Public access, private thoughts

I was walking down Tuckerman Avenue earlier today, when I came across this sign:


Public access to the shore is the way the public can legally reach and enjoy coastal areas and resources.

Feeling adventurous, I decided to take the path less traveled (at least for me).

On my trek from curbside Tuckerman Ave to the shoreline, I couldn’t help but think, this public access is not very accessible.  The path was overgrown, uneven and rocky in most parts, muddy and narrow in others. At one point, I had to crouch to make my way through a tunnel of shrubbery, the ground beneath my feet, a treacherous gully (can a gully be treacherous?).

As I made my way down the path, I imagined an animated discussion between Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, with an exasperated Clark shouting “Turn around Lew, she’s impassable” and “It’s risky business, this path to the shoreline, I fear we may lose some people!” – but I soldiered on.

If you ask me, accessible should mean accessible to a wide spectrum of people. If your  Nana can safely walk the path with a less than 50 % chance of fracturing a hip, then I say its accessible. I’m not sure the path from Tuckerman Ave to the shoreline passes the Nana test.


Once I made it to the shore, I headed in the direction of Sachuaest beach, hoping to make my way to Purgatory chasm and to the lower end of Tuckerman Ave — and eventually back to my car, which  I had parked at the local YMCA.

I’ve lived on Aquidneck Island for nearly half a century and this was the first time walking this particular shoreline – its really quite beautiful.

The rocky terrain was not easy and it was slippery in parts. I was reminded several times that mother nature doesn’t give a shit when you say “I got this” — having slipped twice on slimy seaweed-covered rocks.

I ran out of walkable terrain before I could reach Purgatory Chasm, so I had to double back. But all-in-all, it was a productive, mind-clearing walk, and a nice reminder of how fortunate I am to have ended up on Aquidneck Island.


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