The Cliff Walk or How I Learned to Always Provide for Return Transportation

At least we were wearing good walking shoes.

John and I were out the door at 6:30 Saturday morning ’cause the night before (after we got mildly sunburned from walking around all day), I had a brilliant idea.  I wanted to do the whole cliff walk and then walk back along Bellevue (about 3.5 miles each way), but neither of us wanted to do it in the sun or the heat, so why not get up before the sunshine gets so intense?  Smart, right?  Sure.  It was early, but we managed.  The first part was great: gentle sunlight, not many people out, temperature in the 60s, paved path.

The start of the Cliff Walk

There was a bird doing a Batman impression right at the beginning.  Looked kind of freaky.  Was he warning us of something?  Maybe the trail was out.  Or a storm was coming!  Or maybe we should have been on the lookout for an angry mob of birds who think they’re Batman.  Hard to say.  Maybe he was just drying his wings after his dawn swim.

Maybe we stumbled on the super secret "Welcoming the Day" ritual of this particular type of bird.

We continued on to the Forty Steps and took a few pictures of the rocky coastline…

Forty Steps from a distance. Makes you wonder why they were put there. It's cool and everything, but did they ever serve a purpose? They used to be a gathering place for the servants and workers from the mansions, but that doesn't explain why there are steps there in the first place.

Close-up. Duh.

Shortly after that, the freaky bird came back with more warnings.

If the bird really wanted to warn us, it should have learned English. Would that have been so hard? We certainly didn't get the message.

Then the paved path went away.  Still not bad, packed dirt and the occasional line of large flat rocks.  Then there were the parts where there was no path.  Just rocks.  And not flat ones, either.

Inside the fence was private property. We had to become part mountain goat to finish the cliff walk, and I don't even think we were halfway at this point.

I didn’t take any more pictures after that; I needed both hands.  John took a whole series of the place we think is Hammersmith Farm (where Jackie O grew up), but we don’t have any more of the walk itself.

Probably (possibly, anyway) Hammersmith Farm

Not too long after that (and after a scramble across more rocks that turned out not be necessary – we missed the path), we found ourselves back on level ground, where Ocean Drive starts and Bellevue ends.  We were 3.5 miles from where we started with no alternative but to walk back.  At least it was shady.  And we could see the front side of some of the mansions.  I didn’t take any mansion pictures, but I can’t resist topiary.

Camels on a desert safari across a perfectly maintained, beautifully green lawn.

Our early morning adventure ended after more than three hours and over seven miles with quick showers and then breakfast at The Franklin Spa on Spring Street.  (By the time we cleaned up, we had missed breakfast at the inn.)  The Franklin Spa does breakfast really well.  I recommend it if you’re ever in Newport.  In fact, I recommend every restaurant we went to and every park, walk, or other activity we did.

On Friday, when we were in between appointments to see retail space, we joined the crowd on Ocean Drive to see the start of the Newport Bermuda Race.  John took some great pictures and I took some so-so ones.

Looking all professional. (Don't burst my bubble if that's not what professional photographers look like.)

One of mine. Hazy, not that interesting. But still - sailboats! Racing! And a helicopter!

I really like the color in this one of John's. And the dog is cute.

John plays with depth of field and proves that I was actually there (blurry, but there).

Don't know who these people are, but I love this picture. How does he do it?

More sailboats, courtesy of John.

And that’s enough.

I’m in the cafe (I’ve typed “face” instead of “cafe” three times now) of a Borders at Providence Place Mall.  (Really nice mall, by the wall.)  John’s flight left almost an hour ago, and mine (for Duluth) doesn’t leave for another three hours, so rather than return the rental car and sit around in the airport, I figured I’d find a place with free wi-fi (not free at the airport) and hang out for a while.  Doing this.

Now I’m hungry and I need to call Dad (Happy Father’s Day, Dad!), so I’m gonna pack up my laptop.  It’ll be midnight or later before I make it to my hotel in Duluth, so this’ll be it for today.  Actually, I’ll be in Chicago for a couple or three hours, so if they have free wi-fi, I may be online again.  I’m sure you’ll manage either way.  🙂


  1. John

    I did a few quick Google searches, and I am now convinced that that mansion is not Hammersmith Farm. It’s just some other ridiculous house in a ridiculous location.

  2. Zannah

    Ridiculous in a good way, though, right? ‘Cause you still totally want to live in it. 🙂

    Tokenblogger….wha? I promise to stop wearing John’s pants if you tell me what you’re talking about. I’m mystified. 🙂

  3. Rover the Wannabe Cocker Spaniel

    Would Tokenblogger be talking about the picture of your bum? Those pants do look rather baggy… Homage to the sailboats in the distance?

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