Inside the new seaplane service between New York and Boston on Tailwind Air
Many of the credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Please view our advertising policy page for more information.
Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
We are creatures of habit, especially when it comes to finances. Even looking back at your first allowance, likely that you received it on a regularly scheduled day of the week or month. The same goes for your first paycheck every two weeks: your car payment, the 15th of the month. Your rent or mortgage is due on the first of the month. And nowadays, we don’t even need to send a check; these payments are just automatically deposited or withdrawn on a regular monthly schedule.
A regular schedule makes most people happy. The comfort of knowing what to expect financially is a critical factor to our happiness. Then comes retirement.
A Healthy Financial Balance Starts With An Advisor
The day you have been working towards finally arrives. You no longer need alarm clocks, have deadlines, or regularly deposited paychecks. Our habits seem to change overnight. Especially our spending habits. Often with change comes uncertainty, even fear. Patience, grasshopper, it took you your entire life to reach this milestone and finding your financial rhythm in retirement takes time too.
To live happily on your life savings, it is wise for you to work with your financial advisor who has your best interests in mind. A trusted fiduciary is someone who will help you find the right cadence for your future withdrawals and deposits. Hopefully, by the time you retire, you have built a lifelong partnership with your wealth manager. This financial expert should know what makes you happy and how much money is needed to achieve your peace of mind.
Allocating Wealth To Achieve Happiness
With any change, there is a learning curve. Knowing there will be a transition period will help relieve the uncertainty of your newly found freedom. How a person spends their money differs according to their passions, annual events, health, and sometimes unexpected expenses. So please don’t rely on what your friends or family did in their retirement. Turn to your financial advisor as this person will work with you to allocate your funds, whether they be savings, investments, or other sources of wealth.
The pace at which you spend your money is determined by the things you and your financial advisor have discussed over the years. By considering these factors, there are several roads to travel. The best way to find your financial road map for retirement is to have your wealth dispersed in some regular pattern that fits your lifelong dreams. After all, we are creatures of habit.
Retirement Payment Options
One option for many new retirees is a monthly deposit since most people are used to it when working. Other possible payments are semi-annual deposits – every six months – or even one annual payment. The goal is to find the frequency that works best for you.
Most often, the six-month allocation is preferred as our living expenses are not as linear in retirement as they were when working. The freedoms of retirement reveal themselves in the absence of a schedule – a time when spontaneity outweighs routine. Enjoy the unknown – take that unexpected road trip – you worked hard for it! It just means that when you return home, you might want to spend less until you get a handle on managing your irregular budget.
The Benefits Of Six Month Installments
The six-month cadence has many advantages. For one, it takes into consideration the certainty of market volatility. This bi-annual allocation allows your financial advisor to manage your portfolio with more ease and less kneejerk decision-making.
The six-month cash reserve also helps manage unnecessary stressors that your lifelong financial partner is there to handle. After all, the goal of retiring is to do so in happiness and health.
Lastly, a bi-annual distribution of wealth allows for easier recalibration. These longer timeframes give a wealth manager an accurate picture of how you spend your money and budgeting correctly. If you notice a pattern of calling your financial advisor every four months, then most likely, a discussion is needed to assess if your retirement lifestyle is sustainable.
The Goal Is To Retire Happily
Financial advisors want their clients to retire with wealth, health, and happiness. If you find that your six-month payment lasts eight months or longer, perhaps it means you can live with more freedoms than you ever imagined! What a gift to see that your hard work paid dividends and that your dreams of traveling the world or buying that lake home are a reality.
Lifelong Dreams Do Come True
We all like a happy ending. Your financial advisor is your lifelong partner for helping you make investment choices that afford you the happiness you so richly deserve. So, as you start to consider how you want to spend your golden years, think about what truly makes you happy and healthy. Wealth is far more than what is in your retirement savings; it is also what is in your heart. A wealth manager with whom you are fully transparent is best able to set your sails true north.
We have been inundated with pictures of your pets soaking up the sun or taking a welcome bath to keep cool. Thank you for all your photos – we’ve included a selection – and here is some advice for keeping them safe in the heat.
The Dogs Trust offers a number of tips for keeping your pet happy and healthy in warm weather:
Provide shade and water – Make sure your dog has access to shade and plenty of fresh water throughout the day.
Plan your walkies – Walk your dog in the early morning or late in the evening when temperatures are cooler. This will reduce their risk of heatstroke. Be particularly careful if your dog is old, overweight or suffers from breathing difficulties. Exercise is the most common trigger for heat-related illness, so take care not to overexert your dog.
Do the seven second tarmac test – Tarmac can get very hot in the sun and could burn your dog’s paws. Check the pavement with your hand before letting your dog walk on it — hold your hand down for seven seconds, if it’s too hot for you, then it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.
Don’t let them get burnt – Keep your dog out of direct sunlight where you can. Use pet-safe sun cream on exposed parts of your dog’s skin, like the tips of their ears and nose. Ask your vet for more advice if needed.
Think twice about any car trips with your dog – If you do have to travel with your dog, plan your journey. Consider travelling at cooler times of the day, identify places to take breaks, and avoid congested roads or busy times of day when you could get caught in traffic. Never leave your dog in a vehicle. In just 20 minutes, a dog could die in a hot car. Winding a window down is not enough to help your dog stay cool.
Provide plenty of shade inside and out – a cardboard box can make a useful sunshade. Many cats love soaking up the sun but overexposure can lead to skin cancer.
If your cat has white fur, try keeping them inside between 10am and 3pm, when the sun is at its hottest. Speak to a vet about suitable sunscreen for cats, to ensure they don’t suffer from sunburn.
Keeping your cat cool inside your home is important too. Place fans around the house to keep the air circulating, remembering not to point the fan directly at your cat.
Another handy tip is to freeze a bottle of water, wrap it in a towel or pillowcase and place it somewhere your cat goes regularly. This stops them from feeling overheated during hotter spells. Make sure that your cat can get away from the bottle if they choose.
Make sure your cat keeps hydrated – avoid plastic bowls that can taint the taste of the water, keep them away from food bowls, keep the water topped up and maybe buy a cat fountain as they may prefer running water. You might also spread water bowls around the house so your cat has easy access.
Last summer, visitors who managed to make it to Croatia had a taste of what the country was like before the days of mass tourism. And it tasted good. But while honeypots such as Dubrovnik were unrecognisably quiet, there have always been parts of the country where you don’t have to wade through crowds.
Places where things move at a less hurried pace, where Croatian life can be savoured, where you get a flavour of what the Dalmatians call fjaka – the art of doing nothing. These islands and mainland destinations are what you want in a post-lockdown escape: peace, beauty and the chance to discover why Croatia is such an enticing country.
It’s hard to move at a fast pace on this island in the Šibenik archipelago – it has banned cars, so you’ll have to walk or cycle. As the island is only eight square kilometres, that’s not much of a trial. A half-hour ferry ride from the city of Šibenik takes you to the island’s only village. Not only is Zlarin covered in greenery, but it stepped up green credentials two years ago by becoming the first island in Croatia to ban single-use plastics.
What to do Zlarin was once known for its coral diving, which you can tell from its coral shops and a tiny coral museum that’s open in the summer. Smothered in cypress, olive, almond and fig trees, it is a place for hiking and kayaking to secluded beaches, perhaps trekking up to its highest point, Klepac, at 169 metres, and taking in views of Velebit mountain. From Zlarin it’s a 15-minute ferry ride to the even sleepier island of Prvić, whose beaches make an agreeable day trip. Pop into the entertaining museum devoted to Faust Vrančić, local Renaissance man, inventor and early parachute pioneer.
Where to stay Stone Houses Zlarin (from €90) are two attractively renovated village houses with balconies, terraces and lots of exposed brick. House Nana has three bedrooms but can squeeze in 10 people, while House Vana has two bedrooms with capacity for eight. Just 200 metres from the harbour, Apartments Katina (from €35) has three simple apartments for two, and a fourth that sleeps four, all with terraces.
Where to eat Konoba Aldura, right in front of the marina, serves generous platters of grilled fish and seafood and has sea views. Set back further in the village, Konoa Prslika has a stone terrace with olive trees to go with its Mediterranean menu, including grilled langoustines and octopus cooked over a wood fire.
On the coast road between Split and Šibenik – but bypassed by an inland motorway – Primošten has one of Croatia’s most photogenic old towns, on its own small island. The jumble of medieval houses is connected to the mainland via a causeway, while a neighbouring promontory covered in pines is home to the area’s best beaches.
What to do While you’re wandering through the stepped streets of the old town, head uphill to the 15th-century church of Sveti Juraj (St George) and take in the views. The little promontory that sticks out like a thumb is ringed by the pine-backed beaches of Raduča – the smaller of which has views of the old town. Endless vineyards cover much of the landscape – it is home to the indigenous and full-bodied babić grape. Call Prgin Winery and pop in for a tasting. In spite of Primošten’s laid-back feel, the municipality is home to one of Dalmatia’s biggest nightclubs, Aurora, just a few miles away from the old town.
Where to stay Facing Mala Raduča beach, Zora Hotel (half-board doubles from €96) has airy rooms with balconies and sea views, an outdoor pool and sauna. Villa Koša (from €70) near the entrance to Primošten’s harbour has 14 apartments with kitchens, balconies and sea views.
Where to eat In the old town is Agape Kitchen & Wine, which offers Dalmatian small plates as well as grilled spiny lobster (a local speciality) and the rich beef dish of pašticada with gnocchi. Grab a seat on the sea-facing terrace of Konoba Toni by the marina for big plates of grilled fish.
This small port on Istria’s southwestern coast isn’t exactly off the tourist radar – it’s the departure point for boat trips to the Brijuni Islands national park. But with Istria’s big-hitters Pula and Rovinj only 15 and 30 minutes away respectively, family-friendly Fažana tends to get overlooked. In this delightful fishing port you can get a more relaxed taste of Istria.
What to do Fažana’s appeal is its mellow atmosphere and long, pebbly beaches. Its medieval centre is heralded by the 15th-century church of Saints Cosmas and Damian, and look out for the portico-fronted 14th-century Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. A boat trip to the Brijuni Islands (only 15 minutes) is a must. More than a dozen islands form the archipelago, but excursions go to Veli Brijun, the former summer playground of Tito – and, before him, the Habsburgs and the Romans.
Where to stay Villa Mihaela (from €30) has five bright apartments with terraces in a large house in a residential area about a 10-minute walk from the beach. There’s also a pool, bike rental and a communal outdoor kitchen for barbecues. Set in a restored 16th-century townhouse in the centre of Fažana, Heritage Hotel Chersin (B&B from £105) has pretty rooms with exposed stone walls, and the garden restaurant is just as attractive.
Where to eat At Konoba Batana by the harbour, soak up sea views from its covered terrace. The sharing fish and meat platters offer excellent value. Book ahead for a table at Konoba Beccaccia, a country restaurant a few miles out the town. The giant hearth is where much of the cooking is done: steaks of black angus beef, along with meat cooked slowly under hot embers in a bell-shaped pot called a peka. The owners also run an apartment complex on the site, with an outdoor pool.
Dugi Otok means “long island” – it straggles along for 43km but is not much more than 4km wide. The most beautiful island of the Zadar archipelago (and about an 80-minute ferry ride from Zadar), Dugi Otok has an intoxicating wildness about it, with only a few tiny villages and a fragrant landscape of wild herbs, pines, fig trees and olive groves.
What to do This is the place to kick back and enjoy two of the Adriatic’s loveliest sights. Telašćica nature park is an oddly shaped bay with six islets within and another 13 surrounding it – and a saltwater lake as well. Climb the cliffs for views of the Kornati national park to the south; and cycle, hike, swim, go scuba diving or just sail and kayak around the bay. Access is easiest by boat excursion from Dugi Otok’s largest settlement, Sali.
Further north is Sakarun (or Saharun) beach, a sheltered cove of white sand which often appears on lists of Croatia’s most beautiful beaches. Less well known is the pine-fringed Brbinjšćica Bay, from where you can explore the blue depths of the Dragon’s Eye and Golubinka sea caves.
Where to stay Apartmani Vesna Giro (from €75) has two waterside apartments in Soline, both with two bedrooms, sea-facing terraces, a barbecue and mooring for boats. Hotel Maxim (half-board doubles from €138) is one of four hotels in the Hoteli Božava complex near the ferry port in Božava. Stylish rooms with balconies overlook the sea, as does the outdoor pool.
Where to eat Enjoy views of Veli Rat’s marina from the terrace of Konoba Lanterna, where grilled calamari, octopus and lobster are among the specialities. Konoba Trapula on Sali seafront offers Adriatic favourites such as cuttlefish-ink risotto and octopus salad, along with grilled sea bass and steaks.
The largest island in the Šibenik archipelago is the easiest to reach, thanks to the little lift bridge at Tisno, a small village that straddles Murter and the mainland. While Tisno was put on the map thanks to the dance festivals that take place in July and August (and which are scheduled to restart this year), Murter has always been more of a low-key place.
What to do Murter town is an excellent base for boat trips to the Kornati national park, an archipelago of 89 islands, all off-grid and with an otherworldly, barren beauty. Otherwise, hit the beaches, almost of all of which are rugged and rustic. Slanica is the busiest, but head further along the island’s west coast for rocky and pebbly bays ringed with pine and olive trees, such as Kosirina and Čigrada.
There’s fascinating history, too, among the olive groves and scrubby hills. Wander through the remains of an ancient Roman city at Colentum archaeological park, and discover Murter’s rich maritime history at the small but compelling Betina Museum of Wooden Shipbuilding.
Where to stay Hotel Ana Murter (doubles from €119) on the west coast has colourful rooms with terraces facing the sea, with a rocky beach just a few metres away. Overlooking Betina’s marina, Lantina Apartments (from €45) has a selection of apartments, all with balconies, though it’s worth splashing out for one with a sea view. There’s also a villa with two separate apartments.
Where to eat Fine Food Murter does casual-chic as well as it does huge plates of grilled squid and black angus steak, as well as wok-fried beef and homemade pasta with truffles. For a beach restaurant, Reflektor on Slanica beach offers affordable seafood and meat platters, pastas and grilled mackerel.
One of the two largest islands in Croatia along with neighbouring Krk, Cres remains untamed despite its proximity to Rijeka and Istria. It’s an island of two halves: the lush green northern half, Tramuntana, soon gives way to the barren karst landscape that covers many Adriatic islands. Although ferries run from Rijeka, Krk and Brestova on the Istrian coast – and the island of Lošinj is connected at the southern tip by a swing bridge – there’s still a sense that Cres is out of the way.
What to do Set in a deep harbour, Cres town is a pleasing collection of Venetian townhouses squeezed around tiny squares and along narrow alleyways. There’s a long pebbly beach in Cres town, but quieter ones further south in the small villages of Valun and Lubenice. At the island’s southern tip, just before the bridge to Lošinj, is Osor, where public art is scattered around Venetian buildings.
It’s the outdoors that draws many visitors: hiking trails meander through oak forests and along ridges with Adriatic views everywhere you look. Follow the trails to the Beli Visitor Centre, where a wildlife sanctuary devoted to rescuing rare griffon vultures is one of the island’s highlights.
Where to stay Pansion Tramontana (B&B from €80) in Beli is handy for the Beli Visitor Centre, and the owners also run a dive centre from Beli beach. The ACI Marina (from €67) in Cres town has nine smartly furnished apartments, some with balconies or terraces, and the price includes access to a fitness centre.
Where to eat Cres produces some of Croatia’s most delicious lamb, and the rustic Konoba Bukaleta in the inland village of Loznati is one of the best places to try it, roasted or grilled. In Osor, Konoba Bonifačić serves platters of grilled fish and lamb stews in a cosy garden.
The oyster beds of Mali Ston and the peninsula’s hilly vineyards that produce robust plavac mali, dingač and postup reds have turned Pelješac into a foodie magnet. And Game of Thrones fans come to visit Ston’s 14th-century defensive walls, which masqueraded as King’s Landing in the fantasy drama. This sinuous peninsula that stretches north of Dubrovnik for 90km also has fabulous beaches tucked among its tree-fringed coves and bays.
What to do Orebić, the largest settlement, is handy for ferries to Korčula, but there’s also a 15th-century Franciscan monastery, the lovely Trstenica beach and the challenging 961-metre summit of Sveti Ilija looming over the town.
The winding main road forming Pelješac’s spine helpfully signposts boutique wineries offering tastings (booked ahead preferably), including Vinarija Bartulović (which also has a cottage to rent), Matuško and Mikulić (which also owns an aparthotel, restaurant and campsite in Orebić).
Despite their popularity, the twin villages of Ston and Mali Ston are hard to ignore, with their neat collection of old stone houses, oyster beds, vast saltpans and those magnificent walls that go on for 3km.
Where to stay Set on the waterfront in Viganj west of Orebić and built of creamy Dalmatian stone, Heritage Boutique Hotel (doubles from €163) has stylish rooms with exposed beams and brick, as well as a seawater pool facing the sea. Mimbelli (B&B doubles from €68) on Orebić’s seafront is full of charm, a large stone guesthouse with five colourful rooms (three with a sea view) and an attractive restaurant.
Where to eat Unless you really hate oysters, you can’t pass up the chance to sit on the terrace at Bota Šare in Mali Ston’s harbour and treat yourself to a platter (it also does great pasta). In a hillside above Orebić – with dreamy views of the sea, especially at sunset – is Agroturizam Kapor, a family-run, rustic restaurant that specialises in cooking meat under a peka. Order a day in advance so as not to miss out.
Geographically and culturally, Nin packs in a lot for such a small place. In medieval times, this compact town 16km north-west of Zadar was the seat of Croatia’s kings and archbishops, and has a definite fairytale quality about it. Its old town is set on a tiny islet within a bay almost enclosed by a sandy spit, joined to the mainland by two low stone bridges. Saltpans and sandy beaches surround this little oddity, with the Velebit mountains brooding in the background to add more of an air of strangeness.
What to do Swim and laze – or go kitesurfing – in the shallow waters of Nin’s sandy beaches, including the 1km sandy spit of Žrdrijac. The Queen’s beach is beside a large mud bath, so expect to see people plastered with mineral-rich mud. In the old town, the simple, austere Church of the Holy Cross dates from the ninth century and is believed to be the oldest in the country.
Nin’s long history, including its ancient Greek and Roman periods, is clearly displayed in the nearby Nin Museum of Antiquities. Cross the bridge to reach the Solina Nin Salt Museum, which offers a fascinating look at the town’s 2,000-year-old salt industry.
Where to stay On the edge of the old town on the seafront, Apartments Val (from €50) offer five breezy studios and one-bedroom apartments with balconies and sea views. There’s also a communal garden with a brick fireplace and a vine-shaded table. A minute’s walk from the water’s edge is Apartments Bella (from €45), with two modern studios and two one-bedroom apartments with terraces, along with a shared barbecue.
Where to eat There’s a cluster of good places to eat in the old town. Restaurant Providenca has a nicely rustic garden where you can share big plates of grilled meats and seafood pasta. Restaurant Sokol also features homemade pasta and hefty grilled steaks as well as ninski šokol, the cured pork neck that’s a Nin speciality.
One of Europe’s largest wetlands spreads around north-eastern Croatia between Osijek and the Serbian border. Thanks to the confluence of the Danube and Drava rivers, the vast floodplain of Kopački Rit is hypnotically beautiful. Nearly 300 bird species fly over this huge nature reserve of lakes, ponds, backwaters, flower-rich grasslands and oak forests.
What to do Follow trails of raised wooden walkways through wildfowl-rich marshes and past a lake that’s a partly sunken forest. Rent a bike in nearby Bilje to cover more ground while looking out for herons, egrets and storks. Autumn is migration time, when even non-birders can’t fail to notice the mass migration of birds. Boat trips from Lake Sakadaš glide through otherwise inaccessible waterways, and you can also join a guided canoe tour. If you’re visiting in summer, bring mosquito repellent.
Kopački Rit is in the Baranja region of Slavonia, whose largest city, Osijek, is full of Habsburg architecture. Check out the cobbled squares and lanes in the baroque quarter, Tvrda.
Where to stay Within walking distance of Kopački Rit is Didin Konak (B&B doubles from €30 a night), a traditional farm-like complex comprising a B&B, apartments, a restaurant and a wine cellar. In Osijek, the 12-room Boutique Hotel Tvrda (B&B doubles from around €100) is in a prime spot in the Tvrda quarter, and includes a rooftop pool, hot tub and sauna.
Where to eat The region’s Croatian-Hungarian culinary melange is on full display at Restoran Kormoran, within the nature park. Paprika plays a starring role in freshwater fish dishes, particularly the fiš paprikaš with local carp or perch. It’s a similar story closer to Osijek at Čarda kod Baranjca by the River Drava, with dishes of goulash, grilled chicken and pork, as well as platters of river fish.
Like a mini version of the historic town of Opatija, Lovran has kept the Habsburg elegance that made the western coast of Istria the winter playground of the Austro-Hungarians. Grand Italianate hotels and townhouses tower over the Lungomare, the 12km seafront promenade that goes all the way past Opatija to Volosko.
What to do When you’re not strolling along the Lungomare – one of the most pleasurable things to do – you can nose around the narrow alleys of Lovran’s old town and its tiny 14th-century Church of St George. Beaches here are either on concrete platforms or pebbly stretches, including the one at Medveja on the southern fringe. Lovran is also the starting point for hikes in the pine-covered hills of Učka nature park.
Where to stay Set on the slopes of Učka, about a 10-minute drive from Lovran’s centre, Hotel Draga di Lovrana (B&B doubles from £131) was built as a Habsburg hunting lodge in 1908 and has utterly breathtaking views of the Kvarner Gulf. There’s an outdoor pool and also one of the seven Croatian restaurants to hold a Michelin star. If you want to be within seconds of the Lungomare, sea-facing Villa Atlanta (from €55) has modern studio apartments and an outdoor pool surrounded by gardens.
Where to eat In the old town opposite the church, Lovranska Vrata has a lively terrace and serves shellfish platters and homemade seafood pasta. Najade on the seafront by the marina is a bit pricey, but you do get superb views to go with plates of grilled squid, scampi and sea bream.
Rehoboth Beach – The Delaware State Police have charged a Millsboro man with Vehicular Assault and other traffic related offenses after he struck a bicyclist and left the scene.
The incident occurred around 4:50 p.m. Saturday July 10, 2021 when a 20-year-old Rehoboth woman was riding her bicycle on the westbound shoulder of Rehoboth Beach Ext. (SR1A), just west of Church Street. Derek M. White, 46 of Millsboro, was operating a 2015 Jeep Wrangler westbound on SR1A just behind the bicyclist. White failed to maintain his travel lane and entered the westbound shoulder where the front of the Jeep struck the rear of the bicycle. As a result of the impact, the cyclist was thrown from her bicycle and landed in the entrance to the Henlopen Square shopping complex. The female bicyclist was treated on scene by EMS and then flown by Delaware State Police Aviation (Trooper 2) to Christiana Medical Center with serious injuries.
After the collision, the Jeep fled the scene and continued traveling westbound where it was ultimately located by a witness in the parking lot of Grand Rental Station on Hebron Road. Troopers responded to that location and took Derek White into custody without incident. A DUI investigation ensued and White was transported back to Troop 7 where he was charged with the following:
Vehicular Assault 1st (Felony)
Leaving the Scene of a Collision Resulting in Injury
Driving While Suspended or Revoked
Failure to Have Insurance Identification in Possession
Driving a Vehicle Under the Influence of Drug
Failed to remain within a single lane
Failure to Report a Collision Resulting in Injury or Death
Derek White was arraigned at JP3 and committed to Sussex Correctional Institution on $3,500.00 cash bond.
Traffic on Rehoboth Avenue Ext. near Church Street was impacted for approximately 2.5 hours while the collision was investigated and cleared.
Anyone with information regarding this collision should contact Corporal K. Koff at Delaware State Police Troop 7 by calling 302-644-5020. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or via the internet at http://www.delaware.crimestoppersweb.com .
If you or someone you know is a victim or witness of crime or have lost a loved one to a sudden death and are in need of assistance, the Delaware State Police Victim Services Unit/Delaware Victim Center is available to offer you support and resources 24 hours a day through a toll free hotline 1800 VICTIM-1. (1-800-842-8461). You may also email the unit Director at email@example.com.
You can follow the Delaware State Police by clicking on:
Whether you’re playing it safe or simply prefer relatively cooler temps over hot spots, here are nine places that usually make for cool travel escapes in summer. Keep in mind all the cautionary guidance about travel – especially if you’re not fully vaccinated or you’re crossing international borders.
Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images
Mountainous Switzerland always provides a cool spot somwhere. Dent Blanche, left, is next to the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps.
Should the major cities such as Geneva, Zurich and Bern become too hot for you (which is unlikely, especially at night), escape to the higher altitudes for an Alpine hike. Even in early July, temperatures on the 5 Lakes Walk near the Matterhorn can stay below 10 C (50 F) for the high.
If you want something less strenuous, take a boat tour of idyllic Lake Brienz.
Brontë Wittpenn/The San Francisco Chronicle/Getty Images
Alcatraz Island can be seen from the Russian Hill neighborhood in San Francisco.
“The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”
The quote oft-attributed to Mark Twain is nice summation of the weather there. Summer isn’t even its warmest season – that honor goes to fall. While much of the Northwest has been baking this year, the city’s microclimate has kept things cool.
You can explore neighborhoods such as hilly Russian Hill (home to crazy crooked Lombard Street) or head out to nearby Muir Woods for some serious tree time. Don’t forget a light jacket.
A cool sight: Spencer Glacier in Chugach National Forest.
Alaska isn’t necessarily the year-round ice block you may think it is. It can get surprisingly warm at times in Anchorage. But compared with the Lower 48, it’s still usually a relatively cool escape in summer. (In early July, CNN Weather forecasts the hottest day to be 63 F (17 C).
A skier competes during DXB Snow Week at Ski Dubai last year.
No, we haven’t lost our minds. Dubai is indeed a hot desert emirate. But it offers year-round snow skiing and other winter activities. How can that be?
It’s all thanks to Ski Dubai. When you’re rolling in oil money, you can build a mammoth indoor ski park and draw folks from all over the world. Along with the skiing, you can have penguin encounters, ride snow slides or take a chair lift for a bird’s-eye view.
You can retreat to destination malls such as CentralWorld in Bangkok and spend a full day indoors and never get bored.
Online shopping has delivered a big blow to many malls, but there are big destination malls in the USA and around the world that can still satiate your shopping and entertainment appetites in glorious, air-conditioned comfort.
Minnesota’s Mall of America is a kids’ climate-controlled playground paradise with everything from an aquarium to the Nickelodeon theme park.
– Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky: The longest known cave system in the world has an average temperature of 54 F (12 C). Bring a jacket for your tour.
– Eisriesenwelt Cave, Austria: You go from cool to downright cold here. This is an ice cave and one of Salzburg’s favorite things.
– Postojna Caves, Slovenia: See stunning formations from the comfort of an underground train.
An old stone bridge spans the Voidomatis River.
There are all kinds of fresh-water swimming holes around the world that provide an exhilarating plunge even when it’s insufferable hot on land. A couple of examples:
– Barton Springs; Austin, Texas: Residents and visitors can escape the notoriously brutal Texas heat in this naturally fed pool, where the water is always 68 to 70 F (20 to 21 C). On a cold winter morning, the pool actually provides a relatively warm place to swim.
– Voidomatis Springs, Vikos Gorge, Greece: These spring-fed pools can be found on the Voidomatis River, deep in the Vikos Gorge in northern Greece. Be aware they can run dry in late summer.
Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe/Getty Images
A couple walks the shore at Coast Guard Beach in Eastham on Cape Cod.
Even if the sun is out in force, some beaches have cool water ocean currents that make for chill air and bracing – even shocking – dips. A few of them are:
– Nazaré, Portugal: This charming spot on the Portuguese coast north of Lisbon is known for surfing, but the waves are generally biggest in winter. The Atlantic is usually calmer here in summer. The water temperature in early July was 17 C (62 F).
– Bryher; Isles of Scilly, UK: Bryher has rough Atlantic waves on one side, but calm, sandy beaches on the other. It’s about 40 kilometers (25 miles) off the southwestern tip of Cornwall. The water is pretty cold for long swims unless you’re very hardy, but it doesn’t take long to cool off with a dip here.
POINT ROBERTS, Wash. — In 1846, after decades of haggling, American and British diplomats finally agreed on a border between the U.S. Northwest and what would later become Canada.
Following the 49th parallel west from the Rocky Mountains almost to Vancouver Island, the boundary sliced straight across a peninsula that jutted south from Canada, leaving 4.8 square miles on the American side.
Point Roberts, Washington, long prospered as an appendage of Canada. Its economy thrived on sales of gasoline, groceries and alcohol at prices considered a bargain by Canadians, whose frequent visits helped make the border station one of the busiest crossing points between the two countries.
The 1,100 Americans and Canadians who lived here thought nothing of crossing into Canada for work, school or errands or to get to the U.S. mainland.
Then on March 21, 2020, in response to the pandemic, U.S. and Canadian officials abruptly closed the entire border to nonessential travel — squeezing the peninsula like a tourniquet.
How, Point Roberts residents wondered, would they see doctors or pick up prescriptions given that they had no physicians and no pharmacies? How could they get children to school once in-person instruction resumed, given their lack of classes beyond third grade? How would they take pets to the vet?
Many families simply left Point Bob, as people affectionately called the promontory named for Capt. Henry Roberts, a British explorer.
When Brady and Lori Nelson realized their two daughters would not be able to attend their school in Tsawwassen, British Columbia, when it reopened, they moved to Spokane on the Washington mainland, where Brady Nelson grew up.
The relocation meant that he would have to commute an hour by commercial plane to his job flying airliners out of Vancouver International Airport. Real estate was expensive in Canada, and the family preferred living in the United States.
“It was very tough because we left behind my father, who as our daughters’ grandfather was very involved in their life,” he said.
As the population fell below 1,000, the town’s 60 fuel pumps sat mostly idle: Most people had nowhere to drive to.
At the Shell station on Tyee Drive, co-owner Chuck Laird learned to toss pizzas to serve to hungry locals.
Sylvia Schomberg, a 90-year-old resident, played the organ at Trinity Community Lutheran Church until the pandemic shut down services. She said the stillness evoked memories of her childhood on a farm started by her grandparents, who were among the point’s original Icelandic homesteaders.
As the population continued to shrink — it would eventually reach about 800 — Neil Ingermann, the lone sheriff’s deputy in Point Roberts, found himself with little to do.
“I’ve gone a couple of weeks at a time without having a call that had to be handled in person,” he said.
When he took the job in January 2020 — a transfer from Bellingham, Washington, a 50-mile drive through Canada — he never anticipated boredom. Single and 28, Ingermann had joined a health club and a hockey league in suburban Vancouver and anticipated an active social life in the cosmopolitan city.
Now he’s stuck in Point Roberts like everyone else. “I decided I’m not going to re-up for another two years here,” he said.
Lack of business did in the Breakers, a nightclub that had managed to survive even after 1986, when British Columbia lifted its ban on Sunday alcohol sales and thousands of Canadians ended their weekly border treks to drink.
Two restaurants and a wine shop closed. An art gallery and a bike shop shut, as well as a Banner Bank branch. As hundreds of boats pulled out, the point’s marina went up for sale.
The Bald Eagle Golf Club also closed, leaving Superintendent Rick Hoole struggling to mow the 18-hole course. He invited residents who helped him weed bunkers and water greens to join him for a round of golf each Tuesday.
Before the border closed, Best Time RV based about 300 Winnebagos, Jeeps and vans in Point Roberts, renting them mainly to vacationing Europeans who flew into Vancouver.
The location saved on taxes and overhead and dodged a Canadian law that prohibited one-way rentals on cross-border trips — until the border closure.
“It killed us,” said Neal Klass, Best Time’s vice president.
The company hired drivers to move all the vehicles to Las Vegas, getting permission to pass through Canada with other commercial traffic.
The border shutdown also dried up one of Point Roberts’ niche industries: the six parcel depots that enabled Canadians to zip across the border to avoid duties and international charges on items ordered from Amazon and other U.S. retailers.
Thousands of packages have stacked up in the warehouses. Point to Point Parcel manager Beth Calder fielded calls from customers as storage charges mounted.
“Some of them say, ‘Hold onto it; I’ll wait for the border to open,'” she said. “I’m like, ‘Good luck.'”
Last July, Fire Chief Christopher Carleton wrote to President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking for relief.
“Point Roberts’ citizens are living under the effective equivalent of house arrest, with only the most restricted access to the basics of life supplied by the world outside,” he wrote.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee wrote Trudeau the next month, suggesting that the Canadian government issue permits allowing Point Roberts residents to drive between their town and the mainland United States as long as they didn’t stop in Canada.
But Canadian officials were unmoved. That October, they made exceptions for four other isolated border towns, but they spurned Point Roberts, arguing that its residents “can access the necessities of life within their own community.”
That was largely because the International Marketplace, the only grocery store in Point Roberts, remained open. The owner, Ali Hayton, said she couldn’t bear to close the store, built big enough to handle 8,000 Canadian customers a week, despite losing tens of thousands of dollars a month.
As an emergency measure in August, the Port of Bellingham repurposed a dinner-cruise ship to launch a twice-a-week ferry service to Point Roberts. The trip, two hours each way, is free, but doesn’t solve much because the ship can’t carry cars.
At the border, what qualifies as an essential crossing is open to interpretation by Canadian agents.
In June, when Point Roberts suffered its first fatal car accident since 1972, Canadian firefighters jumped over a concrete barrier to help out.
But it was a different story when Pamela Robertson — a South African who had moved here to be near relatives in Canada, where she was denied residency — came down with a severe toothache.
Twice in April, she drove to the Canadian border station and pleaded with agents to let her through. Her dentist was just minutes away.
“You have to be dying for it to be essential,” she said a guard told her.
On her third attempt, an agent relented. But before seeing the dentist for the abscessed tooth, Robertson, 71, had to quarantine for 14 days.
By the 12th day in her daughter’s suburban Vancouver basement, she said, “the whole side of my face swelled up and I got a fever. He had to extract the two teeth around it.”
When Maggie Mori, who lives in Tsawwassen, received a notice that the water meter at her cabin in Point Roberts was spinning, she called the border station. No luck.
“It just kills my husband that he can’t go down and look at it,” she said. “He’s a plumber.”
The Moris are among hundreds of Canadians who own second homes on the U.S. end of the peninsula and treasure the community for its beaches, bald eagles and views of snow-capped peaks and passing whales.
Maintenance has been a major problem as deer graze in overgrown yards.
Jeanette Meursing and her sister Diane Thomas, who was visiting from South Dakota when the border closed, have been mowing lawns and weed-whacking for about 17 absent Canadian families at no charge. In their 70s, the good Samaritans drew the line at one homeowner’s request for grass seeding.
“We’re not landscapers,” Meursing said. “And when the border opens, we’re sending them all an email: ‘We’re done.'”
When that will happen remains unclear. Trudeau has extended the border restrictions until at least July 21.
While Canadian officials are considering relaxing restrictions for people vaccinated against COVID-19, Trudeau has said the border will not reopen until 75% of Canadians have had at least one dose and 20% are fully inoculated.
As of last week, those figures were 64% and 13%, far behind the United States, where 45% of the population is fully vaccinated.
After Trudeau extended the closure, Hayton announced she was shutting down her supermarket next month.
“From Day 1, I have said that I didn’t want a handout, I just wanted my customers back,” she wrote in a news release. “Now, fully 15 months later and with no end in sight, I am finally fed up and begging for help.”
Residents hope that the prospect of Point Roberts becoming a food desert will leave Canadian authorities no choice but to lift border restrictions.
In the meantime, people find ways around the forced isolation.
Monument Park, which marks the 49th parallel on the western edge of the peninsula, offers a bilateral meeting area.
On a recent sunny day, Teresa Pope, a laid-off package depot manager, and two Point Roberts friends arranged folding chairs on a lawn at the park and sat facing north, their feet grazing the U.S.-Canada line, which was marked by metal stakes.
Across from them on the Canadian side were Kay and Rod Wilen, Pope’s aunt and uncle. Security cameras monitored the get-together, and a pair of U.S. Border Patrol agents came by to chat and check the seating alignment. An international incident was avoided.
Two days later, Julia Carlson, a Washington state notary public, showed up at the park and shook hands across the border with an American couple living in Canada. She stamped documents allowing them to refinance the mortgage on a house they own in the United States.
“If I entered the U.S. to do this, I would have to get a negative COVID test and then spend 14 days in isolation back here in Canada,” said the husband, Khue Le.
The border closure has gotten many people thinking about how little sense it makes that Point Roberts is even part of the United States.
Historians had long assumed that 19th century diplomats had no idea that the border they agreed on in the Oregon Treaty created what geographers call an “exclave,” a piece of a country separated from the whole.
But at a June 15 ceremony marking the 175th anniversary of the pact, Mark Swenson, a tech consultant and amateur historian, announced that he had some news.
“Ladies and gentlemen, that is not true,” he told the small crowd gathered outside the town history museum.
Swenson explained that he had found journals showing that members of a U.S. Navy expedition preparing for the negotiations had spent days surveying the peninsula. He said they viewed the point as strategic territory because of the access it would one day provide to the major city they predicted would be built nearby.
His conclusion, after examining the evidence: “Point Roberts is not a mistake.”
I moved to Huntington in 2006 as a college freshman at Huntington University. Little did I know that I would fall in love with my small, quirky college town and decide to pursue employment there when I graduated in 2010. Now, 11 years later, my family and I are proud members of the Huntington community. Danielle Shafer moved to Huntington in 2006 as a college freshman at Huntington University.
When most people think about Huntington County, well-known businesses like Antiqology, Joseph Dequis, Nick’s Kitchen, and Two EE’s Winery probably come to mind. (And for good reason!) But for the purposes of this story, I wanted to highlight 10 things to eat, see, and do in my hometown that people in Northeast Indiana might not be as familiar with.
I’m a stay-at-home mom for three little people, married to my college sweetheart, and we do a lot together as a family. So I wanted to create a list of our favorite places to visit and interesting things we’ve discovered here.
I hope you enjoy this small town community as much as I do!
Markle’s Pancake House has a large menu with low prices and generous portions.
Looking for a restaurant that offers breakfast all day? Markle’s Pancake House at 165 N. Clark St. is the place to go! They offer a large menu with low prices and generous portions. Plus, if you can’t decide between a savory or sweet breakfast, you don’t have to! This hometown diner offers the option of pancakes or toast with your meal. My kids love the Mickey Mouse pancake, and you can explore some unique breakfast items, such as the gyro omelet.
During our most recent visit, when I was brave (or maybe crazy) enough to venture out alone with my three children, someone paid for our meal. Nothing beats that good ol’ Midwest generosity.
If you enjoy Mexican food, you can’t go wrong with Chava’s Mexican Grill.
If you enjoy Mexican food, you can’t go wrong with Chava’s Mexican Grill. Located at 102 Frontage Rd. in Huntington, this family-owned restaurant offers some amazing daily specials to satisfy any appetite. Years ago, when I had street tacos for the first time, I fell in love. Two corn tortillas, meat, cilantro, and onion makes for the perfect taco. But, I had to travel to Fort Wayne to enjoy such delicious cuisine. That’s until Chava’s came to Huntington.
I was truly over-the-moon to discover street tacos on their menu! As an added bonus, you can get their amazing street tacos for just $1.50 on Fridays. My brother-in-law, who lives in Northwest, Ohio, is adamant that we dine at Chavas every time he visits. He says they are the “best tacos” he’s ever had!
Insider tip: Don’t prefer street tacos? Hit up Chava’s on Tuesdays for their classic $1 tacos. You can also get an order of arroz con pollo (rice with chicken and cheese) for $5 if ordered between 3-6 p.m. any day of the week. It’s my 2-year-old’s favorite.
If you’re looking for more lunch options, try Taste of Philly on Hwy 24 in Roanoke at 4227 E. Station Rd.
Taste of Philly gets their bread and meat is shipped in from the East coast.
My husband and I discovered this spot years ago and have always been so pleased with our experience. Although I’ve never been to Philadelphia to experience a true Philly cheesesteak sandwich, I’m confident that it can’t get much better than what I’ve eaten right here in Huntington County.
Not only are the owners transplants from the Philadelphia area, but their bread and meat is shipped in from the East coast. And so are the fries! Fresh cut every day. I like to get my sandwich loaded with mayo, cheese, banana peppers, and jalapenos. Everything is so, so tasty. The bread is chewy, and the flavor combination is simply perfect. If cheesesteaks aren’t your thing, be sure to check out their case of deli meat and cheese!
Insider tip: You can get a 6” cheesesteak and small fry for $6 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.!
The Copper Still is a classy 21-and-up establishment offering whiskey flights, cocktails, wine, and more.
Interested in grabbing a drink with friends or having a kid-free date night? The Copper Still is the place to go. Located at 165 S. Main St. in Roanoke, this classy 21-and-up establishment offers whiskey flights, cocktails, wine, and more. If you’re interested in more than just drinks, be sure to check out their line-up of charcuterie boards. I’ve tried nearly all of them and have loved every one!
The Copper Still offers comfortable indoor dining and charming outdoor dining on their year-round patio. I visited The Copper Still a couple times while pregnant and was pleased to find a list of “mocktails” on their menu. There is truly something for everyone!
A 4 oz. ball of mozzarella at the Golfo Di Napoli Dairy Caffè.
If you’re in the mood for Italian food or ingredients for your next dinner party, check out Golfo di Napoli. When I heard that an Italian dairy was coming to Huntington County, I could hardly believe it. How lucky are we to have an amazing cheese factory right here?
Golfo di Napoli is located in Warren on State Rte 5 at 7916 S. Warren Rd. It’s easy to forget that you’re in rural Indiana when you’re there. The building is beautifully decorated, and they offer wonderful indoor and outdoor seating. I was lucky enough to take a tour of the factory back in 2019, and it was so interesting to learn about the cheese-making process.
Golfo di Napoli offers a wonderful menu full of charcuterie boards, paninis, pizzas, gelato and more. How cool to know that the mozzarella, ricotta, or provolone on your pizza or sandwich is made right here in Northeast Indiana?
Little Sweet Spot opened in downtown Huntington in 2019.
I have a major sweet tooth, so I feel lucky to have not one, but two candy shops right here in Huntington! Both are located downtown. The Party Shop and Little Sweet Spot are great places to visit if you enjoy sweet treats.
The Party Shop at 413 N. Jefferson St. is a Huntington favorite that has been around since 1920.
The Party Shop is a Huntington favorite that has been around since 1920.
Homemade chocolate turtles, freshly popped caramel corn, and creamy milkshakes are just a few of the delicious options to choose from. But dessert isn’t the only thing they offer! The Party Shop also serves all of your favorite coffee and espresso drinks. If you’re like me and don’t prefer coffee, be sure to try their chai! As an added bonus: The owner, Lynette, may just be the nicest person you’ve ever met.
Insider tip: If you become regulars (like my family), you can open a tab!
If chocolate isn’t your thing, be sure to check out Little Sweet Spot! This bright and colorful candy shop opened in downtown Huntington at 321 N. Jefferson St. in 2019. When you walk inside you can’t help but notice the giant gumball machine, vast collection of cotton candy flavors, and the wall of Jelly Belly jelly beans. They also offer an extensive assortment of saltwater taffy, gummies, suckers, and more.
Little Sweet Spot opened in downtown Huntington in 2019.
My kids affectionately refer to Little Sweet Spot as the “new candy store” and are always thrilled to make a visit.
The Ice Cream Vault on Main Street in Andrews features a mural of a Farmyard Hoedown by Bryan Ballinger.
Fort Wayne isn’t the only city with murals! Here in Huntington County, you can find murals in Huntington, Warren, and Andrews–with more murals on the way in Roanoke and Markle later this year.
Grab your family or friends, and explore Huntington County by touring the area’s public art. Huntington was the hometown of Dan Quayle, 44th Vice President of the United States. Thus, you will find a beautiful quail mural on Market Street painted by America Carillo. You can also find an incredible sloth mural in the children’s section of the Huntington City-Township Public Library painted by Bryan Ballinger.
My favorite Huntington County mural can be found on Main Street in Andrews. Painted on the side of The Ice Cream Vault at 63 N. Main St., Bryan Ballinger’s Farmyard Hoedown gives an ode to good ol’ rural Indiana.
While visiting the mural, be sure to grab some ice cream, too! The Ice Cream Vault carries ice cream from Good’s Candy Shop in Anderson, Indiana, and it is GOOD! During our most recent visit, my son and I shared the lemon ice cream. It was unbelievably creamy and the perfect balance of tart and sweet.
If you know an elementary student in Huntington County, you might even find their artwork hanging on the wall! The Ice Cream Vault was recently named one of the best ice cream shops in Indiana by onlyinyourstate.com.
Forks of the Wabash in Huntington features several historic buildings, a paved trail, and an incredible suspension bridge.
One of my very favorite places to spend time with my family is Forks of the Wabash in Huntington at 3011 W. Park Dr. This park features several historic buildings, a paved trail, and an incredible suspension bridge. While it’s a popular field trip spot for local elementary schools, my family simply enjoys visiting for a chance to move our bodies and spend time outside. It’s a beautiful park located on the Wabash River, so it’s not uncommon to see photographers on site.
Load up your bikes, scooters, strollers, or whatever you might need to enjoy a nice stroll through the park any season of the year (even winter!). A highlight for my kids last summer was finding a baby turtle! And a personal highlight for me was the Splash on the Wabash event that happens every summer. Grab some friends, rent an innertube, and spend 90 minutes floating down the river. It was a blast!
There are five courses in Huntington County.
One of my husband’s favorite pastimes is disc golf. It’s an amazing sport for people of all ages, and we are lucky enough to have five courses right here in Huntington County.
My husband was introduced to the sport through a nine-hole course on Huntington University’s campus. But his most-played course includes 18-holes at Memorial Park in Huntington. Every Tuesday evening, from April through October, the Huntington County Disc Golf League competes at the various county courses.
Whether you are a disc golf lover, or trying the sport for the first time, be sure to check out the courses at Evergreen Park in Huntington, Tower Park in Warren, and The Wildcat in Markle.
Drake Goetz Memorial Park has giant slides, opportunities to climb, and a smaller playground to accommodate the toddlers in your life.
One great addition to Huntington County in 2020 was Drake Goetz Memorial Park. Located next to Union Church at 4082 N. 350 E., this park is absolutely spectacular. The park offers giant slides, opportunities to climb, and a smaller playground to accommodate the toddlers in your life.
Drake Goetz Memorial Park has giant slides, opportunities to climb, and a smaller playground to accommodate the toddlers in your life.
One of my favorite features of the park is the soft turf ground. It’s truly one of the nicest playgrounds I’ve ever been to, and I’m so grateful to have it right here in Huntington County. The park also offers a pickleball court, basketball court, soccer field, and walking track! It is truly a park for the whole family.
TCB games is located in downtown Huntington and carries console games, board games, and card games.
I was pretty uninterested in strategy games until I was introduced to Settlers of Catan in college. I’ve never looked back!
My husband and I are big gamers and have a closet full of our favorite strategy games. So we feel so lucky to have an amazing game store right here in Huntington. TCB Games is located in downtown Huntington at 44 E. Park Dr. and carries console games, board games, and card games. But, if games aren’t your thing, you can also find a collection of disc golf frisbees, comic books, movies, and more. The Pokemon stuffies are my son’s favorite part of the store. If you are a Magic the Gathering fan, be sure to check out TCB Games on Fridays at 7:30 p.m.!
Insider tip: Coming soon to TCB Games is Bear & Beak Bakery. Located in the lower level, Bear & Beak will offer delicious cupcakes, cake by the slice, cookies, cinnamon rolls, and more!
The system, according to the early morning advisory from the National Hurricane Center, is interacting with land, but will likely emerge and grow. The next name on the 2021 list is Claudette.
While no threat to Florida at this point, anything in the Gulf is worth watch. The red oval in the official map, above, indicates where the storm could develop — not a direction of travel or a cone.
From the National Hurricane Center early Thursday morning:
1. A broad low pressure area located over the eastern portion of the
Bay of Campeche is producing widespread cloudiness and disorganized
showers and a few thunderstorms. This system will move little
today, and little if any development is expected during that time
due to interaction with land and unfavorable upper-level winds.
However, the low should begin to move northward by this afternoon,
and a tropical or subtropical depression is likely to form by late
tonight or on Friday when the low moves across the western Gulf of
Mexico. An Air Force Reserve Unit reconnaissance aircraft is
scheduled to investigate the disturbance this afternoon, if
necessary. Regardless of development, heavy rainfall will continue
over portions of Central America and southern Mexico during the next
few days. Heavy rains should also begin to affect portions of the
northern Gulf Coast on Friday. Please consult products from your
local meteorological service for more information.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...high...80 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days...high...90 percent.
Bring a magnet along to find a sample of the iron- and titanium-rich mineral named Cumberlandite, only found in abundance on four acres in this northern RI town.
John Kostrzewa | Guest columnist
CUMBERLAND — Two prominent families, the Blackalls and the Ballous, farmed, raised livestock, rode horses and lived for years on a rural stretch of woodland and low hills in the northern part of town.
Over the decades, urban sprawl, including apartments, houses, a commercial strip and a corporate park, crept toward the fields and forests.
But local conservationists managed to save 184 acres as the Blackall/Ballou Preserve. A natural oasis in the midst of development, the sanctuary offers family-friendly trails and reminders of the old farms, including miles of stone walls that separated pastures, wood lots and orchards.
The preserve also has a unique feature — large piles of small rocks, including pieces of Cumberlandite, the official state rock of Rhode Island. It’s fun to try to find a specimen, but you need a magnet. (More on that later.)
There are several entry points to the public preserve. I set out on a path at the southern end of the property, just off the parking lot for the Dollar Store on Mendon Road where the Benny’s used to be.
A blue birdhouse marks the start, followed by a set of 15 timber-lined stairs down to a series of wetlands. Depending on how much rain has recently fallen, the lowlands could be bone dry or swampy enough to attract bugs in warm weather. There are several wooden boardwalks and plank bridges that cross muddy areas covered with ferns and skunk cabbage.
At an intersection, I went right on the wide, blue-blazed trail that stays mostly flat and meanders under oak and maple, with some beech, pine and birch trees. The trail then climbs a small hillside along some outcroppings, with private property on the right. I heard songbirds in the bushes and could smell honeysuckle.
After about a half mile, the path exits at another trailhead with signage on West Wrentham Road. The trail turns west, passes a few more birdhouses and continues under a powerline, with wildflowers growing on the cleared ground, before reentering the woods.
The path then comes to a junction. I turned right on a red-blazed connector trail that ran uphill for a short stretch before joining a yellow-blazed loop. I turned right, and soon noticed a white-blazed trail that runs east and may have been a horse path that leads to another trailhead on Old Wrentham Road, where the Blackall family had a farmhouse.
I stayed on the yellow-blazed trail and circled north until I reached the tip of the property, where I found a large, tall pile of stones that are too small to build walls but were probably cleared from the fields by farmers. I’d read that some of the stones are Cumberlandite, a rare iron- and titanium-rich mineral only found in large concentrations on four acres in Cumberland and in traces scattered throughout the Narragansett Bay watershed.
Cumberlandite, originally called rhodose, was formed 1.5 billion years ago when a small volcano melded 24 minerals and molten rock. The Nipmucks believed the rock was sacred, and early settlers mined it at a quarry just north of the preserve. At a nearby iron works, the ore was turned into farm tools, weapons, cannons and cannonballs during the Revolutionary War, but the casts were of poor quality and prone to cracking.
In 1966, the General Assembly declared Cumberlandite the official state rock.
Because of its high amounts of iron, Cumberlandite is slightly magnetic. I collected several charcoal-gray rocks with white flecks from the pile and passed a magnet over them. Eventually, one of the samples stuck to the magnet.
I pocketed the stone and continued on the yellow-blazed trail that turned south and crossed a narrow stream, one of three I passed that are easy to rock-hop over. On the right, beyond stone walls and through the trees, I could see many buildings.
The western half of the Blackall property was sold and developed as Highland Corporate Park for CVS and other companies. The eastern half was conserved as open space.
I followed the trail along a ridgeline downhill, back to the red-blazed connector trail that returned me to the blue-blazed loop. I went right and crossed a marked natural gas pipeline and the power line again and followed the trail on a slight jog west to another trailhead. The path then ducked back into the woods and along the banks of a small, quiet pond that may have been a watering hole for livestock. From there, I returned to where I started.
In all, I walked 3.5 miles on the well-marked trails maintained by the Cumberland Land Trust, including 0.3 miles on the entry trail, 1.39 miles on the blue loop. 0.7 miles on the red connector and 1.15 miles on the yellow-blazed loop.
After the hike, I drove north on West Wrentham Road and took a left on Elder Ballou Meeting House Road to a historic cemetery. I walked about a hundred yards on a path behind the cemetery and found the abandoned quarry, with outcroppings of Cumberlandite.
It seemed a fitting end to a memorable morning hike, and I headed home with a souvenir in my pocket as a reminder.
John Kostrzewa will discuss Walking Rhode Island and recommend easy and moderate trails during a presentation Aug. 3 at the Cranston Public Library. For details, go to cranstonlibrary.org/hiking.
John Kostrzewa, a former assistant managing editor/business at The Providence Journal, welcomes email at firstname.lastname@example.org.