Notes from a Play Journal. There is a secret and very special place to hike and bike near Savannah, Georgia. Harris Neck Army Airfield in Townsend, GA is a nature preserve that provides visitors an opportunity to explore the old runways and taxiways of the abandoned airfield. You may find yourself off the beaten path and stumbling upon one of the old hangars. What happened to the interior roof? Was it a fire?
This is a must-see for any aviation enthusiasts and/or pilots!
Notes from a Play Journal. Wyoming is so cool. Casper, Wyoming is one of our new favorite surprise random destinations. The trip begins with bicycle rentals from Mountain Sports. You can ride from the shop to the North Casper Sports Complex, where you can access the paved Platte River Trail for ten miles of pure biking pleasure.
The Tate Pumphouse is a great place to stop for a bathroom break.
I love the sign on the side of the Black Hills Bentonite Company. Wyoming really is one of the last great places.
4.5 mile Bridle Trail at Casper Mountain is a must-do and was not crowded on a Sunday morning in July.
Rarely do we dine at the same place twice while traveling, but exceptions were made for dinner at The Hangar in Bar Nunn and for multi-grain pancakes at Eggingtons in downtown Casper. I loved the Hangar as much for its history as the old 1927 Natrona County Airport as I did for its food!
Notes from a Play Journal. The trip begins with bicycle rentals from Knickerbocker in Great Falls, MT. You can ride the River’s Edge Trail all the way to Giant Springs State Park. There are restrooms available at the park. In between, there are art sculptures to take in as well as views of the SMOKED barbecue restaurant is next to Knickerbocker and is a fantastic find! Try the spicy cole slaw.
You will find Windy Mountain in Highwood, Montana. This is just a short drive from Great Falls, and offers a challenging climb for low country folks.
The in-between details involved a cabin rental in Paradise Valley and a second attempt to hike at Passage Falls (unable due to rain); a lunch visit in Gardiner; downtown/historic district walking in Bozeman; and a breathtaking drive from Great Falls to Emigrant that took us past Wolf Lodge; Dearborn; Helena; and Butte. Some things you just can’t do justice by attempting to photograph.
Another star find of this trip was the Big Sky Resort in summer. We loved watching the mountain bikers zoom by as we rode up the side of the mountain. The drive from Bozeman winds past the Gallatin River and you can see the whitewater rafters as you continue on towards Big Sky. It was not over-populated at all for a Sunday in July!
Take the lift up and hike down. Watch out for bears! Big Sky has a super cute base town that is all open for summer guests. They offer zip lines as well.
Providence is a fantastic city for outdoor exercise and for eating pizza at Providence Coal-Fired Pizza! For a scenic walking route downtown, start at Water Place Park and work your way uphill to Prospect Terrace Park in the College Hill neighborhood of Brown University. Fans of architecture and history will love viewing the historic homes along the path of this circa 1869 park.
For bicycling, head over to Dash Bicycle Shop and rent bikes. Ride to India Park and pick up the East Bay Bike Path for a 14.5 mile ride to Bristol, RI. We stopped and had coffee along the trail and ate lunch once we arrived in Bristol. The trail itself is in excellent shape, with no cracks or roots growing over the asphalt. I would give this trail a solid five stars as far as maintenance; scenery; and amenities that are available along the way. There is even a grocery store along the trail. A nice short detour should be made to see Crescent Park and the historic Looff Carousel.
A visit to Lovecraft Arts & Sciences bookstore in The Arcade is a must stop for H.P. Lovecraft fans. I picked up a copy of “At the Mountains of Madness” and though I have vague remembrances of reading the tale in high school. I waited so long for my second reading that the experience was fresh. I loved the references to the Necronomicon and the Elder Things and/or the Great Old Ones. The story really makes you wonder if Lovecraft knew something we don’t know. What lies beneath?
Newport is Newport, as always. Fun to visit during the week, but stay out of the crowds on summer weekends. The Cliff Walk can get very tight with all of the visitors. A hot tip for flying out: the Fairfield Marriott is connected to PVD via a parking deck. It’s a small walk, but still very convenient because you can drop your rental car off the night before and settle in. There are restaurants within walking distance of the Fairfield.