Day 2, 23 miles, Friday, October 12, 2012

Southeastern CT Foliage Tour 2012
Stonington, Pawcatuck, Westerly, RI

Up at 6:30 a.m., 50F. Juice, eggs, muffins and coffee for breakfast. The sun came out at 7:00. Todayís ride was 32 miles into Rhode Island, to Watch Hill and back to CT. The forecast was for overcast skies, chilly, windy and scattered showers starting in early afternoon. (Thatís exactly what happened.)

I left the house at 8:30, and when I got to the Commuter Parking Lot (CPL) at Exit 91, Route I-95 it had warmed up to 54F but still sunny. While I was getting myself organized there, a state trooper came by and we had a nice chat. I got on the road and was cycling down Margin Street in Westerly when a car drove up beside me. The driver was yelling at me to pull over, so I did. It was Ray Foss, a long-time Pequot Cyclist friend. He then parked his car in a lot in Westerly and continued the ride to Watch Hill. It was still chilly and cold, but now overcast skies. I havenít seen Ray for several years, so it was nice to reconnect and get caught up on news and stuff. We did some photo ops on Bay Street in Watch Hill and then cycled up to the Main Attraction, the Ocean House.

A friend of mine is the concierge at the Ocean House. I made some inquiries with hotel staff outside and within 10 minutes my friend Bob came out to greet us. We chatted briefly and when he said we looked cold, we replied that we were. He then invited us in for coffee. But first he took us on a brief tour of this magnificent, five-star hotel. We passed through the main lobby/lounge, members lounge and out to the second floor patio that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, where we took some photos. Then we came back through the kitchen where a staff member made us a cup of coffee. We then went down to the main lobby/lounge, Bob left, and we sat down and sipped our coffee for 45 minutes. The Ocean House is considered one of "the" five most exclusive, private hotels in the country. When we left, it was lightly raining. It looked like it was going to pour any minute, so we got on our bikes and "hammered" (rode as fast as we could) back to Ray's car in Westerly. Ray gave me a ride back to my car at the CPL, Exit 91. The weather forecast was right on, correct with the showers. The weather didnít dampen our spirits and enthusiasm. The experience at the Ocean House is one we will never forget.

(Click on the images below for a larger view of each photo.)

Pawcatuck River Marina

On Bay Street, Watch Hill, RI

On Bay Street, Watch Hill, RI

Storm clouds behind me

Storm clouds coming

Me with Ray Foss

Bay Street, Watch Hill, RI

"The" Ocean House

"The" Ocean House

On patio, Atlantic Ocean

Ray, Bob Woods, me

Five-story, Atlantic Ocean view

Coffee in Ocean House lounge -- WOW!

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