point State Park for a quick walk-about before the sun set. It is a local gem and fulfills the needs to both have salt in the air and the forest around you.
Bluff Point State Park
Located in Groton, it contains over 800 acres of undeveloped land on our coastline. For an area of the country that is known for its working waterfronts, this is a pretty significant feat. The state of Connecticut had its eye on the land in the very early 1910s, but didn’t actually purchase the land until the 1960s. It was designated as a Coastal Reserve in 1975 as a way to protect the unique flora and fauna of the area. This designation also prohibits motorized vehicles on the property (outside of state vehicles)…so it’s by foot or bike.
You can hike around the interior or follow the coastal path. A little over a mile from the parking lot is a beach that terminates at Bushy Point – I’ve never been all the way down, but I hear it’s a pretty walk. You can follow the coastal path all the way up beyond the bluff and back through the woods that abut Mumford Cove, but I usually just back track. If you use AllTrails, you can see all the interior stuff, but it’s all well marked. The park is open to dogs and is frequented by horseback riders…so beware of where you step. But there is never a bad day to visit this park – I’ve been in all seasons and all types of weather…there’s something uniquely peaceful and calming about it, even in the pouring rain. 😛
But onward to some pictures!
It was beautiful and glassy calm when I first arrived. I slowly meandered my way towards the sandy beach while collecting oyster shells for a winter project. As I continued along, the wind picked up a little bit, but only enough to create tiny microwaves. The tide was rising, but still low enough to give me plenty of area to look for shells.
I arrived at the sandy (though mostly covered with empty Slipper Shells) beach just in time to watch the sun disappear behind the clouds. I passed a few people, but it was mostly deserted. I’ll take an evening like this over time in the city any day. The colors were unreal – you can’t help but appreciate the beauty of nature. Even if it was a little on the chilly side! It could be that it all hit me as a little prettier than normal because I just spent a few days in the desert of Nevada. Beautiful in its own right, but nothing when compared to the ocean.
And because who would I be if I didn’t take a picture for #TheToplessTour? There really is no place like home – even if traveling and seeing new places can inspire a sense of awe and wonder…home just fits.
SO MANY shells. Mostly Crepidula fornicata, but the discarded homes of scallops, horseshoe crabs, whelks, and more was to be found if you looked hard enough. The water was so unbelievably clear – all I wanted to do was jump in! But realistically, I did not want to have a chilly mile walk back to the car. 😛 I did stick my hand in for a quick shell grab here and there, just enough to make me question why I wanted to be in the chilly depths. haha.
The last remnants of light from the setting sun and a bright moon lit the path home, but I’ve done it so many times, I could probably manage it in the dark. Though then I’d run the risk of running into raccoons…and I do not like those weird little critters to be anywhere close to me.
One of my goals for the coming year is to rediscover the local spots, whether it’s a beach, a park, whatever. Appreciating the beauty of home and not taking it for granted. Still working on some trips from the summer…they’ll get up here eventually. 😛
Til then, Happy Thanksgiving!