Friday, December 11, 2009


I'm partial to the second half ... of the Cliff Walk, that is. My approach is to start in the middle and take it from there. I'm never sure how far I'll go — that depends on good fortune (as in cooperative weather and plentiful energy) and foresight (as in comfortable shoes).

And focus (if only I had some).

It also depends on the waves. When the surf is up, Ruggles is a huge draw ... even for non-surfers, like me. It's so hypnotic just to stand and watch in this particular spot that, often, it's as far as I get.

It seems funny to refer to a surf site by a street name, but that's the actuality: the waves hit where the street ends. Ruggles is the waves' address, easy to find, where surfers in wetsuits (or drysuits) bob like small black seals, in any season when the wind is right, especially after a storm, and with all eyes seaward waiting for just the right ride ... toward the rocks.

That's why it's so compelling — isn't it??

Oh, the danger ... but, oh, the possibilities!!

Ruggles is also the address of The Breakers, the largest of Newport's "mansions." Was Cornelius Vanderbilt a surfer, per chance?? Did he ride the waves — risky ones?? Or was his style to observe and react (and build aptly-named cottages on the shore) ...