Let’s Just Take A Ride!
By Margot McEwen
Living onLong Islandfor the last 18 years has made me most appreciative of its pleasures. Up on the north shore is a wonderful coast line where one can enjoy the views of Long Island Sound. Although rocky shores abound, a pair of beach shoes will protect your feet from the rocks and you can wander around comfortably. TheAtlantic Oceanwelcomes you to the beaches on the south shore such asSmithPointParkand don’t forget Cupsogue out in Westhampton. The ocean is usually in a friendly mood but one must be very aware of mood changes when it can become downright ugly.
The east end ofLong Islandis ideal for taking a car ride to go exploring some of its wonders. It is best if you relax and go with the flow as the day progresses. My daughter and I did just that a couple of years ago when we decided to ride out east and let the day happen. We arrived in Greenport and wandered around a bit just enjoying being near the water and involving ourselves in the shops Greenport has to offer. As we wandered around, not sure of just what we wanted to do, we saw cars lining up for theShelterIslandferry. “Now that’s an idea – let’s go! “
We lined up behind the others and before we knew it we were aboard the ferry which also was carrying a big furniture truck. This made us wonder about the capability of the ferry to carry such weight. Much to our amazement the little vessel was perfectly capable and deposited us safely onShelterIsland. We toured around the island and at one point decided to park and just get out of the car to enjoy some of the scenery. Since the spot was right off the water, it was a pleasure to just relax there absorbing some of the sights and sounds. When we felt like moving on, we looked up the way to Mashomack Preserve where we decided to hike a bit. Heading along the trail we were welcomed by this little bird who would go hopping ahead of us, then turn around to see if we were still there and seeing we were, continued hopping along ahead of us, turning around to check on us, etc. He was just too adorable and it seemed obvious that he was leading the way and showing off his home to us. We went on like this for a while and at some point parted company with the little guy (or girl) but there was no scarcity of other
inhabitants making their presence felt. Chipmunks happily scampered about with other birds and even joggers getting into the act. At one point on the trail we came to an opening and were surprised to see a large expanse of water through the trees. We just stood there drinking it all in and then lingered on a bench for a while prolonging the enjoyment of this unexpected treat. After spending some time absorbing all this beauty, we got to our feet and hiked onward heading back to the entrance of the Preserve as we were starting to get hungry. Stopping in the gift shop we found a couple of very attractive Mashomack Preserve T-shirts, which we purchased as remembrances of our visit.
On the ferry ride back to Greenport, we decided lunch at Claudio’s was our best choice. We liked the food there and since the weather was perfect, we could enjoy our meal outdoors. The ferry ride back was more relaxed as we were no longer worrying about the ferry sinking from all the weight it carried. On arriving in Greenport, we found our timing couldn’t have been better because it was slightly after lunch time so the restaurant was not crowded. Having worked up an appetite during our adventures, we found it fully satisfying to settle in, relax in the pleasant open-air atmosphere of Claudio’s and ease our hunger pangs.
Our delicious chicken-in-the-basket lunch boosted our energy levels and we decided to walk around Greenport some more. However, it seems neither one of us was finished with the day yet and when my daughter asked if I would like to keep on going out to Orient Point, I said I thought that was a great idea. And so it was. Arriving in Orient Point around6:00 pm, gave us an opportunity to experience that beach at quiet end-of-the-day time. There was a food shack right off the beach with lots of sea gulls around it just waiting for someone to drop food. We had to disappoint them as we were not hungry, but decided something to drink would be nice. My daughter opted for a soda and I knew a good cup of coffee would