During our epic 3 week East Coast Road Trip, we ran into a lot of rain during weeks 1 and 2. A hurricane left the Northeast wetter and colder than normal for late September. After meticulous planning for months, rain put a literal damper on my plans for visiting the state of Rhode Island. In order to still check Rhode Island off our list, I found the closest attraction I could from our Boston base in Lexington, Massachusetts. This way we could visit Rhode Island as a short day trip instead. This happened to be the Slater Mill Historic Site in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
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DITCHING THE CLIFF WALK
There was never any doubt in my mind that when in Rhode Island, we would visit the Cliff Walk on the southern coast. The ocean is my favorite place to be, so this was an easy decision, and the most highly recommended site to visit in the state. Unfortunately, a steady forecast of rain, cold, and wind had me disappointed and questioning my route. The weather was not conducive to a leisurely oceanside walk, especially given the long drive to get there. I have waited to visit the Cliff Walk for years, but, alas, it must wait for a future visit!
SLATER MILL HISTORIC SITE
It was a one hour drive from Lexington to Slater Mill Historic Site, right across the Rhode Island border, located in Pawtucket. This site is known as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, known for the first successful implementation of water-powered cotton spinning technology. We walked among the three buildings: The Slater Mill, the Wilkinson Mill, and the Sylvanus Brown House. We read about the history and significance of the area. The Mill stands next to the Blackstone River, which powered its machines back in the late 1700’s.
Due to it being off season, all the buildings were closed for tours. We were especially disappointed to learn that the Wilkinson Mill is known to be haunted, and we couldn’t get Inside to check out the eerie building for ourselves. We did watch for strange shadows or faces in the windows, but we were out of luck. No excitement there.
WHERE DID THAT BEAVER COME FROM?
However, as we circled down the ramp to exit out of Pawtucket, we did have one exciting, terrifying event that will keep Rhode Island in our memories. On this busy, city expressway, a beaver came sauntering out into traffic and decided to stop right in front of our car’s path. “Is that a ….beaver?” I shouted. Naturally, I slammed on my brakes as I panicked. Then I yelled at the beaver, as though he could hear me. “RUN! RUN, you crazy beaver!” Because naturally, a beaver on an expressway is going to hear me and understand my frantic shouts.
At the very last moment, likely with the screeching of tires urging him on, he continued slowly on his way across four lanes of traffic. Miraculously his life was spared. Our heads swung back and forth as we tried to figure out where in the heck that beaver came from! After my heart rate returned to normal, we enjoyed a good laugh, and beaver meme sharing commenced.
So, Rhode Island became memorable for a whole different reason than its historic cotton mill that day. We did it! Another state in the books!