Sunday, September 8, 2019
Today was a long drive from Lebanon, Vermont. We are staying at the Hydrangea House Inn in Newport, Rhode Island, located within walking distance of the harbor and many of Newport’s historic sites, including the iconic Newport Tower.
The Newport Tower is located on land that once belonged to 17th century Governor Benedict Arnold (ancestor of the Revolutionary traitor.) Governor Arnold referred to his wind mill in 1677, so it was probably constructed a few years before that. Carbon dating has put the date somewhere between 1635 and 1698, although there have been several theories floated that suggest it was built by Vikings several centuries before, or even Knights Templar in the 1500’s. Everyone loves a mystery.
Monday, September 9
We started our day by driving the Ten Mile Drive around the southern portion of Newport’s peninsula. This drive provided beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean and Narragansett Bay, as well as several beaches and mansions.
We then walked down to the harbor and to catch the Newport Harbor Shuttle, which stopped at six different locations. We could get on and off anytime throughout the day, but chose to simply take the ride and learn a little bit more about Newport. Among the stops is Historic Fort Adams which was built over 33 years, from 1824 – 1857. The first fort had been constructed in 1798-1799 as a coastal fortification, and named for John Adams, who was the US President at the time. During the US Civil War, the US Naval Academy was moved here from Annapolis because of concerns about southern sympathies in Maryland. The fort and most of the land surrounding it was transferred to the State of Rhode Island in 1965, and was designated the Fort Adams State Park.
Time for a walk, we set out for Newport’s Cliff Walk, a 3.5 mile National Recreation Trail along the west side of Easton Bay. We didn’t walk the entire trail, probably only half of it. The views were stunning.
Tomorrow, it’s back to Minnesota, where we hope to have a few more pleasant days before the onset of winter.